Meet Marsha and Lionel!

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Lionel and Marsha have been together for 31 years. They met at a birthday party in 1991 and there was a spark, although Lionel played hard to get in the very beginning. In 1993, they were married. When they interact with one another, it is easy to understand why they have lasted so long – they are clearly in love and they make each other laugh.

Lionel and Marsha also take care of one another. Things have not always been easy. They have experienced a lot of prejudice for being an interracial couple and for their 30 year age difference – Lionel is older. They both have disabilities, and like many people with disabilities, their access to work opportunities, housing, and transportation has been limited. Marsha came to VGS in 2000 and loves the work she does.

Lionel is retired, but Marsha continues to work at Vocational Guidance Services’ Career and Activity Center (CAC) in Cleveland.  Before March 2020, she worked in the Second Glance shop at VGS’ E55th location, a job she loved. The state mandated COVID shutdowns impacted her significantly. In addition to not having the opportunity to come to work and make money, she missed her friends and the staff at VGS. She was glad to return to VGS, where she has a sense of purpose and earns a paycheck. Marsha was also happy that Tim, her supervisor from E55th, was now working at the same CAC; she says he is good to work for and supportive. When Marsha talks about her work and her friends at VGS, it’s evident that it is an important part of her life – both earning the paycheck and being part of a community.

When Marsha isn’t at work, she and Lionel spend a lot of their time at their churches – a connection they have always shared and that helps them through hard times. Their favorite place for a date is Olive Garden. We are so proud to have such an amazing couple as part of our VGS family.