In Memory of Christine Grace College

ChristineGraceCollege.jpg

Christine Grace College was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on December 14th, 1961. She was the only girl of four siblings. At an early age her family relocated to California. She lived with her biological family until about seven years of age. 

Christine moved in with her foster parents Dick and Brenda Bell in Riverside, CA at the age of nine. Christine attended Washington Elementary School, Sierra Middle School and eventually matriculated from Ramona High School. At an early age she was introduced to the Christian faith and maintained her faith throughout her life.

In her adult years Christine was provided support services through Westside Regional Center. She participated in Social Vocational Services from 1987 to 2009 where she learned job skills working in an enclave environment. Christine worked at various locations including the Marriott Hotel, the Movie Studio in Culver City, Loyola Marymount University and UCLA, providing services such as gardening setting up displays, washing dishes and busing tables, recycling and cleaning.

In 1991, Christine joined the I.A.B.A.'s Supported Living program. Over the past 25 years Christine College made conscientious efforts to maintain a productive and meaningful lifestyle. Christine always made strides to improve her overall quality of life by learning new skills and maintaining her independence. Christine was quite successful in expanding her "comfort zone" and taking advantage of various social opportunities. 

Christine was a member of University Christian Church and was involved in many church activities including picnics, Wednesday night groups, and volunteering to serve others through community service. Christine was also an active participant in the Lotus Group as well as Healthy Lifestyles. Christine was known for having a servant's heart and always wanted to help in any way she could. She enjoyed shopping, spending time with friends and dancing.

Those who knew Christine will remember her outgoing friendly nature, beautiful smile, unique sense of fashion and her love for shopping.

Christine died unexpectedly on November 11th, 2016 while at home at the age of 54. Christine is survived by her mother Brenda Bell, her grandfather Calvin Coolidge Finch, her grandmother Charlotte Nora Finch, her roommate and dear friend Albert Watkins, and a host of friends and loved ones. She was preceded in death by her father Dick Bell, grandfather Robert Bell, grandmother Virginia Bell and biological parents. She will be deeply missed by her friends, family and all who knew her.  


Meet Our Residents!

 

Jamil

Jamil is 27 years old and was born and raised in Los Angeles and has always lived with his parents. He went to Kentwood Elementary, Orville Wright Jr High, and Westchester High.  After two years at El Camino Community College, he received a certificate of completion for office clerk. When he was 22 years old, he passed the DMV driving test and got his driver's license.  He says his parents let him use a car to drive.  His service coordinator at Westside Regional Center and his mom suggested submitting an application about 4 years ago to move into a place of his own.
"HOME let me choose what apartment size and type of roommate I would like. Two years ago, HOME found me a place near the USC campus, but I wasn’t familiar with the area so I decided not to take the apartment.  HOME kept me on the waiting list and now two years later HOME was able to find an apartment in a great location.   It's close to my family home, bank, grocery store, favorite fast food places, my job and the mall.  I was nervous at first being out of my family's house, but each day I get more independent.  I have a roommate and we get along just fine. My rent includes my utilities and I get assistance to help me with some of my rent. Thank you HOME Staff for all your help."

 

Jamil at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando, Florida

 
Ricky overlooking the ocean                                        

Ricky overlooking the ocean                                        

RICKY

Ricky's dad told us: "When my wife and I told Ricky, years ago, that he was going to have to lean to live away from us because we were getting older and would someday not be there for him anymore, he had a very hard time with that.  I was about to retire and live in Northern California.  Ricky lived in a couple of apartments and then moved into a HOME condo in 1995. 

When he was first living away from home, he wouldn't even walk to the corner to put a letter in the mailbox unless I was watching.  But with a chance to live independently, he really blossomed.  Now he takes the bus to his maintenance job at UCLA all by himself and does his own banking and grocery shopping.  I never thought he would be this independent.  He loves his job and is obviously very happy living on his own.  He doesn't even call us that often.  We call him more than he calls us.  He's growing up, and that makes me both sad and happy. 

As you get older, you worry about how your children will do once you're gone.  You don't want to think about such things but Ricky could have ended up homeless, wandering the streets.  It's a dream come true to know that Ricky will always have a home."