My name is Irene A Martell. I use to work for SCC Social Services. I was the Chief Steward for SEIU Local 715 and was often invited to many communitiy functions. On most of these events I would always look for one particular table to sit at, The Council on Aging. I was in my mid 40's and the ladies at the table would always welcome me by saying, "It's so wonderful to have young people sit at our table" (Imagine that, they would call me a young person). I learned a lot by sitting at their table, that they were young at heart, that they still had a lot of life in them to help others, and that they had feelings and gratitude that young people had not forgot them. I learned that disabilities and getting older doesn't discriminate, it will reach us at one point or another. As a Native American (Mexican) I have witnessed that the Circle of Life does come full circle (Imagine me, now a client of Sourcewise). You reap what you sow. I want to encourage our members to encourage our young people to invest in their future by being a part of Sourcewise.
The staff at SVILC are really great to work with. I have been a client of SVILC for about six years.
I was a peer counselor for about three years and SVILC has helped me get through some hard times when my parents passed away. SVILC has helped me keep on going so that I can reach my goals in my everyday life with my jobs. They’re awesome.
- Jeff Jokinen
I had never heard of SVILC before told about it from my therapist. I have been very impressed with the center. The people are very inviting and I have attended a small group meeting weekly with about 5-12 people varying each week. Group therapy can be a wonderful thing, and I think our leader does a great job managing it. They have become some of my closest friends.
They helped me with legal matters, specifically Social Security & mental health issues a few years back. Now, I'm living here in Oregon and going to a independent living center in Portland.
Being a disabled person, I encounter many social injustices in my day-to-day life. SVILC offers many programs and support services to assist me with some of the discriminatory actions I encounter. One example was when a bus driver refused to pick me up (I'm in a wheelchair) claiming she was full. It was clear that she was not full because no one was visibly standing in the bus and she confirmed she only had one other wheelchair rider at that time (most of the buses can accommodate 2). SVILC's system's advocate was able to intervene through his contacts with the local transit agency to have the problem looked into at a higher level than I would have been able to access. Another example is when I had a complex surgery with multiple complications that had the potential to place me in a longer term care facility without the appropriate supports. Another one of SVILC's workers was able to write a letter with me and fax it to the appropriate person so the issue was resolved and I was able to stay in my home. SVILC is not just about their programs and resources though. They are about change with a personal face and touch behind each of their activities. From the peer counselors who have gone through many of the things I have to their executive director, they focus on social change and not accepting the current climate people with disabilities encounter. They work both in the front line and behind the scene to make change happen and I am thankful for their efforts.