Creating a Home and Good Life of My Own: the GSA experience

Guelph Services for the Autistic (GSA) has functioned as a housing trust since 1997. Its mission and main focus is to help adults with autism to have their own homes and to live with dignity and safety in our communities, supported by family and friends--and with self-directed planning, individualized funding, and infrastructure services as needed. Adults assisted in this way to have their own homes are GSA’s “active members”, other supporting friends being “associate members.” Because other families and organizations are interested in following the path pioneered by GSA, we have compiled this guide to its various agreements and procedures as possible models, with some explanatory text.

What qualities of support have we learned are essential?  
1. The person is centrally involved in planning and realization of a whole life.
2. One’s own home is an essential anchor of a good whole life
3. Families (widely defined) are respected and involved for the friends and community connections they make for the person.
4. Each person has a circle of support, also incorporated as an Aroha entity
5. Individualized and self-directed funding and independent planning and facilitation are essential
6. Keeping connected with others who are thinking creatively and pioneering better ways of supporting people who are vulnerable because of disability

From Introduction to 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).