When Dennis Turney was a baby,
his mom Maggie knew something
was different. “I used to pray to
St. Anthony – I used to say,
“Please protect him.”
Like any parent, Maggie worried about her kid. As he grew up, would he be safe? Would people tease or bully him? Would he make friends?
It was very hard to let go and let Dennis grow up.
I am writing to you today because we urgently need your support.
Every day in San Francisco, hundreds of families struggle with how to balance protecting their teens and adult children with disabilities - and letting them grow up.
At Pomeroy, we ease that burden.
Parents like Maggie deserve to move out of this place of constant fear and worry. They should get to experience the pride of watching their children develop and discover their own abilities.
And young adults like Dennis deserve to stretch their wings out in the world, to build a sense of themselves, and for thm to become as independent as possible.
Without a program like the Pomeroy Center, hundreds of San Francisco teens and adults with disabilities would remain largely dependent on their families – and their families would all too often become exhausted from caregiving and worry.
But you can help! Your donation today will allow families like the Turneys to let go a little so their children can become thriving adults.
Like every Pomeroy participant, Dennis has a story.
In spite of his mom’s worries, Dennis did have a pretty smooth school experience. He went through the San Francisco public schools and graduated from Lowell High School’s transition program when he turned 22.
“Everyone loves Dennis!” admits Maggie. Sometimes he was socially excluded at school and that broke her heart, but Dennis always handled it with grace.
Now that Dennis was an adult and was done with school, what was Maggie to do? She felt paralyzed. “I heard about different programs but I didn’t know where to put him. I didn’t know what to do. The first time I came to Pomeroy - oh my god - I was so overwhelmed!”
Maggie might have felt overwhelmed, but Pomeroy was a perfect fit for Dennis from his first day.
“If you’re not in the right program, they will let your kid sit there and just waste away. At Pomeroy, all the staff interact with every single participant, no matter how severe their disability is. And that’s what’s so lovely about this program. And I see it, as a mother.”
Dennis participates in everything enthusiastically - in art, drama, money management class, gardening, computers, job training, self-advocacy, swimming, community outings, and adaptive martial arts.
Last year, Pomeroy staff even took Dennis camping for the first time in his life. He was away from his tight-knit family for five days – something Maggie could never have imagined before Pomeroy!
Maggie continues, “The great thing is how Dennis has changed since coming here. The staff has taught him how to be more independent than I ever could have. He has grown so much because of this program.”
Maggie recalls that Dennis always used to say, “Mommy, come with me. Mommy, I want to come with you.” She laughs at the memory, saying, “Now it’s, ‘Mommy, stay away from me!’”
Dennis and his friends get lots of individual attention and loving support, delivered by our hardworking staff.
But the government funding we receive covers just 2/3 of our costs. That’s why Dennis and Maggie need you.
Maggie says, “You just have to let go, as a parent. Pomeroy not only taught Dennis, it taught me as well.”
The Turneys are a close family, but they are aware that Dennis will need a program for the long term - even after they are gone. Maggie says, “If it wasn’t for Pomeroy, I would not know what to do. I would be in a really bad situation right now. I’m saying it from the bottom of my heart.
“I feel like I would be totally lost without Pomeroy. I can’t be around forever. I want Dennis to be here for life.”
The Pomeroy Center’s programs play a critical role for hundreds of San Francisco families like the Turneys’ as they plan for their loved ones’ future.
Will you be a part of their future by making a donation today?