When Aspire first met Shane in 2016, his big, boisterous personality both charmed and challenged us. Shane had progressed through a treatment program in Florida and was ready to return to New Hampshire with community-based services. The years since haven’t all been smooth sailing, but his hard work is paying off.

Shane says, “There are some points in your life when you have difficulties, and you try to figure out what to do with everything you’ve learned over the years. It takes a lot out of you to remember everything.”

Now Shane is working the grill and sandwich station at Wendy’s three days a week. He took the job for $15 an hour, a significant raise over the $10 he made at his last job. “I went where the money was. It’s a lot more hard work--you’re on your feet.” A direct support professional helps Shane with transportation, problem-solving, and decision-making.

At home, Shane is the happiest he’s been in a long time. He notes that after a mental health crisis in 2020, “everybody was on safety mode.” He’s worked hard to get back on track. “I haven’t had issues lately. I’m utilizing everything – the team, communicating better, and focusing on what’s really important.”

Shane lives with a couple, Greg and Grace, who share their home with him. Greg and Grace are shared living providers with Aspire. With them, Shane has found the confidence to handle what comes his way. He’s understanding what works for him and what doesn’t.

The providers support Shane’s growing self-awareness with their kind and straightforward approach. Shane says, “They’re both really wonderful people.”

Greg reports that being a provider is definitely work, but it’s richly rewarding. “It’s seeing his progress. I’ve told him he’s the one doing the hard work…A lot of people straight out say he’s a different person now.”

Shane relies on their support and counsel when things don’t go the way he’d like: “I feel comfortable talking to Greg about problems. Or Grace…Even if I have difficulties, I talk it out.”

Greg and Grace are first time providers. When Greg starting working for Aspire, he met Shane in the course of his work. When Shane needed a new provider, Greg spoke up to say he was interested, and the move came together quickly. Day-to-day life for the household hasn’t changed that much since Shane moved in. They have a predictable routine that works for all of them. Greg reports that when he and Grace want to spend time away on their own, they plan ahead to make sure there’s someone there for Shane.

Shane and Greg work on life skills at home, such as cleaning and keeping organized, but they also just have fun. They go bowling regularly and are looking at putting together a team so they can join a league. Shane’s making vacation plans to see Niagara Falls this summer, and Canada too, if he can get his passport in time.

Shane is thriving - in life and work.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about becoming a sharing living provider, check out Is Becoming A Shared Living Provider Right for Me?

Life and Work with Shane