Homesharers Support Occupancy of a “Home of My Own”

Living in one’s own home, enlightened as that may be, does not by itself provide enough support for a person who is severely or moderately affected by a disability.  It is vital to find, inspire and appreciate the very best supporters who can help to grow a good life and keep it flourishing. Support people may include those who are paid because this is their livelihood—as caregivers, mentors, coaches or tutors and as specialists in communication, sensory integration, personal fitness, nutrition, and various kinds of therapies. Friends who are not paid, but choose to share their interests and parts of their lives, also bring valuable gifts to a vulnerable person.

Having one’s own home can give an adult with a disability opportunities for another form of personal support. Homesharers can provide companionship and help with the tasks of daily living in return for sharing the home of a person with special needs--free or at a reduced cost. Homesharing of this kind is a fairly new concept in Ontario, where it has been to support the elderly and people with physical handicaps or AIDS so they continue living with dignity in their own homes. Homesharers are typically the sort of people who derive personal satisfaction from helping to meet the special needs of the people they are living with, and from the relationships which evolve between the various members of the household.

Excerpts from introduction to chapter in CREATING A HOME AND GOOD LIFE OF MY OWNStrategies and formal agreements developed by Guelph Services for the Autistic in its role as housing trust (2008). 
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