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This week, Chapel Haven Changes Lives is proud to feature Chris L., who has been at Chapel Haven since 2004 and has gained an independent and social life.

Chris came to Chapel Haven from his hometown of Voorhees, NJ. His life before Chapel Haven consisted of him living at home, and although he enjoyed that, he did not have much independence.

He enrolled in the REACH program and learned all about what it takes to live on his own. He graduated in 2006 ready to have his own apartment and has lived in the Chapel Haven community happily since.

Chris names as his top highlights gaining enough independence through the REACH program to graduate and move into his own apartment within walking distance of Chapel Haven, and having had a great part-time job doing maintenance work through the State Department of Transportation.

“I envisioned myself gaining independence, but Chapel Haven made it easier to obtain,” he says. “I have gained good friends and good work experience.”

Chris has learned how to travel independently in the community, do his laundry and cook his own meals. He is a very social guy, and loves all the recreation trips Chapel Haven offers on the weekends, especially trips to the big malls, seasonal fairs and going to the movies. Action and comedy flicks are his favorite.

Chris travels home during vacation times, where he enjoys seeing his family and his girlfriend. Some day, he envisions returning to New Jersey to live independently near his family. “I love visiting home, I can see myself moving back there in the future,” he says.

Congrats, Chris!