Latoria and A’isha at “The Prom.” Torrie wearing a new dress and “fancy hair”

When Latoria, better known as “Torrie,” came to Continuum’s residential program from another agency 17 years ago, she had very little verbal ability. Her inability to use her voice caused her much frustration, which she often displayed with self-injurious behavior. The previous agency used food to calm her, and as a result, “Torrie” became severely overweight. At that time, it took up to four people to restrain her from her self-harm episodes.

Her developmental delays were first noted in early childhood. At age three Torrie began head banging which increased in frequency and severity over time. She didn’t speak until she was five, and by then, her gross motor skills and attention span were noticeably delayed. It was also at age five that she began complaining about eye pain, caused by a blocked tear duct. Surgery was performed to correct the duct, but it also sparked a long process of maladaptive preoccupation with her eyes that continues to this day. Due to self-injurious behaviors directed at her face and eyes, she had a detached retina repaired which was followed by the removal of her right eye just one year later. With a history of multiple surgeries to correct her eyes, Torrie now wears protective goggles to protect her eyes and retain what vision she still has left.

Soon after Torrie entered Continuum’s program, the staff became familiar with her triggers and could proactively deescalate her frustrations. The consistent support and skill helped Torrie to learn new coping skills she needed to control her aggressions and maintain a calm environment. Episodes of self-harm went from up to 15 times a day to now up to a maximum of only twice a month. She knows she is surrounded by people who are empathetic to her and sincerely care about her. They have also taught her the skills to self-advocate. Torrie is much more verbal and proactively initiates conversations with her housemates and staff. She lets staff know if she is feeling upset or overwhelmed and asks for help when she needs it, which is a great advancement.

Her current Program Manager, A’isha Frank, had just started her first year with Continuum 17 years ago when Torrie entered her program. They have been together all these years. That consistency and dedication has helped Torrie grow tremendously along her journey. A’isha reports that Torrie loves to listen to music and her favorite artist is Mary J. Blige. “She also enjoys girly things and loves to get pampered with nail polish and ‘fancy hair.’ That’s something we enjoy together,” said A’isha.

Over the years, Torrie has evolved and flourished, and she is proud of her accomplishments. She has lost a lot of weight, exercises twice a day, and enjoys maintaining a healthy diet. Torrie even has a garden of her own that she cultivates each year producing vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, and broccoli. She enthusiastically enjoys going on day trips to various places such as parks, beaches, miniature golfing, bowling etc. She was even on a bowling league for Special Olympics and still treasures the medal she won. She helps with the weekly cooking and takes pride in helping to maintain a clean house. She loves her home and her daily routines, as well as her social outlets. Torrie has transformed her life because the people around her have been transformational. She is surrounded by compassionate and committed staff who are determined that Torrie lives a fulfilled life of possibilities that would not have seemed possible those 17 years ago.















Continuum of Care, Inc.’s mission is to enable people who are challenged with mental illness, intellectual disabilities, addiction, or homelessness to rebuild a meaningful life and thrive in the community.