Home Is Key To Martin’s Independence
When Martin comes home to his condo, what he appreciates most is the quiet. He has tried living with a roommate but prefers being on his own. This is his home, a sanctuary of sorts, that enables him to be independent.
I like that I can come and go as I please. That’s important to me. – Martin, home owner
Martin used to live with his parents in Chilliwack. When his father passed away, he continued to live with his mother in their condo. When she passed away, Martin and his siblings inherited the home. It was agreed that they would sell it and divide the inheritance. It was Martin’s sister who helped him find and purchase the home in Abbotsford in which he is living today.
“We looked at a lot of different places in Chilliwack and Mission but this was the best one,” he says.
Living in Abbotsford suits Martin well because it’s close to his work at the local FreshCo. It’s also close to Communitas Supportive Care Society, the organization that supports him. Krista is Martin’s life skills worker and has worked with him for more than two years. She says Martin is always positive, genuinely interested in others, and kind. She is also amazed at how mobile he is.
“If he’s not walking all over Abbotsford, he’s catching the bus and sky train to go to Vancouver,” she says.
Together, Krista and Martin work at developing skills that will help him in daily life. It has been during the pandemic that she has seen him grow the most. When in-person visits came to a halt last spring, Communitas created an online service that had to be accessed by Zoom.
“We spent two hours on the phone just getting him set up with an email account so that he could receive links for the Zoom sessions,” Krista remembers. “But it didn’t take long and Martin became one of our most reliable attendees! It was so exciting to see him go from email frustrations to Zoom master.”
Martin is also proud of the many other skills he has mastered.
“I pay my own bills and manage my own money,” he says. “I do my own shopping and I do some cooking most days.”
Having a home of his own gives Martin the independence he needs to thrive. Having a supportive community around him, gives him opportunities to learn new skills, gain new friends, and make his own choices. Inclusive housing means people living with developmental disabilities can live in healthy communities where they belong, grow, and make a contribution.
To learn more about the importance of Inclusive Housing, visit Key To Home a website with information created by Community Living BC.