Reaching Consensus and Aiming for Suitable Supported Housing in Vancouver

On December 9, 2013, a collaborative report on housing and support options was released by the Pearson Residents Redevelopment Group (PRRG), the City of Vancouver’s Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee (PDAC) and the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities (BCCPD).  To download this report, click here.

It aims to answer the question of what kind of housing and supports should be built on the Pearson-Dogwood site, to help provide a variety of housing and supports for the variety of people with disabilities living in Pearson, other care facilities and in the community. Here’s a brief summary of the report:

Four housing and support options are described: two independent community living options and two group living models, all with people having control and autonomy over their lives.  The group living models include small groups of 2 – 4 persons living in apartments or houses, or the Greenhouse model of 6 – 12 people, where people have control over their home and a real choice whether to live by themselves or in a group.

1) Independent fully accessible apartments with affordable subsidized rent located in any market or non-market building. The amount of support is based on the person’s individual support plan, created in close consultation with that person.

2) Independent fully accessible apartments with affordable subsidized rent clustered in any market or non-market building with shared overnight support.  Assistance during the day can be shared or individual, based on the person’s preferences.

3) Groups of 1 – 4 people with disabilities living in 2 – 5 bedroom fully accessible apartments or houses with affordable subsidized rent.
Individuals living together decide democratically on how the support will be delivered and how to choose new residents.  Each person with a disability can choose who to live with including:
i.    Other persons with disabilities
ii.   Partner of person with disability
iii.  Family member(s) of person(s) with disabilities
iv.   Live-in Attendant
v.    Friends or roommates of persons with disabilities

4) The Greenhouse model, which enables small group living with personal choice/control.

  • Each Greenhouse has 6 – 12 people, each with their own bedroom & bathroom.
  • The large kitchen is open and accessible for use by residents and is where daily meals are cooked. The kitchen table(s) are used by residents, family, friends and staff.
  • There is no set schedule; activities and timing of support depend on residents’ wishes.
  • Meaningful relationships with staff and residents are encouraged.
  • Workers are Shabazz, or total care workers, who are expected to do any task, including outings, bathing, cooking, helping with work or volunteer work etc.
  • All staff are organized into self-managed teams.
  • In houses with high acuity residents, a hybrid can be designed with a few medical staff shared between two Greenhouses in the same neighbourhood.
  • Staff ratios must be the larger of the following two options:  Staff ratio currently in Ward 2 of Pearson or staff ratio reported for Greenhouses by the Greenhouse organization.
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