Living Independently Is Key To Growth
Being able to live on your own is a sign of independence. It’s about being able to make decisions for yourself, having choices, and learning new skills. Inclusive housing means that people living with developmental disabilities can live in healthy communities where they belong and can make a contribution.
Crystal and her roommate have been living in their two-bedroom apartment for a year. Since moving out of her parent’s home, she’s lived with different roommates and in different communities but this home in Abbotsford has been her favourite one so far.
I like my neighbourhood. I like it that I can walk lots of places. Me and my roommate go for lots of walks. I walk to work too.
Crystal provides janitorial services at Communitas Supportive Care Society in Abbotsford. She has also worked at the local mall in the food court. Having paid employment has been an important part of learning independence. Crystal also receives support through Communitas and Sheral Jones is Crystal’s life skills worker. She has seen the impact that living on her own has had on Crystal.
“I have seen Crystal grow and learn new skills. She has become confident in her own choices,” Sheral says. “Crystal now loves cooking and choosing her meals. She is proud of her apartment and loves to decorate it in her own style.”
Crystal loves her family but she also recognizes that living on her own has helped her developed skills she didn’t have when she lived with her parents.
“When I lived at home, my mom did all the laundry,” she recalls. “Now I’ve learned to do all my own laundry. That’s a good skill to have!”
When Crystal comes home from work, her favourite thing to do is take off her shoes, sit on the couch with a glass of wine, and watch her favourite programs on TV.
“I love the Women’s Network but I also love watching cooking shows,” she says.
Reflecting on Crystal’s experience and that of other people she supports, Sheral says that people living with developmental disabilities truly benefit from living on their own.
“There’s something that comes from being capable of making your own decisions, having a choice in your own life, and being able to set goals while still having the support you need to do so safely,” she says.
Learn more about the importance of inclusive housing when you visit the Key to Home website initiated by Community Living BC