Profile: PAUL GOODLIFFE
Paul Goodliffe grew up in Grande Cache AB, where he lived with his parents and his one brother, who is six years younger than he is. His Dad, Kevin Goodliffe says that Paul started early in a local playschool. He continued with school and was active in the community until he left home at eighteen years old to live at the Association’s 83rd Ave group home. Paul works at Swan Industries.
Paul was quiet and persistent as a young boy. Kevin says although Paul could never ride a bicycle, he owned one and used to push it all the way to school and all the way home again.
Paul loves music and karaoke is one of his favourite pastimes. On visits with family in Grande Prairie he loves to go to the casino, where he puts one quarter at a time in the machines. Kevin remembers the fun they all had when Paul won five hundred dollars one night. He says that Paul loved the lights and bells that went off when he won just as much as the fact that he had won the money.
Margo Chambers and Melissa Hanssen, residential workers at the 83rd Ave group home, say that he is the prankster of the group, keeping them on the their toes. The group home is within a block of a local church, where Paul has been found at the head table of a stranger’s wedding reception or praying on the lawn outside the church in his Elvis costume.
Lenora Watson, residential worker in Paul’s group home, remembers arriving at the group home with her bags packed for an overnight shift. The group home was a duplex and Lenora was responsible for checking in with both sides of the home. On one particular evening, after returning to Paul’s side of the home, Lenora found all her belongings thrown outside. Paul told her, “You’re not sleeping here.” Over time Lenora found that something “clicked” between the two of them and Paul now regards her as his “Grande Prairie Mom.” He has matured very much since their first meeting. Lenora says she could tell right away that Paul was well raised when he lived in Grande Cache, and he knew everybody in the community.
As a parent, Kevin acknowledges that raising a handicapped child was hard work but he also adds that it is rewarding to see Paul in his life now.
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