A Perfect Match
For Suzanne and Brian Revers, it all started with an extra bedroom. Their two older daughters had moved out to start their own families, and their teenage sons, Andy and Dawson, only had a few more years at home before they too would be out of the house and off to lead their own lives.
Like many parents adjusting to an empty nest, Suzanne and Brian began to consider what the next stage of their lives would look like.
They considered renting the room out—figuring they could use the space to generate a little extra income for their family—and then Suzanne read an article about REM Iowa and the Host Home program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“I was immediately intrigued,” Suzanne said. “Brian and I had never heard of a program like this. We liked the idea that people with disabilities could have a housing option like a Host Home that allows them to be active and live their lives in regular family homes.”
Ready to Make a Difference
Suzanne took the first step and contacted REM Iowa to learn more about the Host Home program. When she and her husband agreed that they were ready to make a difference, they began their Mentor journey.
Once they became qualified Mentors, Brian and Suzanne were matched with Mason, a young man who had been living in a group home with other adults with disabilities. Mason liked the group home but wanted to live with a family, where he could have more personal support and better focus on achieving his goals of finishing school and finding a job.
When the Revers met Mason, he immediately “clicked” with the family.
“We knew right away that it was a good match,” Suzanne said. “Mason was funny and easy to talk to. We just got along great.”
Success at Home and in the Community
Thanks to the Revers’ support, Mason has been able to pursue his interests and enjoy family life. He graduated from the local transition center, which helped prepare him for his job clearing tables at a grocery store and cafeteria. He’s made new friends at his job and looks forward to going to work each day. He has also maintained strong relationships with his family, who lives two hours away, and enjoyed a trip to St. Louis with the Revers—his first vacation ever. His next goal is to fly on a plane.
“I have more freedom to do the things that I want to enjoy. I have more confidence and independence,” Mason said.
Suzanne says that becoming a Mentor family to Mason has had a positive impact on her whole family, including her sons, who have developed close friendships with him.
“It’s changed our lives,” Suzanne says.