$150K grant to aid ‘independence coaches’ for people with disabilities

$150K grant to aid ‘independence coaches’ for people with disabilities

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Mid-South agency serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities will soon be able to help more people live more independently.

Shelby Residential and Vocational Services (SRVS) received $150,000 to train more independence coaches.

An independence coach model moves away from the traditional caregiver model.

SRVS says independence coaches encourage self-determination.

Denetris Grandberry has been Greg Henry's independence coach for two years. While Grandberry said she's in his home every day, she tries not to interfere with his life, instead acting like a mentor to support his autonomous decisions.

SRVS has around 20 independence coaches, but recently received a $150,000 grand from the Assisi Foundation to expand the model and train 120 new coaches over the next two years.

"For the most part, Greg is independent," Grandberry said. "He's able to do most things he needs to do in his home. That's been from the support and the coaching from the independence coaches. So what he says he wants to do or he feels he needs to do, we simply support him."

Independence coaches support 55 people in the community. With the grant, SRVS hopes to support more than 400 people over two years.

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