Bob and Theresa
Theresa is a wise woman who laughs easily and is a natural caregiver. Theresa started working for Greater Opportunities in 2003, and works with both the Day Program and Supported Living Services. Since she started she’s been promoted to the assistant manager position at Greater Opportunities main office, “I love my job. I want to help these people, and I want them to have the quality of life they deserve. I’m there if anyone needs anything. I truly want the best for all the clients I work with.”
Bob, a native San Jose resident, says he was in a few different programs before settling with Greater Opportunities. “I wanted to get out of care homes and into a program where I could live independently, and that’s how I learned about Greater Opportunities.” He’s been with Greater Opportunities since 2000, and with Supported Living Services Bob says that he is learning the skills to be independent while receiving support. He’s been with the Supported Living Services for about five years now. Before that he lived at Greater Opportunities’ Cortez Apartments in Sunnyvale. Theresa and Bob are roommates, and she teaches him how to maintain a home and develop skills to be more independent. When they met, she noticed that Bob could benefit from losing a little weight, especially since he is diabetic. They worked together to implement an exercise routine and change his eating habits. Since then, Bob has lost a tremendous amount of weight, which has kept his diabetes in check, and has improved his overall health a great deal.
He appreciates the way Theresa respects him and gives him his own time when he needs, and he does the same for her. Not only does Theresa help Bob learn how to cook, manage his finances, keep a house clean, and do laundry, she also helps him manage his emotions and is there if he needs someone to talk to, “If I need some guidance in my life, Theresa helps me.” Bob says Theresa has helped him manage his anger problem, and that he’s improved his ability to control his temper. Theresa concurs, and adds that he is doing great these days and she’s proud of how far he’s come. Bob is a hard worker, too, and says for a long time he had a job at a coffee shop where he helped run the store and made coffee. Sometimes he’d work up to ten hours a day, but an injury caused him to be unable to work. He’s working on getting his strength back to one day go back to work.
Both Bob and Theresa say that Greater Opportunities is a phenomenal organization. Bob says he’s always referring people to their programs, so much so that he could be a representative for the organization. Theresa reiterates her love for her job, and that she’s deeply invested in what she does, “People with disabilities deserve to live like everyone else. They should have everything they need, and have the freedom and skills to achieve their goals, and that’s where Greater Opportunities comes in.”