Aid to the Developmentally Disabled (ADD) has 32 residences, from mid-Suffolk throughout the East End. These sites are filled with amazing people and we would like to share spotlight blogs on them as much as possible. Today, we would like to introduce you to Laurie Force, who is a cheerful, kind and optimistic woman.
Laurie lives at the West Tiana residence in Hampton Bays. Both Laurie and her residential manager, Deborah McLear, were eager to share her story.
Laurie was in a very challenging time in her life just about one year ago. Through hard work, medical treatment and working with staff in the ADD Mental Health Program, she was able to become active in her own recovery and would go on to make a complete 360 degree turnaround. Laurie has achieved many goals in the program.
“She’s a great person,” said Ms. McLear, “And her self-esteem has soared with the improvements in her life.”
Ms. Force is interested in human rights and has many political views to share. She expressed an interest in soon joining the advocacy group through ADD. Laurie said that she would like to be an advocate for people with disabilities and end discrimination, while creating more awareness about mental illness. She also speaks about her recovery.
Laurie is appreciative of her health care and tells us that her doctor “is great!” She’s feeling much better now, as she used to be in pain all day and not be able to move or get out of bed. Now, she is very active around her house and in the community as much as possible.
Laurie likes to color and “create beauty in pictures…create art,” she shares, “I also love to read and go to the library often.”
The housemates at West Tiana Residence are also Laurie’s best friends. They inspire her and she, as a strong woman, likes to inspire them in return. Laurie also has a loving brother and a mother, who will be 92-years-old soon. They keep in touch often and make her very happy. (The valentine in the photo is from Laurie’s mother.) “Love is the key to happiness,” she said.
Ms. Force shares her advice to others who may be starting out in the Mental Health Program, “Help yourself in any way possible and stick to your endeavor. You will achieve your goals. We all have our good and bad days. No one is perfect. Never lose sight of your goals!”
Laurie Force aspires for great things in her future. She would like to be a part of more ADD programs and group sessions. She also is requesting more lectures to be hosted by the program. To learn more about the ADD organization, residential housing, job opportunities and advocacy groups, browse our website or call 631-727-6220 ext. 203 with any questions.