Until last year, for the past two decades, “John,” a 43-year-old whose developmental disabilities prevent him from living independently, the way so many of us take for granted, relied on PathPoint, a local non-profit, as his lifeline.
Every day, John would take the PathPoint shuttle from his home to the PathPoint service center in Chatsworth. Here, John made lifelong friends, learned to take turns in conversations, finish tasks, and even take public transportation on his own. These skills enabled him to get a job at Wood Ranch BBQ, where he made table arrangements, trained as a volunteer at the local Veterans Administration Medical Center, and even pursued his artistic talent at a local community center, where he takes ceramics and painting classes.
John’s growth was rooted in a promise we made when the California Legislature passed the Lanterman Act in 1973, guaranteeing every Californian the “right to dignity, privacy, and human care…[and] to make choices in their own lives.” . . .