If you are ever in the Shreveport Highland neighborhood, there is a good chance you may have seen Wayne riding his 3-wheel bicycle down the road.
Born with a developmental disability, Wayne moved to Shreveport in 1985 after attending Ruston State School and as he says, “I wanted to see the big city!”.
The truth is that he also needed supervised care and support too.
Wayne was one of the first residents to live at Volunteers of America’s Magnolia facility, the first group home for people with disabilities in the state of Louisiana. Wayne lived at Magnolia until he moved into his own apartment and joined our Supervised Independent Living (SIL) program in 1992.
There, Wayne met Donny Jackson, director of the Supervised Independent Living, a program for people with disabilities that seeks to help individuals meet their goals, provide advocacy, and connect each person to the community – giving them a sense of independency in this world.
Wayne speaks to our staff daily about his life. He shares, “They help me make sure all my bills are paid on time, make sure I have groceries and I go to the doctor.” In the last few years, Wayne has made many visits to the doctor, as well as the oncology department at the hospital as he fights his newest health battle, cancer.
Through two rounds of chemotherapy, Donny has never left Wayne’s side as he offers him advice and hope despite life’s hardships. The hospital loves Wayne’s positive attitude so much that when he recently left, the staff and nurses made him a special “Best Patient Award”.
There is no one else on this earth like Wayne. He’s honest to a fault, works hard, and never meets a stranger. Wayne is much more than a client we serve. He is a part of our family. Wayne laughs as he exclaims, “I’ve been here longer than Chuck [president and CEO, Volunteers of America North Louisiana], I could be his boss!”