The carport door opens as the residents of Davis House in Winston-Salem enter the kitchen. Forty-three-year-old Stephen stops to place his insulated green lunch bag on the counter. Pushing his wheeled-walker around the island, he looks up and smiles when he sees Martha Trivette. “Hi, Momma!”
Stephen was one of the first four men to call Davis House home on March 10, 2003. For Stephen, it was the first time to ever live apart from his family.
“My husband Dean and I knew that we would not always be able to care for Stephen,” 89-year-old Trivette says. “Davis House has been the way we prepared Stephen for the future.”
Trivette remembers how difficult it was the day she drove away leaving Stephen behind. “I couldn’t sleep that night. I cried until the next morning.”
She says that until this day, she had done everything for her son. So, it was a big surprise the next morning when she returned to Davis House to see how Stephen had fared.
“I remember walking into his bedroom and seeing his bed beautifully made,” she says. “I asked, ‘Who made your bed?’”
Stephen sheepishly said that he had made the bed, and then pointed to his caregiver and said, “She told me to.”
“I didn’t even know he could make up a bed,” Trivette confesses. “I knew then that Stephen would be okay. And since then, we have never regretted Stephen moving to Davis House.”
The Trivettes live in Winston-Salem not far from where Stephen lives now. He visits with his mom, dad and sister Nancy on weekends and over the holidays.
Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) operates nine group homes for adults with special needs. BCH’s Developmental Disabilities Ministry provides long-term residential care and opportunities for residents to achieve goals and reach their highest level of independence in a community-based, gender-specific home.
Davis House for men and their sister home Hinkle House for women are jointly located in the historic Bethabara Park area of Winston Salem. Davis and Hinkle House were the first facilities for developmentally disabled adults built and operated by BCH.
“I have two homes,” Stephen says. “I live with my friends here, but I see my family a lot, too.”
He says it was hard at first to not live in the same house as his mom and dad. But Stephen agrees it is the best of both worlds. Living at Davis House he actively participates at The Enrichment Center – a Forsyth County day program that aids in independent living – goes on trips with his housemates to restaurants and the occasional shopping outing – the dollar store is a favorite stop.
The men at Davis House help with chores, too. Stephen does the laundry every Thursday and on Tuesday evenings, he sets the dinner table.
A sparkle comes to Stephen’s eyes as the discussion turns to the upcoming holidays. Christmas ishis favorite, and his best-loved holiday food is Thanksgiving turkey and dressings.
“I’m thankful for my friends and family,” Stephen volunteers. “I’m thankful that I am able to live here.”
Trivette agrees with her son. She says that as a North Carolina Baptist, she knew BCH could be trusted. “I have had peace of mind since day one. Anytime I feel the need to visit, I am always welcomed.”
Stephen returns back to Davis House every Sunday before 6:00 p.m. from his weekend home visits. “He is never sad to return,” Trivette says nodding confidently. “That says everything to me. I am thankful for the caregivers who make Stephen feel at home here.”
Trivette admits it was not an easy decision for her and her husband to agree that Stephen needed to move to Davis House. But coming to grips with their aging was necessary. “We are forever grateful for Davis House and BCH. We are thankful that Stephen’s future looks so bright.”
Developmental Disabilities Ministry (DDM) provides special needs adults long-term residential care and the opportunity to reach their highest level of independence in community-based, gender-specific group homes. Visit www.hereismyhome.org for more information.