Woman rallies community support for son's paralyzed roommate

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When her son Evan turned 18, Jennifer Allen and her husband knew he was ready for his own space, despite being cognitively impaired and unable to speak.

They bought a home near theirs but knew Evan would want some company, and that's how they met Jason.

"When we were looking for a roommate we heard about Jason we heard he came from difficult circumstances. Reached out right away it has been an incredible change in our lives," Jennifer said. "He is such a great guy."

Jason was paralyzed in an accident years ago. When he got out of the hospital he didn't have any family, so his recovery support came from the state - until he became part of Jennifer's family.

Jason, who is bedridden, has a caregiver. Jennifer's family treats him as one of their own - but sometimes it is not enough.

"He's a good guy but he's lonely, he doesn't have family, he doesn't have the kind of support Evan has, (and it is) heartbreaking," she said.

On Saturday, Jennifer posted a heartfelt plea in the Ferndale Forum on Facebook, asking for cards, notes, books, video games, some clothes, movies and even some candy. The response was overwhelming.

Heather Reah-Wright offered to host a Love and Lemonade stand Monday at the Rustbelt Market in Ferndale, so people would have a place to donate.

"He doesn't really have anybody," Heather said. "So I thought, let's blow this up. So I posted it on Facebook, on Instagram, and it was a hit. And I have a lot of people sending him care packages, I thought that is awesome for him."

Many people were touched by Jennifer's post and showed up with bags of donations to support a man they had never even met.

"When I saw Jennifer's post I was very shook by Jason's situation," said Gemma Leal. "(And I) wanted to do what I could to bring some video games, a headset for his Xbox and some paper products to help out a little bit."

"The fact that he didn't have community support and being a social worker one of the biggest factors in resilience is having a support systems connection to community and with not having that, I can't imagine how devastating that is," said Amreen Kahn.

Jennifer says since she posted their wish list, more than 1,000 people have reached out. Some have offered to help update the little group home with new flooring so Jason can get out of bed and move around in his wheelchair. It's generosity that is sure to make Jason feel loved.

"Once I reached out, I realized how much people care, how many people want to do good it makes people feel good to put a hand out to someone else in such a cool way," said "He is going to have more chocolate he ever wanted."

If you are interested in donating, you can do so through a GoFundMe account online here.