The Columbus Organization

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We all grow up with aspirations of one day becoming an independent adult. For some, this dream can be a little more difficult to achieve, but for 23 year old Riley, it is becoming a reality. For the past three years, Heather Royse, a Case Manager with The Columbus Organization, has been giving Riley the extra guidance he needs to spread his wings into adulthood.

Growing up, Riley’s biggest struggle was being social— getting out of the house, being around peers, and making friends. After graduating from high school and receiving his Certificate of Completion, Riley struggled to find opportunities to be around others his age. Riley’s family did everything they could to get him access to the best services they could find, choosing Columbus to provide him with extra support. Under Heather’s guidance, Riley is now able to partake in day services through the Family Supports Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver in Indiana. Heather guides Riley and his family through the waiver process— helping them decide how to split up their funding and the hours of services Riley is eligible to receive, ensuring that his health and safety needs are being met, helping Riley come up with goals for himself, and providing community resources as needed. Riley is now able to participate in community outings, takes art classes, gardens, and gets to interact with chickens! Since attending day services, Heather has noticed a change in Riley. He has become much more confident and open to peer interaction.

Riley is an active member of his church and partakes in a number of church-related activities. Most recently, Riley went on two mission trips to Guatemala where he helped with the construction of school buildings. This summer, he plans on taking a trip to Tennessee with his family to assist with the installation of water storage tanks for people who live in mountainous areas where treated water cannot be accessed.

One of Riley’s biggest passions is music, as he can play both the drums and the xylophone and does so twice a month in his church’s band. During a recent family trip to Nashville, Tennessee, Riley attended a concert performed by The Collier band, where he was invited on stage to sing. Riley was thrilled at the opportunity to perform his favorite country song, “Ring of Fire,” with the band!

Riley is currently looking to find a job in the music industry and has shadowed at a few music stores in Indianapolis. With enough coaching and support, Riley’s long-term goal is to one day own a tiny house of his own and live independently.

Riley’s Story on Facebook


From Families

From Susan’s Family:

Pearl is the Community Navigator for my sister Susan Dorow. I would like to thank her and recognize the outstanding service she has given us. Pearl is very knowledgeable, helpful and really appears to like her job. She always returns my phone calls and has Susan’s best interest at heart. Please recognize her outstanding service whatever way you can.

Thank you Pearl We wish you a long and successful career with Columbus.

Sandy Bassett

From Kevin’s Family:

For almost two years now, I have had the great opportunity to work with Elizabeth Gresham who serves as Kevin’s Support Coordinator.

Elizabeth has the ability to get things done like no other. She also provides me with adequate information, resources and has really been a blessing to my family.

I look forward to working with her in the following years.

Gary W. Champagne, Jr.

From Andrea’s Family:

You have always been there for our child and family in our best or worst of times and have always had good ideas in problem solving Andrea’s issues. We have always been pleased with your services in helping with Andrea’s ISP (Individual Service Provider).

Because of this we have seen significant gains in Andrea’s quality of life within the community.

I would like to mention we have had services from other agencies and without doubt feel that you have been the most dedicated Support Coordinator since we have been on the waiver. When you visit our home you bring good ideas, a warm heart and a real concern for Andrea’s welfare. Just to let you know Andrea has noticed all these qualities and is always excited when she knows you are coming to visit.

Paul, Louise and Andrea Scholl

From Prince’s Family:

I could not have made it this far without you. You’ve been very personable with Prince and me, without jeopardizing professionalism or becoming too closely attached that you couldn’t be objective…Your just taking the time to sit on the porch and talking for a minute sometimes has made the difference between me losing it and having hope, in far too many circumstances.

Winston Rogers

From Agencies

I was sitting in an ISP meeting for Mike yesterday, actually two meetings, and had an opportunity to work with two of your newer Support Coordinators, Traylee and Sholanda.

Both were very enjoyable to work with, but even more importantly, they conducted the meeting in a very person-centered way – it was so refreshing to have a Support Team involving the individuals served instead of talking over them or trying to get through the paperwork.

Both Coordinators took their time to make the individuals served the focal part of the meeting. I just wanted to pass along the positive experiences with your staff yesterday! Thanks for training ’em up right!

Mark A. Swanson, President, Accent Inc.

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