Randall Donner
Randall Donner, Communications Senior Professional

“Smooth Sailing” for Tommy and His Host Home Provider

A young man paddles in a kayak on a lake. He is smiling.

Haven Baudino said that becoming a host family for Tommy Parsons was like a calling, something she knew she had to do.

“I had thought about it for a while, and one morning I was sitting thinking about it and I woke my husband up and I told him I had to do it,” Haven states in an article in the McDonough County Voice. “It was the first he’d heard of it and he thought I had lost my mind because he’d never heard me say anything about it at all. And he was very supportive.”

Haven was a Mosaic employee at the time, working in human resources. She and Tommy had developed a friendship in the years he had received services. With the full support of her husband, Jayson, Tommy became a part of the family in 2015. They became the first host home for Mosaic in Macomb (Illinois).

Now, Haven said, Tommy is thriving.

Tommy still participates in a day program. But he vacations with Haven and Jayson, goes to hockey games with them, enjoys his favorite TV shows with Jayson – they share their lives, like a family.

He also has had many new experiences.

When he lived in a group home, Tommy wasn’t able to have a dog. He now has Molly Parson, a miniature pinscher (Haven and Jayson have two dogs of their own). He also started kayaking this summer, something he has wanted to do for quite a while.

After receiving lessons on boating safety, rules and regulations, Tommy first took a ride in a row boat, a step toward his goal. When he handled it all so well, Haven put plans in place for Tommy to try a kayak. On his first day with the kayak, Tommy glided around the lake on his own for more than three hours.

It is clear that Tommy is happy in his host home. And Haven?

“It is a lot of work,” she said, “but it’s very rewarding. It’s life changing in a good way.”

Congratulations to Tommy on his successes. Thank you to Haven and Jayson for helping Tommy succeed. A world of possibilities awaits.

Learn more about Mosaic at Home here.

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