Olmstead Speaks: Eight People Impacted by Olmstead in Their Own Words
My name is Sherri. I am Olmstead. I was at Georgia Regional Hospital in Atlanta off of Panthersville Road for two months last summer. I transitioned out through services from the Justice Department Settlement with Community Friendship. I now live on my own with a housing voucher. I haven’t been back to the hospital. I am in a program to get ready to work. I feel great. I live in a safe neighborhood, I’m walking in the park, going shopping and just being free.
My name is Natalie. I am Olmstead. I was confined in an institution in Atlanta at the age of thirteen. It caused me to get worse. I have been doing well since I reached my thirties. I am now a Certified Peer Specialist. A Certified Peer Specialist is a person in recovery from mental illness and/or substance abuse. Our mission is to provide peer support as part of the Georgia mental health service system and to promote self-determination, personal responsibility and empowerment essential in self-directed recovery. I would like to thank my employer, Highland River Health, The Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network and the RESPECT Institute for their on going support and belief that Recovery is possible for everyone.
My name is Sheila. I am Olmstead. I lived in and out of Central State since I was five years old. I moved out in 2007. I live on my own now. I have small child and I am enjoying life. I am a disability advocate.
My name is Sophia. I am Olmstead. I was in a terrible car accident a couple of years ago. I ended up in a full body cast and after four months in the hospital, I was sent to a nursing home for a very short period of time. My time in the nursing home was horrifying, and my Mom got me out of there. Since leaving, I have figured out how to do everything on my own -- cooking, taking care of my kids, shopping, and even getting up the stairs. I am never going back to a nursing home.
My name is Willie. I am Olmstead. I was in a nursing home for eight years after having two strokes. I would sit on my bed and wonder what was going to become of me. Was I just sitting here waiting to die? I got out of the nursing home in 2010. Since then, I have been enjoying life. I make sure my wheelchair is charged up, and sometimes I get on the MARTA and just ride from one end to the other. I am eighty three and I am just enjoying myself, being active.
My name is Charles. I am Olmstead. I was in a nursing home for three and a half years before getting out eight months ago. I hardly ever got out. All I could do was go to a courtyard and sit by a tree to enjoy the shade it gave me. I transitioned back into the community through Money Follows the Person. I now have my own apartment and an aid assists me in the morning. I love to go out now to the open space and be part of the community.
My name is Harold. I am Olmstead. I lived in nursing homes for over seven years. When I was there, the noises, the smells, and the treatment were horrible. I tell people that since I got out, I haven’t had a bad day since. Today, I live downtown. I am on the board of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, I am a disability rights advocate, and I am constantly on the go from my own home.
My name is Joseph. I am Olmstead. I was a vice president for a bank but I had a nerve disease that caused me to end up in a nursing home for two and a half years. Now, I am out of the nursing facility. I am living in my own apartment. I volunteer in the community, including President of People First of Atlanta. I also work at New Life Community Church helping to feed the homeless.