Dublin, California, January 2014 – Although he only moved to Camellia Place recently, Zakhar Shneyder is already enjoying his new home and a newfound sense of independence. Zakhar used to live with his mother until he decided that he wanted to start relying more on himself. He found Camellia Place through East Bay Innovations (EBI), a non-profit organization based in San Leandro that helps empower adults with disabilities to live independently.
Zakhar and his EBI case worker Lauren applied to many different developments with no luck until they were finally accepted at Camellia Place—and “it’s been wonderful ever since.” Zakhar likes many things about his new apartment. Zakhar enjoys how “peaceful” and quiet his surroundings are. “Safety was my number one criteria in looking for a place.” He says that “management is very friendly.” Before moving to Camellia Place, Zakhar had a two-hour commute on both BART and a bus.
It now takes him thirty minutes on one bus to get to work. He can also easily take the bus to the supermarket or walk to BART when he wants to visit his mom. With an affordable place to live and convenient public transportation, Zakhar can focus on other things as he adjusts to living on his own—including learning to cook, which is at the top of his list, and working with his EBI job coach to make sure his job at Lowe’s goes well. In the future, Zakhar plans “to get to know the community more” and “to continue to do things on my own.”
He’s thankful that he can afford his own apartment and is looking forward to a fun journey towards independence.
Story courtesy East Bay Housing Organizations/Photo Courtesy Alain McLaughlin