How do families find each other to form a partnership to support their family members in a home of their own?
One of the unique features of ACHIEVA’s "A Home of My Own" initiative is the partnerships families are forming to enable their sons and daughters to live together and establish homes of their own. Not everyone has or wants a housemate. However, for those that do, their families are meeting, establishing relationships and working together to support their family members. And, they all have the same goal in mind which is to support their family member to move out of the family home and into a place of their own. These are families who are listening to their adult children saying they want to move out of their parents home and live with someone else, maybe as their brothers and sisters have done. These are families who will be on the waiting list for years if they do not work together to go down a different path.
"A Home of My Own" families are coming together in different ways.
Some of the families have known each other for years. Many met when their children were young; they coached a sports team together or their children attended the same school. They always had the idea or dream their children would live together as adults. Since these families have known each other for years, they tend to live close to each other and have had similar educational and community services. They also tend to have similar values and know they can work together, because they have done so in the past (remember the bake sales!)
"A Home of My Own" support brokers are also introducing families to one another based on thinking their family members would be compatible housemates. It has been amazing to introduce families to one another over a meal and then watch how they take over the conversation about their family members, where they would like them to live and their support needs.
Support coordinators are also playing matchmakers. Based on their knowledge of people, their support needs and their families, they are talking with families about other families they know who are thinking about their son or daughter moving into a home of their own. Families are meeting, working together and also supporting each other. For most families of people with disabilities, the decision for the individual to move out of the family home is not easy. It is only natural to worry about their happiness, health and safety. (Then, there are the worries about whether they are eating properly, cleaning their apartment, doing their laundry, staying up too late, watching too much TV, what they are watching on TV…the list seems endless.) Having another family member to go through the experience with you is a huge source of support!