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In May 2022, Akil began participating in the Good Neighbor Program (GNP). Akil needed assistance navigating a series of medical issues, obtaining home care, and much more. Akil had the great fortune of working with his GN Shelly, who works for Catskill Center for Independence (CCFI).

 Shelly was able to help Akil get medical equipment, mental health counseling, a tv, and most importantly a key pillar of support. When Akil’s Managed Long-Term Care (MLTC) plan was not providing him with services Shelly was able to step in, making sure Akil had the support to live in the community. She even brought him a Thanksgiving meal because the holidays were a difficult time. Akil lived alone, had a small social circle, leaving him with few outlets for socialization.

Akil loved music and sports. Shelly recalls Akil telling her about some of his favorite songs. He was also excited about the Superbowl and the National Basketball Association (NBA) finals. Akil also wanted to write commercial jingles, inspired by Christmas commercials.

Unfortunately, Akil was hospitalized in the summer of 2023 and passed away.             

“I never really imagined it would change my life, but it did. Akil did. He was truly one of the greatest, wisest, most caring, and sincere individuals I have ever met, and I am truly thankful for every moment I got to spend with him. I can’t even begin to tell you how much insight Akil gave me this last year on life and relationships. I was there to help Akil, not realizing how much he was helping me too.” Said Shelly.