FROM ADDICTION TO WORK
Change is stressful, especially for people struggling with addiction. Rich Coon, who was arrested for a DUI-related offense, knows that firsthand. He lost his job when the restaurant where he worked went out of business. Instead of sinking into his addiction, Rich sought help at a program called Connections to Work. The program is part of Connections Community Support Programs, Inc., a United Way of Delaware partner that provides services ranging from substance abuse treatment and vocational training to affordable housing. Rich is now manager of A&G Steak Shop in Wilmington, which Connections owns and operates. Connections is just one of the many organizations focused on addressing substance abuse that United Way of Delaware supports.
PRIDE AND A PAYCHECK
Leonard Townsend, in many ways, is an ordinary Delawarean. He goes to work. He has a girlfriend. He volunteers. What makes Leonard extraordinary? He is an adult with a developmental disability.
Leonard works for Kent-Sussex Industries, a United Way of Delaware partner in Milford that employs Delawareans with disabilities. Leonard can do most of the jobs that KSI handles, ranging from labeling projects to heavy lifting. He also enjoys volunteering with other KSI employees at Abbott’s Mill Nature Center.
Adults with disabilities often do not have the opportunity to work. KSI offers Leonard and others a chance to earn a paycheck and to gain self-esteem. Leonard says it best. “I like getting really good paychecks. It makes me feel good and wonderful,” he says.
KSI is just one of many United Way of Delaware agencies that help people with disabilities live healthy and fulfilling lives.