by Steve King
David’s House opened its first home in the summer of 1987. Four of the original ten residents are still living here nearly 30 years later. I sat down to have a conversation with the four of them to talk about their time here.
Left to Right: Dale, Terry, Joel and Fred
When did you move into David’s House?
Dale: Uh…long time ago.
Terry: June of 1987!
Which one of you moved in first?
Terry: Me. Then Dale.
Where did you live before moving in?
Joel: at my school in Chicago.
Terry: at the Lansing School for the Blind, and then with my parents in Big Rapids for a short time.
Fred: Gladiola Home.
Dale: Pine Rest, I think.
What has changed since you’ve lived here?
Joel: I’m going to school again now with Terry and Jeff.
Terry: We have a recreation therapist named Lisa who does workshops and stuff. We’ve lots of different staff work with us too.
Fred: It’s hard to remember—it was a long time ago!
Dale: The atmosphere. It keeps getting better and better.
What hasn’t changed?
Dale: We still get on each other’s nerves. We still play practical jokes.
Oh? What kind of practical jokes?
Dale: Hiding each other’s clothes…cracking eggs on each other’s heads [laughter]…
What kind of stuff did you do for fun back in ‘87 versus what you do now?
Joel: We all worked more then. We do exercise and stuff at the house now a lot more than we used to.
I’ve seen you guys doing yoga here with the staff—probably not a lot of yoga back in 1987, huh?
Terry: Yeah, I don’t think we really thought of that back then. We’ve got lots of different things that we didn’t think of back then, like workshops with Lisa, too.
Fred: I have better headphones now too [thumbs up].
Do you remember who the staff were when you first moved in?
Joel: Oh boy, that’s a good question.
Terry: Bill and Joyce Hall.
What’s the best part about living at David’s House?
Dale: Humor…people to joke around with.
Terry: Good Christian environment and education.
Joel: I really liked it when Bob would come with his therapy dog.
Fred: I like that I have my own room. Before I lived here, I had to share a room. Now I just have a roommate that I have to share my bathroom with.
And how’s your bathroom roommate?
Fred: [thumbs up]
Who has changed the most since you’ve all met?
Terry: I think I’ve become more compassionate.
Dale: My personality hasn’t changed.
We’ve got a smart TV and iPads and wi-fi now. What was the cool technology back when you guys moved in?
Terry: CDs were brand new back then. They were invented in 1983! I’m the group historian.
Dale: Now we need scratch resistant CDs.
Terry: We also have digital talking books.
We’re building new homes now. What do you think might change?
Dale: Coed homes?
Terry: Maybe some new activities!
Has change been difficult?
Terry: It’s hard to be receptive to change.
Have there been some good changes, too?
Joel: We have good new staff.
Terry: Yeah, lots of new staff and some new residents too!
Dale: Hopefully get people with a sense of humor and some new vehicles.
Terry: Maybe some more blind people can move in too.
Steve King is the Manager of Houses 1 and 4 at David’s House Ministries.
Read more about Steve here.