By. Robert Guevera
Let me introduce you to Paul!
I wanted to give you a glimpse of some background so we can appreciate Paul’s journey. Paul’s life journey is full of challenges, love, and persistence. Paul’s childhood was rocked constantly with change and not living with his family. Paul lived in a residential home for years since the age of 6. Paul met Compass Case Facilitator Mone Tate while living in that residential home years ago. From then, the bond and trust developed over the years between Paul and Mone. However, Paul had lost complete connection with his mother and sister. He did not know their location or contact information. As the good life would have it, Paul landed on Mone’s SLS caseload now that Paul is an adult. About 3 years ago, Paul approached Mone with a question and request for help. He wanted to regain connection with his mother and sister. Although Mone couldn’t promise anything, she did some investigative work for Paul. Six months later, Paul was finally reunited with his mother. However, there was not any luck with the sister.
Fast Forward to August 2022…
Mone logs into her Facebook and sees a message from Paul’s lost sister. The sister had uninstalled Facebook Messenger years ago but just reinstalled it recently. She is bewildered. After seeing Mone’s message from 3 years ago, she was so excited to connect with her brother, Paul. She had tried finding Paul over the years but was unsuccessful. The sister lost hope in reconnecting with Paul. Mone got her contact information. An introductory phone call was set up later that week between Paul and his sister.
“I’m An Uncle!”
Paul was very excited that he would be able to reconnect with his sister. With Paul’s permission, the office team supported Paul to dial his sister’s phone number. The call was amazing! it was the first time he had ever spoken to his sister. His big warm smile started at one ear and ended at the other. During this call, Paul found out that his sister had a daughter. Paul was an uncle! During the phone call, Paul and his sister exchanged photos via text messages. They were able to see what the other looked like. The physical and familial similarities were comforting to Paul. After the call, Paul was teary-eyed. He thanked Mone for all she had done for him. What a true blessing this was for Paul. Robert took Paul out for lunch afterward. As Robert was driving, he looked at the passenger seat. Paul was looking right back with his big, wonderful smile and simply exclaimed “I’m an uncle!”
Reaching for the Stars
Paul is an enthusiastic, bright–eyed, young man. He is living his independent life with the support of SLS. He is creating many memories that will last a lifetime. His journey is full of accomplishments. Last year, Paul financed a trip to Disneyworld in December 2022. Paul was able to save $500 of spending money for his trip without the support of his Rep Payee. Paul even saved up enough money to buy himself a PlayStation 5, a gift he desired greatly to complete his collection. All of Paul’s achievements hold their merit. However, the reconnection with his lost family is what Paul values most.