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A Devine Life  |  Community Partners Initiative, Lambton County Developmental Services

The two men, both in their 30's, are faring well in their new Devine Street house. Independent living is a first-time experience for both men, although they were previously acquainted through their parents, who had established a friendship after meeting at a local "life-long caregiver" group several years prior. When these like-minded parents caught wind of the Housing Task Force project, they were very proactive in contacting LCDS about getting involved. Their mutual goal was for their sons to move in together, share supports and be involved in their community. They also wanted to ensure the new living arrangement would be positive and sustainable. 

One challenge arose early on when the first person hired for live-in support gave notice to get married. To fill the gap, the families pooled money to hire Passport workers for overnight check-ins. This unexpected "glitch" soon proved beneficial: soon after, one of the moms reconnected with a support worker who'd known her son for many years and who was available to step into the role. 

We've had some setbacks but have endured, learned, and come out stronger with a sustainable and much brighter future.       ~ Parent of participant    

The Habitat partnership is highly valued by the organization and locals; in addition to building a new house for the participants (the third such local housing project they've partnered on, which can be sustained long into the future), the wider community has also benefitted from Habitat having provided new trade/construction skills to community members through Ontario Works.  A local developer is in the process of creating a mixed-use subsidized building with 14 units. LCDS hopes to replicate this successful project by securing four units for local adults with developmental disabilities; the organization is currently assisting families to write proposals, in hopeful anticipation of future funding.

Another very positive outcome for the men has been their evolving friendship with a new-to-Canada family living next door (also recipients of a Habitat-built home). The parents and their three young kids are said to have a very "open and accepting way" with the two men, and they all connect regularly for shared meals and movie nights.  As well, they men have pooled funding dollars to participate in local activities including dances, baseball, basketball and hockey. They also enjoy regular jam sessions together at home. 

Overview of Outcomes:

  • Key Ceremony Oct 2016 for partially accessible newly-built house including finished basement suite for live-in support.
  • Both men have participated in Circles activities; one support person has completed the Circles program.
  • Person-centered plans completed, with goals based on “My Home, My Identity, My Relationships, My Health, My Safety."
  • Families working well together, scheduling and invoicing, agreed-upon times for home visits, including “off time” for live-in support person per agreement.
  • New community connections include church volunteering, hiking local trails, local concerts, volunteer application at nursing home across the street, inviting friends over, weekly farmers market.
  • Both participants no longer using respite services.
  • This cost-effective model with shared supports has freed up an apartment once used only three days per week, in addition to a long-term care bed.

Project Contact:
Nick Salaris  |
For more information, join the Housing Task Force Facebook Page or sign up for P4P Updates