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A Profile of Self-Directed Success: Bernie Medrano

Bernie Medrano has a job he enjoys and a home he is proud of. His everyday life exceeds what he and his family thought were possible.

After Bernie graduated with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) diploma from high school, he took a job at Home Depot. He felt limited and like he could do more.

Bernie’s family knew he had great potential, but even with the supports provided, Bernie’s stepmother worried about a lack of steady supports as he continued to grow into adulthood.

“We were slow to realize that Bernie is an overachiever with a powerful work ethic,” said Bernie’s stepfather, Doug.

Bernie’s consistent dedication to his work enabled him to move up from his position at Home Depot into an opportunity at American Maintenance, a company that subcontracts cleaning and maintenance jobs.

The relief that came from Bernie’s success at work was quickly met with concern as his increased earnings reduced his Supplemental Security Income (SSI) considerably. This development put his dreams of living independently at risk, as his earnings alone would not allow him to afford the cost of living.

Through the Individual Supports and Services (ISS) Housing Subsidy program under Citizens’ Self-Direction program, Bernie was supported toward making his dreams of greater independence possible. The ISS Housing Subsidy program provides financial support to people with developmental disabilities for home and apartment housing costs in the community.

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