Jason Davies doesn’t let anything slow him down, thriving while living with disabilities from a childhood stroke. Wearing a bright red cape and S insignia, he is known around Homeword’s Orchard Gardens property where he lives and broader Missoula community by his nickname, “Superman.”

Jason was born in Montana and later moved to Spokane, Washington, where he was married for 10 years. He and his wife moved around a lot, and for a while they lived in a dark basement apartment. The lack of light took a toll on his mental health, and he was rarely able to ride his bike where they lived.

After getting a divorce, Jason finally decided to leave Spokane. His mom and stepdad rented a U-Haul and helped him move back to Montana and closer to their home in Tarkio. With help from his family filling out the application, a few months later he moved into a rental home at Orchard Gardens in Missoula.

“I was very excited,” said Jason. “I was nervous, but I decided I was going to live on my own.”

It was at Orchard Gardens that Jason began to embrace his superhero alter ego.

Jason has now lived at Orchard Gardens for nine years. His first apartment home was on the upper level, but he has since moved to the main level where he has access to a patio. The apartment home provides plenty of space for Jason and his cat and dog, and light pours into his living room and bedroom.

“I like the light that comes in. I have seasonal depression,” he said.

Outside on the patio, Jason works to cut down pieces of wood. He uses them to create works of art by burning designs into the wood with a pyrography pen.

“I made the work bench myself,” he said.

Jason said he often shops for wood at Home ReSource, and the walls inside his apartment are adorned with numerous pieces of woodburning art and framed photos of scenes he has captured. One photograph is of a beautiful late-summer sunset of the Garden City Harvest farm he can see from his back door. With a father who worked at a Montana guitar factory in Bozeman for over three decades, Jason also loves making coasters from the center cutouts of Gibson guitars.

Since his move to Orchard Gardens, Jason’s mother passed away, but he memorialized her through a cluster of photos and art in his apartment that he calls “Mama’s wall.”

“I do pretty awesome work,” he said. “If I’m depressed or just having a rough day, I get into it and totally forget my troubles.”

Just outside his apartment home, Jason also parks his tricycle. With balance issues, the trike is an easy way for him to get around town. He uses the city trail adjacent to Orchard Gardens to run errands, such as taking his trike to FreeCycles for a tune-up.

In a small journal, Jason even keeps a log of all of his excursions.

“Every summer, I see how far I can go,” he said. “I record my bike miles. For the year 2023, I went 370.13 miles. Me and my stepdad went to Lolo last summer. That was 21 miles round-trip. And then we went on the Kim Williams Trail to East Missoula. I go a long way on the bike.”

Jason said his neighbors are another aspect of living at Orchard Gardens he enjoys.

“I call my next-door neighbor ‘Mama Joy,’” said Jason. “We’re friends. She’s watching my dog, Chloe, right now. My dog just loves her and her dog, Lucy.”

Despite the significant challenges he’s faced, Jason has found a home he can afford and a community at Orchard Gardens. He is one of over 500 people with disabilities living at Homeword properties around the state.

“I love my freedom,” he said.