Tags: matthew strobel | blind | work | independence

Matthew Strobel Finds Independence Amid Blindness

(YouTube/@USA Today)

By    |   Thursday, 08 Feb 2018 11:19 AM

Matthew Strobel has found a place he can work and live at Promise in Brevard, an independent living community in West Melbourne, Florida, that has given him a new lease in life, Florida Today reported.

Strobel, left blind from a brain tumor and surgery as a child, told the newspaper that there were few options for him after graduating to St. Augustine School for the Deaf and Blind in 2005.

"But after that, it was time for me to come home," Strobel, 33, told Florida Today. "There wasn't really anything for people like me to do to get a job. ... Nobody gave me a chance."

That changed in 2013 when we became involved with Promise in Brevard, the newspaper wrote. Promise was built on 39 acres next to a shopping plaza in West Melbourne, providing affordable housing and independent living for individuals with disabilities, according to its website.

There are plans to develop a condo subdivision on nine acres of Promise property so family members can live close to their disabled loved ones in the area, the website said.

For Strobel, that independence has come as a café worker at the Promise Treasures Thrift Shoppe. There, he bakes cookies and maintains the coffee station, according to Florida Today. Strobel is now planning on moving into a Promise apartment with a roommate, the newspaper said.

"I just want to get away from my mom and dad so I can branch out and be my own person," Strobel told Florida Today. "It's kind of hard when you have a hot date and your parents are right there. It's kind of hard to find the right person when you're living at home."

Janel Parvin, 35, who is also visually impaired, told Florida Today in January that Promise has been liberating for her. She moved into the community three weeks after her mother, Mel Parvin, died of cancer.

"This is my first time being fully on my own without assistance from my mom," Parvin, who works on the thrift shoppe's marketing team, told Florida Today. "Until I got to Promise, I didn't know how unhappy I was."

Parvin now shares a two-bedroom apartment with another Promise resident, the newspaper said.

"We get along pretty well," Parvin said. "She's gone more than she's here. I miss her when she's not here. Because I don't have anybody to answer to, it's a totally different feeling of just having your own space."

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Matthew Strobel, a Florida man who has been blind since childhood, has found independence and work in a West Melbourne community.
matthew strobel, blind, work, independence
Thursday, 08 Feb 2018 11:19 AM
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