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CAPC – Spotlight

Spotlight on Nola Fuller

Nola

Nola Fuller
Nola recently wrote and gave a speech at La Sierra High School in Fullerton to discuss her experience with Supported Living Services to an Independent Living Skills class. She gave her speech in front of the class using her iPad. Several students of that class visited Nola in her apartment and she gave them a tour of what it is like to live her own. Nola is our outstanding individual of the month.

Introduction
Hi everyone!! My name is Nola and I have been living on my own for over 24 years. I am here today to share my experience in the Supported Living Program at CAPC and to do so, I will use my communication device to help share my story.

About Me
For about half of my life, I was placed in a foster home and later was adopted by my foster mother. While I was raised and cared for by her in my early years, I didn’t always feel at home. So as the life-loving young woman I was, and still am, I decided to make the most of my life and tell my coordinator, at the time, that I wanted to have a place that I could call home.

First Steps
I first had to talk to my coordinator about my desire to move out and ask many questions about what I needed to do to move out successfully. I also shared my concerns about rent, bills, location…etcetera.

The Process
After sharing my desires with my coordinator, she informed me about HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) and I learned about Section 8, which is a housing assistance program that helps paid for a portion of my rent. The whole process took about two-years from the time I filed the application to when I got my keys. I just had to be patient and make sure I follow thru with all the paperwork requirements.

Preparing to Move
While I waited to be approved by Section 8, I requested, the Regional Center, to help me move to a group home. My experience there was not good because I had limited decision-making and had to share all responsibilities with 6 others. However, experiencing this helped me affirm that moving out on my own was the right decision for me.

I also learned that there were different programs and help from the Regional Center that I could receive once I was approved so that I could help lower the cost of my utilities and other expenses.

Not Simple
Finding a place I could call home took a lot of work on my part. I had to budget my money to pay bills on time, save money for unexpected expenses, had to find furniture, learn new bus routes and interview and hire staff that would assist me with my personal care routine. But at the end of the day, everything was worth me finding a place I could call home.

Advice
Follow your heart and continue learning. To emphasize on the importance of learning, continuing your education after high school because it will bring greater opportunities for all of you. Believe in yourselves… because we are all capable of achieving our dreams.