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"I don't know where I would be without Avenues"

Charlie has been a part of the Avenues family for over 33 years, and in many ways he and members of the Avenues family have literally grown up together.  In fact, when Charlie left a large care facility to become an Avenues resident in 1980, Residential Director Floyd Kortenhof had just joined Avenues a year earlier. Through the years, Charlie and Floyd have shared a special bond, and until Charlie was recently reunited with his sister, his roommates and friends at Avenues were the closest thing to family he knew.

Charlie’s longevity also extends to his employment history, and Avenues helped Charlie obtain a few long-term positions, including working in the maintenance department at Creative Printing in Des Plaines. When they closed last year, Charlie had been an employee for 19 years.   Charlie’s job loss was difficult to deal with, but he told his concerned co-workers that, “Avenues will help me out.”  Thanks to Calvin Keyes and Randall Smith from our Job Placement Program, and the outreach from Matt and Ed Coyne of Coyne Insurance, Charlie is one of three Avenues’ workers who are currently employed there now.

Today, Charlie lives at Herbst Family House with two roommates, and is often seen around town riding his bicycle or taking public transportation.  He volunteers two days a week at the Park Ridge Library, and is very active at the Park Ridge Community Church.  For the past few years, Charlie has been taking reading classes at the Des Plaines Public Library.

According to Amy Hill, Charlie’s case manager, he can often be heard praising Avenues, and “doesn’t know where he would be without Avenues.”  Charlie indeed exemplifies what Avenues is all about – helping people lead the lives they choose with independence and dignity.more.

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