Matt May

Matt May enjoys a variety of sports. His favorite teams are: Green Bay Packers (he’s a Cheesehead), Detroit Tigers, Portland Trailblazers, Sacramento Kings, D.C. United soc- cer, and OSU Beavers football. For Matt , taking pleasure in life is important, and work is a part of making him happy.

He began his working career while in high school in the late 90’s in Medford, Oregon. He had several work experiences, including food prep at Loaves and Fishes and cleaning at the VA Domiciliary, and his favorite job was at Ray’s Food Place. In 1999, he was hired by Ray’s to manage the bottle return and for janitorial duties. That same year, Matt moved from his mom’s house into his own apartment with the support from Living Opportunities. Matt enjoyed his work and the friends he made, but unfortunately as with many others affected by the recession, in 2010, Matt was laid o as part of downsizing their operation.

Matt kept himself busy, playing golf, watching Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events, and assisting the football coach as general manager of the South Medford School Panthers. This includes managing the equipment. Matt also began volunteering at Northwest Seasonal Workers (NWSW), helping with recycling and supply management for the food service. However, he really missed his paycheck.

Without much luck over the next few years, in 2012, Matt was connected with Lee, a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselor. Matt was very clear with Lee about what he did

not want to do, but he know he wanted to work around other people.

“Short Mary and Tall Mary took me to dfferent businesses where I got to try out a lot of different jobs.”

Matt sampled a variety of jobs, and his experience at NWSW came in handy at Blackstone Audio as he knew how to use a box cutter. There were many aspects of jobs Matt liked but the best fit had not happened yet. Lee and Matt asked Living Opportunities to develop a job, based on Matt’s skills and strengths, as a service clerk, which entails cleaning, recycling, and providing quality control on products while being able to be outside “having fresh air.”

By June 2013, even though longer than desired, Matt started work at Hyundai dealership of Butler Automotive Group, where he uses his experience doing general janitorial work. He was particularly happy to reconnect with his old friend, Eric, from when he worked at Ray’s. He works Monday through Friday for 2 1⁄2 hours per day and loves his job, where he is a valued member of the Butler team. In May 2014, Ma proudly presented the Living Opportunities Employer of the Year award to Linda and Chuck Butler.

“I know my routines. Lisa has fresh coffee for me every morning so I don’t fall asleep. I get my paycheck—it comes every two weeks.”

Since going back to work, Matt has continued volunteering for NWSW and the Panthers. He was able to save enough to buy a PlayStation3 and a laptop. Now, he has a new savings goal to buy a printer…

“Life is cool. Yes, I am a cool dude. 100%.”