A flourishing person is living a good, fulfilling life, a life with a sense of purpose.

Alex Bloom’s journey stands as a shining testament to the transformative power of unwavering support and love in shaping one’s path from childhood to adulthood. His story is woven with threads of resilience, highlighting the incredible potential found within nurturing environments. With a gaze reflecting both curiosity and resilience, Alex embodies the limitless possibilities present within every individual, irrespective of perceived limitations.

Mom, Dad, their four children and the family dog at a campfire

Alex and His Family

As the eldest among four siblings, Alex was embraced by a loving family that consistently prioritized his needs. His formative years at the Benedictine School in Maryland, from 1982 to 1989, created enduring connections, reflected in the cherished cards he receives from the caring sisters who guided him.

Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible – the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.” – Virginia Satir

A Move Toward Independence

Driven by his mother Martha’s unwavering dedication, Alex found a space where he could both flourish and be supported. Moving into a condo within a community of his peers, facilitated by the Intentional Communities of Washtenaw, became a stepping stone towards independence while still surrounded by a supportive network.

Alex’s passions paint a colorful mosaic. His love for animals, travel, maps, and music, along with his dream to visit his 99-year-old grandmother in Iowa, showcases his vibrant spirit and zest for life. Alex’s commitment and hard work are evident from bowling and horseback riding to dedicating years of service at Food Gatherers and Barnes Ace Hardware. His extensive network of friends, spanning from previous jobs to his new community, mirrors the impact he’s made and the connections he values.

The Next Leg of His Journey

Man with his mom celebrating a birthday.Alex embraced a new chapter of life in 2022 when he transitioned to St. Louis Center to live in a cottage home amongst new friends. Alex quickly fell into the routines of daily life and began to flourish thanks to the efforts of the caring staff and fellow residents at the Center.

However, in December of the same year, he faced a significant challenge—a stroke. This unforeseen medical event led to an extensive hospital stay, followed by a six-month rehabilitation stint at a nursing home. The search for suitable facilities was undoubtedly a challenging and arduous process.

The recovery and rehabilitation journey, especially for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD), poses unique challenges due to the differing nature of their functioning. The specialized care needed for individuals like Alex reflects the complexities and nuances of rehabilitation for this community. The strength and determination required in such circumstances, both by the individual and the support network around them, are immense. Navigating this phase presented its own set of challenges, but Alex’s resilience and the support he received undoubtedly played a significant role in his recovery.

Still Flourishing!

four adults in casual clothes at an outdoor cafe Alex’s story took a remarkable turn as his unwavering determination led him back to the familiar grounds of the St. Louis Center, where he now resides at Father Guanella Hall. Settling into this new phase, he’s found solace in the tranquil environment, appreciating the peacefulness of his new home. With each passing day, Alex is reintegrating and acclimating to his surroundings and rekindling his engagement in activities and events. His resilience and adaptability shine through as he navigates this transition, showcasing his willingness to embrace the opportunities and connections available to him.

His return to the St. Louis Center and his growing involvement in various activities is a testament to his spirit and the supportive environment that enables his progress. Alex’s journey highlights the significance of resilience and the gradual, yet remarkable, process of readjustment and re-engagement after facing significant challenges. The direct care team at the Center keeps Alex striving to attain his goals.

Alex’s life exemplifies a rich tapestry of resilience, passion, and the unwavering power of support, teaching us that with the right environment and love, anyone can flourish into their fullest potential.

Because of YOU, we met and exceeded $200,000 MATCHED funds!

St. Louis Center received two $100,000 matched gifts. Not only was the match met – we EXCEEDED it, with a final total of $218,894!


The match may be over, but your donations throughout the year are important and appreciated!