Inclusion Alberta is hosting a virtual event in Grande Prairie on Saturday, March 12th to try and assist families of loved ones with developmental disabilities in creating a home space.
Catherine Oakleaf, Regional Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement with Inclusion Alberta says having a place to call their own is very important in her view.
“What we know from the work that we do supporting families of folks with developmental disabilities is that not everyone with a developmental disability has an opportunity to build a real home. A home means a place they can call their own, that they have a key to, while also being able to make some decisions and have some autonomy,” she says.
Oakleaf says she’d like to spend some time working with families on the idea of creating a home, plus a few families have already planned to take part in the discussions.
“We’re going to have three families that will be sharing what they have done to create homes for and with their loved ones with developmental disabilities,” she says.
Oakleaf says that an important part of that conversation revolves around finances and how families can make it work.
“We’ll be having conversations around mortgages and how to approach getting approved when you’re on a fixed income for example. For some, it makes more sense to own a home versus renting a home. We want to help find the best fit for people,” she says.
Besides finances, there are other barriers those with developmental disabilities face when trying to become independent.
“People’s support needs are a big one. For example, if a person needs extensive help around managing their safety, cooking in the kitchen, and managing finances on their own, they’re going to need a lot of help to make all of that work. We want to hear from families on what their vision of a home looks like and see how we can help facilitate that,” she says.
Anyone can register for the upcoming event via the Inclusion Alberta website.