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LiveWorkPlay | City of Ottawa

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

The individuals are enjoying life at the Haven. The community hosted a Welcome BBQ to all residents and are in the process of scheduling 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 provides natural supports.

This is the best place I have ever lived! ~ Daniel

So far, half of the eight individuals have Passport funding and are using it to hire supports. Half are still on the waitlist. According to LiveWorkPlay, family members are more confident in the process and the model when there are some paid supports in place, as this seems to alleviate some of the pressure facing families.

Most of the participants are using smart phones or tablets and using reminder alarms and online calendars to stay organized. 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 he is home safe and sound.

Finding natural supports and helping families through the Just Enough Supports process is all doable. Any limitations are due to lack of affordable units and availability of Passport funds.

As of September, LiveWorkPlay is orienting the final four proposal participants through the same Just Enough process and is seeking to secure affordable homes in the city of Ottawa. (This group is also on the Passport waitlist.) The most challenging aspect has been finding quality, affordable housing stock in Ottawa; looking for alternatives and finding landlords who are offering units at below market rents is challenging in itself: when affordable units are found, often the location does not suit the needs of individual being supported.

Finding natural supports and helping families through the Just Enough Supports process is all doable. But having no affordable place to live or access to even small amounts of funding to pay for even minimal supports makes this difficult to replicate and sustain.

For more information, join the Housing Task Force Facebook Page or sign up for P4P Updates.