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LiveWorkPlay  |  City of Ottawa

By May 2017 eight adults with intellectual disabilities had moved into one-bedroom apartments at The Haven. Each person and their support network is successfully using the Just Enough Support model, a process which takes into account each person’s unique needs and explores how they can live successfully with both unpaid and paid supports, as well as using adaptive technology when it makes sense.

Life at the Haven is said to be going well for the participants. The community hosted a Welcome BBQ for all residents, and scheduled community events for the year ahead (potentially including art workshops, potlucks, and longer term projects such as a community garden). Each person has been matched with at least one volunteer who is providing natural supports.


"This is the best place I have ever lived!" 
~ Daniel, project participant


Only four out of eight individuals are using Passport funding towards hiring supports, as the other half are still on the waitlist. Family members have expressed more confidence in the model with paid supports in place, as  this  helps alleviate some of the pressures faced by families.

Most participants are using smartphones or tablets and using reminder alarms and online calendars to organize routines. To stay connected, and for remote problem solving they are using Facebook video chat or text messaging. For example, one family member was concerned about knowing when her brother returns home in the evening. He didn’t want to call his sister every day, so they set up a daily text message so that when he gets home at night, he lets her know that he is home safe and sound.

In September 2017, LiveWorkPlay oriented the final four participants through the same Just Enough process . The most challenging aspect has been securing additional quality, affordable housing stock in Ottawa. Looking for alternatives and finding landlords who are offering units at below market rents is challenging. When affordable units are found, often the location does not suit the needs of individual being supported.

While finding natural supports and guiding families through the Just Enough Supports process is all doable,  without affordable housing or access to even small amounts of funding for even minimal supports, this project is difficult to replicate and sustain.


Overview of Outcomes


  • To date 14 individuals and family members have taken part in Just Enough Support (JES) training and all 14 have developed a plan based on JES principles.
  • 7 participants currently residing at the Haven; another 8 people dwelling in scattered units across the city.
  • The second development led by CCOC (Old Ottawa East build) was not funded. Given such, LiveWorkPlay identified participants interested in owning a home of their own, who had access to a rent subsidy or a home of their own they could otherwise afford, and then assisted each with JES planning and with finding natural supports to coordinate with paid supports.
  • 13 adults have at least one volunteer match who provides natural support to assist each individual to live in their home.
  • While the feasibility study was not funded, project findings indicate that rent supplements are needed to reduce barriers for individuals to move out on their own.



Additional Resources

6 videos explaining Just Enough Support approach


Project Contact:
Julie Kingstone  |  julie.kingstone@liveworkplay.ca
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