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Do you remember getting the key to your first home?

November 22, 2016 - - Safe and Inclusive Communities

Home.

Home means comfort, warmth, safety. Where you can recharge. Where you belong, just as you are.

Unfortunately, this home does not exist for everyone.

Josh* has an intellectual disability. Because he needs some support in his daily life, Josh was placed into a group home. Josh was not allowed to choose where to live, or who to live with. 

Josh has worked hard to build a successful business in landscaping and snow removal. Josh rises before dawn to attend to his business, particularly in the winter when he clears snow. His clients rely on him, and he takes his responsibility seriously. 

Yet in the group home, other residents would watch TV until midnight. Staff would do laundry on their overnight shift, at two o’clock in the morning. Josh could not get the sleep he needed for his early morning alarm. He could not rest, he was on edge, felt suffocated and anxious in his ‘home’. 

Imagine how you would feel in Josh’s place. Having no control over your own space, the contents of your fridge, the station the radio dial is set to—imagine the intrusion, the noise, the disturbance, day in and day out. 

For Josh, the group home was not a real home.

And then, hope. Josh became involved in CACL’s initiative that works to transform segregated residential services into real community inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities. With help to form a transition plan, set a budget, and get the daily supports he needs, Josh moved out of the group home. 

Josh got a home of his own.

Do you remember getting the key to your first home? Did you feel that rush of pride, independence, and freedom? 

For Josh, this key unlocked independence, choice, belonging. It unlocked his future. 

Josh now lives with his dog Toby in his own apartment where he feels warm, safe, at ease, and free. He’s not dragging through his work day, tired from being kept awake at night. He gets the support he needs to live independently and be successful in his own home.

For Josh, this freedom is life-changing. He is building his own unique life within his community. Just like everyone else.

Building on successes like Josh, CACL is launching a new national initiative—My Home, My Community—that will open doors to affordable housing for people with intellectual disabilities. 

We need your help to get this program off the ground. Please consider making a donation to help to give people with intellectual disabilities like Josh a voice in where, with whom, and how to live their lives. 

Your gift this holiday season can bring someone home, give him or her their own safe and comforting place, and help them build their own good life as an included member of the community.

You understand that to be part of community one has to be in the community. Because you know that it starts at home. Give today and help welcome people with intellectual disabilities home. 

*Josh’s name and photo have been changed to maintain his privacy. Thank you for understanding.