The Crisis: Housing
The challenges associated with caring for someone with a permanent intellectual and/or developmental disability are enormous. Parents and caregivers shoulder a lifelong burden of care and financial support to provide a safe, loving environment for each individual.
But what happens after the caregivers are gone?
As it stands today, for the majority of parents and caregivers, there is no one in line to take over and continue providing for their loved one when the primary caregiver is no longer able to do so. The ability of parents or family members to provide continuous 24/7 care is negatively impacted by health concerns, job related issues, other logistical problems, and ultimately loss of life.
In most cases this means that, when their primary care is no longer available, an individual with special needs will experience a sharp decline in the safety, quality, and length of their life. This projection creates added stress and hardship for the parents and family members caring for special needs adults, as they try to secure a succession plan for care on their own and against almost impossible financial odds.
Existing government facilities are not sufficient to meet current demands, and a lack of new housing initiatives and community-based funding projects have created a decades-long waiting list for housing and support services for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.
In Halton Region alone, the list is 14,000 families long and counting.
In addition, available public housing units in prime urban areas that could be used to provide housing and care for those with special needs are still being sold to private developers, further compounding the problem. We need to do better for our communities and the individuals and families within them who are facing this crisis.
At The Cribwolf Foundation we are working to address these concerns, with a primary focus on the availability of housing and support services in every community. Our most immediate project is the design and construction of a community-central multi-unit residential building (MURB) for adults over the age of 21 with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. For more details, visit our MURB page.