Message from Dianne Cormier Northrup
Chair – CACL Family Voices Task Force
Home means comfort, warmth, safety. Where you belong, just as you are. For many of us, the key to our first home unlocks independence, choice, and belonging. It unlocks our future as contributing members of our community, our role as neighbours and as friends. Unfortunately, this key, this home, does not exist for everyone.
Still today in Canada adults with intellectual disabilities who wish to live in a home of their own, and families who are no longer able to care for their family member with a disability, are typically provided with limited choices for residential options: a group home, a special care home, a seniors nursing home or other specialized residential facilities. And yet, when individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families reach out to access housing, they are often looking to access to affordable housing that would make possible a home of their own. They are asking for the same opportunity that other Canadians have to make their own decisions regarding where they live, whom they live with and what they do with their time. Adults with intellectual disabilities and their families are asking for their own key.
In this issue of Coming Together you will read stories from across the country about some innovative ways families have helped their family members have a home of their own and broken the cycle of exclusion that affects so many persons with disabilities. Some dreams have been realized, and some are still in development. I’m sharing with you my own story of helping my family build an ordinary life in community on page 10. Thousands of Canadians with intellectual disabilities and their families desperately need affordable housing and community supports that result in inclusion.
This year, as the Government of Canada makes commitments for affordable housing and community inclusion, we as families are hopeful that housing markets and communities will begin to work for all people and families, including persons with intellectual disabilities. We as families are optimistic that a Canadian national housing strategy will be fully inclusive of all, and will encourage all partners in community to come to the table to build inclusive communities. Because every community should welcome and celebrate the diversity that is humanity.
* This is an article taken from the Fall 2016 CACL Coming Together… to create change – Newsletter.
The Newsletter is available to download by clicking the following link Coming Together Newsletter Fall 2016