STORY – Residential Services and Independence: A safe and welcoming home

Ed and Cynthia (left), feel they are the lucky ones to have Chris join their family.

Ed and Cynthia (left), feel they are the lucky ones to have Chris join their family.

Ed, a retired social worker, and Cynthia, a former care provider, knew that they wanted to open their home to someone in their community who lives with a developmental disability.

“Someone with a disability needs the same things as everyone else: independence, meaningful friendships and being part of a family,” says Ed.

Ed and Cynthia met with CLBC service provider Vernon and District Association for Community Living (VDACL) in Vernon to complete an in-depth assessment. Both CLBC and VDCAL work together to ensure that a suitable match is made and that the individual has a choice in where they live.

“The key to the success of a home sharing arrangement depends on the match between the individual and the home sharing provider. At VDCAL we work diligently to make sure that our home sharing arrangements are the right fit for everyone,” says Jo Hansen, Home Share Co-ordinator with VDCAL.

With the help of Jo, Chris and his mom visited three potential home sharing providers and Chris picked Ed and Cynthia. Chris has now been living with Ed and Cynthia for two years.

“I really liked Ed and Cynthia,” says Chris. “They live close to town, close to the bus, they had a great living space for me and they were so nice and friendly.”

An avid sports fan, Chris and Ed watch lots of sports together and enjoy going fishing. Chris especially loves to watch his favourite hockey team play, the Vernon Vipers, and he attends games regularly with his friends.

“Chris is a very busy guy. He has two jobs, he attends church and has many friends in the community,” says Cynthia. “Chris also spends lots of time with his grandparents who live in Vernon. Chris is an amazing support for his grandparents.”

“Although Chris is very independent we still watch out for him,” adds Cynthia. “He is a part of our family and we want what is best for him.”

When there is a good fit, home sharing can provide support that evolves according to each individual’s needs.

“Being a home share provider, you have to have an enormous capacity for listening, hearing and understanding,” says Ed. “You can’t have someone come into your home and expect them to adapt to you, you also have to adapt to them.”

“We’re so happy that Chris chose us and wanted to live here,” says Cynthia. “We are the lucky ones.”


Did you know that home sharing is now the most frequently used residential service? 

Learn more on the home sharing section of CLBC’s web site.

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