Spotlighting Mainstay Supportive Housing Families: The Cox-Lanyon Family

05/25/23

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Vickie Cox-Lanyon remembers the stress and confusion of trying to find the right supportive housing program for her adult son Drew, who has intellectual disabilities. 

“It was so hard. I had a spreadsheet for housing options. I knew he wasn’t ready to live totally independently.”

Although Drew qualified for the Section 8 housing choice voucher program, the federal housing program for very low-income and disabled adults,  Vickie admitted, “It’s hard to find places that will take a Section 8.” 

Then, she connected with Mainstay Supportive Housing and learned about the nonprofit’s affordable supportive housing solution with home-based services. “We were so lucky. I was thrilled.”

Mainstay’s Beautiful Supported Home for the Cox-Lanyon Family 

Drew, who is 28, has been living in Norwood, in a beautiful and comfortable home for adults with intellectual disabilities operated by Mainstay Supportive Housing, since 2021.

“The house is beautiful, I would live there no question at all,” said Vickie. “It’s clean and well-maintained. It’s very safe and the residents are all nice. You never have to worry.”

The family has noticed great changes in Drew’s personal growth since he started sharing the Norwood home. In this supportive living home, he’s with other adults that have intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“There’s a level of independence that he had never experienced at our house. He has to get to work on his own. He makes his own breakfast, lunch and snacks. He likes being able to make his own choices.”

Trained, live-in staff prepare a communal dinner every night when Drew and his housemates eat together. The staff is onsite overnight, and during the evening on weekdays and weekends, in case they’re needed.

Comfort and Camaraderie at Mainstay’s Supportive Living 

Drew works two jobs — at TJ Maxx and New Life Furniture Bank, where he helps collect furniture for people moving out of homelessness. “I’m very proud of him,” Vickie said.

He also has a busy social life keeping up with the other adults with disabilities who live with him at his Norwood home.

“Drew and his friend spend a lot of time together and there’s a real sense of camaraderie. They go bowling together, plant gardens and make birdhouses,” Vickie said. “There are great hang-out places in the house where they watch sporting events and the finals of “The Voice.” They also have the independence to walk to concerts and other events at Norwood Common.

“It’s kind of like going to college and living in a dorm suite,” she added.

To learn more about Mainstay Supportive Housing options in Chelsea & Spencer, visit mainstayliving.org/supportive-housing/.

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