Karli: Loving the Freedom


My name is Karli Harguth and I am 22 years old. I am from Eitzen, MN which is at the very
southeast corner of MN. I have a seizure disorder. I was born with
metabolic disorder. I was living with my parents. Mom and Dad weren’t ready to let me go. It got to be where they seemed too over protective. I mean I am supposed to be…becoming independent here. My friends were going off to college. It’s like, why can’t I leave the house? There was a major issue with health and of
course there was the money and I didn’t want to live in a group home and have somebody watching you all the time and
checking in on you. That’s what my parents do. If I wanted to
live in a group home, I might as well have just lived at home anyways. There are apartments that have people that
check in on you but I didn’t want that either. I want to be on my own without any people…anybody coming in or people checking on me or telling me to do this or telling me to do that. I want to be free. It was just a matter of
getting there. Working with the county has been great. We have to go through them to find out their
eligibility for our program. Sometimes when people come in, their expectations about what they want in
an apartment can be a little challenging. Sometimes it might be that pool or that workout center or a garden of their own and we have to talk to them and let them know what one is most important to you? Housing Access Services was an answer to my
prayers. It really was. It helped make my dream come true. My mom got an Arc newsletter and had found it. And she had told me about it. And we knew for sure that we should give them
a call…and wow! Things moved so quickly after we got in contact
with them. They helped me find my own apartment. So they were there when I signed the lease. And they helped and even got to the point where they helped me move everything in and helped me to get on programs for like energy assistance which helps a lot with bills. And they check in every once in awhile. They’re always there if I need them. But nobody comes in and checks on me other
than my meds. So I’m living independently that way, which makes me feel really good. I always thought Karli would be living at home. She was not a group home type of girl. I thought she would be at home. She just needed us at all times. When Karli saw her friends leaving, she was frustrated. They were moving off to college, living in
the dorms and doing different things and she was still
living at home. She still had that sense that she wanted to
get out on her own. I came home one day and the girls were talking about different housing possibilities. There was a house coming up for sale in Eitzen and we went and looked at the house. Got a tour of it and started looking around. They were all excited. I started asking them “who’s going to take care of the big backyard” and we’ve got this big driveway that the snow is going to have to be removed. We came up to the cities and looked at some possibilities and options for people with disabilities but the setting just didn’t seem right, you know – small town girl, big city. I made the call to Housing Access Service.
They came down. They talked to us. Karli got excited. Yes, I got excited but still a little bit worried and it just happened so quickly and we found
a place for Karli. Karli and I always love to shop together and especially going to rummage sales or any other kind of a sale and she would…she would
always say “Grandma, do you think this would look nice
for me? Grandma, can I store it in your basement?” And so we had dishes and we had furniture. Karli has always been afraid at night especially. As we were tucking her into bad, she would
always say “Are the doors locked? Are we safe?” When I worry about Karli, Karli says “Mom, I’m okay. I’m at home. I’m in my home.” Housing Access Services provided Karli with an opportunity to shine and to be the independent person that she wanted to be. When Karli would dream about living on her own, I would tell her, her ship is coming in and I am going to make her curtains. I did make some curtains for Karli and it’s beautiful. Especially when the other kids are home and we get together and cookout or do something, but then it gets to be at the end of the night and everybody is getting ready for bed, and she said “who is going to take me home?” And we kid her and say well you are home. Your bed is still back there. And she goes “No. I want to go to my place.” She’s in her own little apartment. She’s in a comfortable little environment. She loves it. She’s home. This whole process has changed my life completely. I haven’t been able to experience a college setting. But I mean I’m out on my own…before my brother
and sister! So that’s really exciting. And I guess if other people can get on this process, maybe they will feel the same way. My mom does still call every night and just
to check in. She wants me to call saying that I’m in bed
and I’m OK. [Karli on phone: Everything is going good.
I’ll be heading to bed shortly.] She still does worry about me but she knows
that I’m happier now and she knows that this was the right move. I told them that I could do it. Right now they feel really good about it too knowing that I’m happy and I’m out of the house. My dream has come true.

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