Having a good place to call home is a universal dream, occupying a powerful place in minds. PLAN defines home as feeling – the feeling you get at the end of a long day when you open your front door and exhale, “Ahhhhh, I’m home”.
We want the same for our loved ones. A place that provides continuity and security. A place that ensures privacy and reflects the personality of those who live there.
Parents around the world rank a stable and hospitable living environment as a high priority for their children. However, we’ve learned that a house doesn’t become a home by accident. It requires thoughtfulness and care. It also requires planning.
They key to creating home is to:
- have control over the home environment
- make sure it reflects your family member’s personality
- ensure your family member chooses who they live with
Regardless of where our children live, we want them to have a choice. We want them to live in a place that respects their choices and their personality shines through. Many of us cannot afford to assist our family members in purchasing a home because we still have our own mortgages. It’s important to know there are alternatives to ownership beyond the traditional group home model:
- Housing cooperatives and land trusts, which have similar advantages to home ownership.
- Home sharing is an option to live together with a loving family.
- Rental options can provide more flexibility to try different living arrangements, particularly when they first leave home
We also believe there’s no reason why a group home can’t include the benefits of living in a home-like setting. It may not be easy, and not every agency appreciates the difference between house and home. However, many people are very satisfied with the group home they live in.
Whether you are looking to assess a group home situation, buy a home, find a home-share, or learn about how micro-boards can help promote an individualized approach to supported living, PLAN can be there to help.