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Help Open the Door to Opportunities

Close your eyes and imagine the front door to your dream house.

Your front door is both a gateway to your sanctuary where you can relax and be yourself, and a portal into the community where you can work, play, and belong.

Like Stacey. Stacey likes to move. She loves swimming, running track, and kick boxing. For years, Stacey dreamt of a bigger move. A move into a place of her very own.

Stacey and her mother, Beryl in Stacey's apartment.

Stacey and her family knew that with the right supports, she could do anything she set her mind to. They spent years preparing for Stacey to live on her own. Stacey’s mother Beryl, described the difficulty of letting go and the worries for any parent that come along with a child moving out of the family home. “As a parent you’re always apprehensive and worrying.”

One day, they took the plunge. Now Stacey has a home of her own.

"It makes me happy, it makes my heart pound really fast, it’s exciting," says Stacey about living on her own. "I wanted to be closer to my friends. I love my parents, but I wanted my own apartment and independence."

Stacey’s apartment is less than 400 square feet, but it’s cozy, bright, and – most importantly – a place to call her own. She has a grey couch that she loves, and a sundeck.

Stacey shares support staff with some of the other tenants in the building who have an intellectual disability, but quickly points out that she does not need support all the time. Most of the other apartments in Semiahmoo House are rented by individuals who do not have an intellectual disability. 

“It’s hard to explain it, the significance of it. We talked about Stacey getting her own place for years. I used to tell Stacey stories of when I moved out with a girlfriend, and how special that felt. This is our dream come true for us as parents, and for Stacey," said Beryl, Stacey’s mom.

Across Canada there are some inspiring examples of communities like Stacey’s building; Semiahmoo House Society’s Chorus Apartments in British Columbia is a local CACL member that supports people with an intellectual disability to live self-directed lives within a community.

But these inclusive housing options are not available everywhere.

Over 100,000 Canadians with an intellectual disability do not have the opportunity to live in an ordinary house, on an ordinary street, with the supports they need to participate in their communities like you do.

Even in 2018, over 13,200 adults with an intellectual disability aged 30 years and older are living with their parents because they do not have the resources or community support to live in their own homes. These families single-handedly work hard and even drain their life savings to provide the supports needed. These families are left feeling impoverished, burnt out, overwhelmed, and alone.

Many are forced to live in congregate care facilities not of their choosing, or are simply denied the option of living in a home of their own in their community with support. Many people with an intellectual disability have no choice or control when it comes to their home, and their front doors don’t open to a world of possibility.

You can help break this cycle of exclusion.

With the help of our donors and supporters, CACL is reshaping existing models of housing for people with an intellectual disability. We need to raise $30,000 this spring to ensure that more people with an intellectual disability have a home like Stacey’s – that offers choice and freedom without sacrificing support, that serves as a gateway to rich and diverse community life.

Please consider making a gift today. You know that a home is more than just a roof to keep you dry and a place to sleep. Your home is your nest in a busy world and a launchpad from which you go out to conquer it.

Too many people are still waiting for their door to open, like Stacey was. Your donation can help.

CACL donors are changemakers, allies who understand the importance of the work we do and the value of true inclusion. Become a donor today and open that front door to help launch someone like Stacey into the vibrant everyday life they dream of.

Stacey’s home is her nest, but more than that, it’s an open door that allows her to take on life. Stacey’s advice to anyone who might be afraid of the transition to a home of their own: "Don’t be scared, be brave." Give today to give someone else the same chance.