Special needs housing for Cody and Lisa

                     
                    A love story 


This is the story of Cody and Lisa.

Cody is 30 and has Down Syndrome.  Lisa is 24 and is cognitively delayed. 

Why are we fundraising? Sadly, Cody and Lisa will lose over 25% of their SSI benefits once they are married. More than $400 per month will be held from them.
This leaves them with $1100 per month to live on. Their food stamp benefits will also decrease. Their housing cost alone is over $900 per month. This law needs to be changed is is completely unfair to the disabled community. Please consider donating and sharing with anyone willing. Thank you.

You're donation will undoubtably support their dream. It will help secure lifelong housing for them both. Our hope is to help spread the word that people with special needs deserve love and a secure housing choice. They deserve to be allowed to live their dreams. They deserve a life like anyone else. Please consider supporting Cody and Lisa and becoming part of their story. One of greatest love stories we have ever known. Love wins. 


The video below  is of them reuniting after 2 years. Help us pay for their housing so they can live their dream. 



They were told they would never be together, you can't get married. This will never work.


  Lisa’s body was literally shaking from emotion. Cody was full of anticipation and anxiety. Their embrace released the pent up frustration, love and longing they both have for one another.

Cody’s love of his life, Lisa is here for a visit.  They’ve been madly in Love for 4 years. It’s been a couple of years since they’ve seen one another in person.
As Codys parents, we want nothing more than to see him follow his dreams, and live the life he desires. Getting married has been Cody and Lisa’s dream since day one. For years they have both been told no, it’s never going to happen.
They’ve been encouraged to distance and to get on with their lives without one another because living in different states wouldn’t foster a long distance relationship. As much as we have tried to encourage them to move on without one another, God had other plans.
The two of them have always found a way to reconnect. Over and over they have sought one another out through social media, messaged one another through other people, and always find a way back to one another.
So, we have realized there are higher powers at work here. Lisa’s parents, Dave and I have all surrendered. 

 We are trusting God and the universe to guide us. But I have an intuition that says they will be together forever.
Love wins. Life is about connecting. We will be damned to let either of them go without one another again. #truelove


They met 4 years ago at a housing community for people with special needs in Lakeland, Florida www.noahsarkflorida.org It was love at first sight. Their passions aligned. Josh Groban, Disney, singing, dancing, poetry, walks, picnics, church and so much more. Almost instantly, they were in love. 

Marriage, living together, falling in love. This is all we heard from the two of them for 2 years. Staff, other residents, and our entire families were filled with their words and their passion to live the life most of us dream of. But, we were all afraid. Afraid, it could never work. 
Sadly, Cody and Lisa were told no, over and over again. No! If you marry, your SSI benefits will decrease! No! You cannot get married, No! This just won't work.
 
This caused incredible frustration for each of them. They were hurt, angry, and disappointed that they may never see their dreams come true. They started to display behavior issues. Most people with cognitive impairments struggle to communicate effectively which causes the frustration to come out as behavior struggles.
 They lashed out at staff, family, and other residents. Our families became concerned that they may be kicked out of their housing, for causing ripples. The two of them became depressed and hopeless yet, never stopped fighting for their dream to be together.
2 years ago, we moved Cody back to Michigan and tried desperately to stop all communication between the two of them. We all thought it would be best that they stay apart and move on with their lives. How could they make it? Who would support them? She was in Florida, he was here, in Michigan. We changed phone numbers, passwords, shut down social media and encouraged them to move on.

  Guess what? It didn't work. For the past 2 years, they found ways to connect. They literally cracked passwords, sent messages to one another through other people, Lisa reached out to Dave and I multiple times desperate to talk to Cody. Cody did the same. 
Finally, we caved. Our hearts couldn't take it anymore. This isn't right. Who are we to stand in their way? They need help. They deserve one another. We started with weekend phone calls about 6 months ago. They were ecstatic. Still, all they talked about was how to reunite.
Knowing they could never make it happen on their own. Lisa's parents, Dave, and I, surrendered. We will support their dream. We will do whatever it takes to help make it happen.

Update 10/17/2020.

 Lisa is now a permanent Michigan resident.  We found a home for these two in the city of Grand Rapids. They will have access to public transportation, endless activities and the amazing programming our county offers. We pray they will be embraced by our community and other condo residents who will help them, watch out for them and love them as much as we all do. 


We are humbly fundraising to help pay for the mortgage of their new dream home.  Our goal is to have them secure for a lifetime by paying off the mortgage. This would guarantee housing. If anything happened to Dave and I, they would never have to worry about not having a home. 




You're donation will undoubtably support their dream. It will help secure lifelong housing for them both. Our hope is to help spread the word that people with special needs deserve love. They deserve to be allowed to live their dreams. They deserve a life like anyone else. Please consider supporting Cody and Lisa and becoming part of their story. One of greatest love stories we have ever known. Love wins. 



A special thank you to Allegiant Airlines for making travel affordable.
Thank you to our family and best friends here in Michigan for supporting us and encouraging us to make this happen. Thank you to my besties Tracey and Dave, Tammy and Greg. All of my clients at the salon, our Realtor Ann Ellis at Keller Williams for working this deal, Delight, Codys long time teacher and family friend.   And Ron Flemming, Cody's case manager. Without you all, we may not have had the courage to push through. 








Dream home location Facebook story and video
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    • 5 $ 
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    • 25 $ 
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    • 10 $ 
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    • 50 $ 
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Fundraising team: Family and friends of Cody and Lisa (2)

Kim Hytinen-Durst 
Organizer
Belding, MI
Dave Durst 
Team member