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Meet Matt!

Matt smiling at the camera

Easterseals MORC Helps Former Homeless Man Live Independently

Matt is a friendly and outgoing individual who enjoys spending his free time playing all types of video games, learning more about computers, and watching episodes of 'Charmed' and 'Big Brother.' He also has been involved in many advocacy groups that support individuals with disabilities. Matt stays busy as he is actively involved in the Citizen's Advisory Council, the Beginning Ending Stigma Today (BEST) group, and various Oakland County Health Network (OCHN) groups.

"I have been active in various groups but the Citizen's Advisory Council has been the most impactful," Matt said. "As I am part of the disability community, it allows me to give a voice for other like me."

Matt has been very involved with the Michigan Victory Games that take place every year in Lansing. This event is similar to an Olympics for individuals with disabilities.

"I love participating and volunteering at the Michigan Victory Games!" Matt said. "It's a great time and it's an opportunity to see great people."

For most of his life, Matt has struggled with challenges that affect his movement, muscle tones, and posture. Before finding Easterseals MORC nearly 20 years ago, Matt's life looked very different.

"Most people talk about how they found an organization," Matt said. "I talk about how Easterseals MORC found me when I was homeless. I am extremely grateful for their assistance in helping me have my own apartment with my roommate. If you're curious to see if they could help you too, call them."

Matt has been sharing his story and what he has learned throughout his journey in life as a certified Peer Mentor with Easterseals MORC. In his role, he advocates for other individuals with disabilities to help them navigate the system and reach their goals.

"I help people with what they want to achieve in life," Matt said, "Helping others to achieve their personal goals allows me to make a positive impact on the disability community and hopefully bust the stigma that people in this community face."

Matt currently receives services at Easterseals MORC for occupational therapy and the organization has also helped him with support coordination. He has also received multiple awards including 'The Peer Recognition and Stigma Award' from OCHN, the 'OCHN Director's Award.' and the 'Sheldon Dunn Inspiration Award' from the Arc of Oakland County. These awards have been given for Matt's advocacy work on educating the community about the struggle individuals with disabilities face in their daily lives.

"I'm grateful to have received recognition for my work, but the impact is more important," Matt said. "I focus on helping others with disabilities be able to advocate for their own needs and ensure they have the same rights as everyone else."

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