Just before the coronavirus pandemic hit Neville O'Donohue was living his best life, with the help of some special friends in the community.
Mr O'Donohue has called Scope's supported independent living facility home for 30 years.
The 66-year-old was born in Warrnambool and has rapidly gone from strength- to-strength in the past 18 months through community involvement his support staff have initiated.
House supervisor Karen Taylor works with Mr O'Donohue and his housemates to live independently with their disabilities.
"We have worked with Neville to go outside his comfort zone and be independent," she said. "He has come out of his shell and built great rapport with people in the community."
Mr O'Donohue's has severe anxiety and intellectual disabilities and until 18 months ago, stuck to his strict routine.
Prior to the coronavirus regulationsMr O'Donohue would have a cutthroat shave twice a week on Wednesday and Saturday at Grizzly Adams. After his shave on Saturday morning, he would head out into the city with his support worker and purchase flowers from O'Grady's Florist, pick up his medication and do the weekly shopping for the house.
Throughout the week, Mr O'Donohue detailed cars at Steam and Clean and participated in cooking and art classes and even created enough masterpieces to turn the house's garage into a gallery.
However, as the coronavirus regulations tightened, Mr O'Donohue's routine has altered.
"At his first shave at Grizzly Adams he was crying and he's progressed to now love it," Ms Taylor said.
"He'll sit there and go to sleep. Grizzly Adams was the first big step we took. He has a strict routine to help him cope so it was a massive step. We're always thinking of new opportunities for the residents to get out into the community."
The Home@Scope program supports people living with disabilities adjust into community life.
There are six Scope houses in Warrnambool. Ms Taylor has been working with Mr O'Donohue for three years but has known him for more than 20.
"Our work is always about community access and always about seeing the person," she said.
"Nev has gone from highly anxious to being able to cope better. He gets a boost of confidence and lessens his anxiety when he's out which has increased his opportunities.
"Everyone in this house are all lovely people to work with. Everyday it's nice to come to work."
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