Another Success Story - June 8, 2020

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June 8, 2020

Iowa Department of Human Services

Another Success Story

Highlighting the successes of the Iowa Department of Human Services

Nancy McDowell

Nancy McDowell transitioned to living in the community in Iowa City in 2011 after living at the Glenwood Resource Center, and she says it was the right decision for her.

Former Glenwood Resident Nancy McDowell Continues To Enjoy Freedom, Independence
Of Being Integrated Into The Community

Just over nine years ago, Nancy McDowell moved to Iowa City after being a resident of Glenwood Resource Center (GRC). She enjoys the freedom and independence that comes with living in Iowa City, and continues to enjoy her lifestyle now. Her story is an example of how her quality of life has improved as a result of community integration efforts. 

Some of the freedoms Nancy shares as upsides to living in the community are privileges most people take for granted. "I can listen to the radio any time I want. And I'm now my own guardian," she says.

Nancy shares her home with two roommates and staff who assist them. Her transition was coordinated at a pace that she felt comfortable with.

"Staff from GRC and Paula (a former Money Follows the Person Transition Specialist) arranged for me to stay overnight here to see if I liked it," she says. "GRC staff stayed with me. I was uncomfortable at first, but that didn't last long because people were so nice to me."

Nancy makes it clear that moving to Iowa City was the right decision for her. 

"I’ve lived here 9 years as of April 14. I’m doing OK, and I’m happy with how things are going – I love my house, and I’m happy to be here with my friends and good staff. I take walks around the block, and I love the neighbors."

Nancy summed up her feelings about her life in the community with these words: “Life here is better than it’s ever been in the past.”

To learn more about DHS’ efforts to support individuals in the community, visit Building the Community 2020: Community Integration Strategic Plan on our website.

Portions of this article appeared in the Spring 2015 edition of Possibilities in Education and Training, a quarterly publication of the Center for Disabilities and Development, Iowa's University Center for Excellence on Disabilities at University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital, Iowa City, Iowa.