Lonely For Much Of His Life, Roger Now Has Family And His Own
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 1, 2005
WASHINGTON, DC--Sunday's Washington Post featured a story about the relationship that has grown over the past four years between Linda Tarlow and her friend Roger Sherman Butt.
Linda met Roger when she decided to volunteer at his group home after reading about troubles in Washington, DC's community-based support system from the Washington Post's 1999 series "Invisible Lives" and "Invisible Deaths".
As time went on, she learned that Roger, who has cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities, had been labeled as an "idiot" and left at an institution when he was five years old. Even though he left the institution in the early 1990s, he still did not have a place he could call his own.
When other volunteers stopped coming to visit Roger, Linda kept coming back -- even after he spat a mouthful of lemonade at her in anger.
"I admired his spunk," she said.
Linda worked with other advocates in the area to get Roger out of the group home and into his own accessible apartment -- a dream of his that was finally realized last September.
Roger, 58, now says that Linda is like a sister to him.
"With Advocate's Assistance, Disabled Man Has a Room of His Own" (Washington Post)
"Invisible Lives: D.C.'s Troubled System for the Retarded, and Invisible Deaths: The Fatal Neglect of D.C.'s Retarded" (Washington Post)