Barbara Murray “I’ve met with tragic circumstances and bouts of mental illness throughout my life. As a result, I lived in an adult home for 33 years. Because of what I learned from CIAD, in September 2020, I was able to move to my own beautiful one-bedroom apartment in Far Rockaway. I am currently working as a CIAD Peer Advocate. CIAD has played an instrumental role in my finding—finally—the promise of a fulfilling present and future. Living in an adult home often brings with it despair and hopelessness. I lived with these feelings for years. I thought there was no way out and that no matter how much I improved myself, I was stuck in a home. It took a lot of time and work to get to where I am today.
As a Peer Advocate, I am able to teach other residents about independent living. Then the O’Toole v. Cuomo federal lawsuit and settlement offered me and thousands of other residents the promise of an apartment. I waited my turn. I did get an apartment and now I can say thank youto CIAD!CIAD gave me a job when I felt useless. They told me I mattered and have something to contribute to others. They also made housing possible. Then they hired me as a Peer Advocate which allows me to give back.
I will forever owe a debt of gratitude to Geoff and all CIAD staff and members, and I fervently believe that we all make a precious contribution to those in adult homes, nursing homes, and apartment programs who are often lonely, neglected, or needy in many ways. Their lives are better because we care.”