Message from PFC & CACL Presidents
Home means comfort, warmth, safety. Where you can recharge. Where you belong, just as you are.
Do you remember getting the key to your first home? Did you feel that nervous rush of pride, independence, and freedom? For many of us, this key unlocks autonomy, choice, and belonging. It unlocks our future as contributing members of our community, our role as neighbours and friends.
Unfortunately, this key, this home, does not exist for everyone.
Over 100,000 Canadians with intellectual disabilities cannot access affordable housing that provides the support they need while also enabling choice, freedom, and inclusion in community. Many live in poverty, and cannot afford housing that meets their basic needs. Many are homeless. Many have no other option but poorly suited group residences, or seniors’ facilities far before the age of 65. Increasingly, many adults with intellectual disabilities rely entirely on aging parents for both personal care and financial help, parents who ask themselves, “What will happen to my child when I am no longer here?”.
Home doesn’t have to be a restricted idea for people with intellectual disabilities. We can change that reality. Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) and People First of Canada (PFC) are proud to be launching the My Home My Community initiative – a new national initiative that will open doors to affordable housing for people with intellectual disabilities, enabling a full life in community.
Increased and collaborative efforts are urgently needed to close the housing, supports, and inclusion gap for adults with intellectual disabilities in Canada. Building on successful ventures to date, My Home My Community is designed to confront this challenge by driving innovation at a local-to-national scale in housing development and community supports. My Home My Community will increase access to the mix of affordable housing and personal supports that adults need to live independently in the community with safety, security and inclusion. It will grow social infrastructure of ‘safe and inclusive community networks’ to facilitate the social and economic inclusion of adults with intellectual disabilities. And, it will work to develop policy solutions to encourage family and private sector investment in affordable housing for people with intellectual disabilities, to bridge the housing and supports gap.
My Home My Community is an exciting initiative for both CACL and PFC. It is one that will allow us to address the unacceptable housing options for people with intellectual disabilities in a comprehensive and practical way. My Home My Community will have an important positive impact on the lives of thousands of adults with intellectual disabilities and their families across Canada. It will change the landscape of our communities to become more inclusive for all, and will indeed contribute to the diverse fabric of this country.
Kory Earle, President, People First of Canada
Joy Bacon, President, Canadian Association for Community Living