For the parents of people with intellectual disabilities, there is always concern about what will happen to their child when they’re gone.
Now, a proposed building in Regina is giving parents closure, children security, and bringing a group of friends closer together as they gain independence.
“I want a little more independence, a little more freedom, and I want to be like every other 30 year old,” Future resident Bree Warsaba said.
She’s one step closer to getting her wish.
A ten-unit condo building geared towards adults with intellectual disabilities is in the works for the Harbour Landing area, featuring one and two bedroom units with in-suite laundry, spacious living rooms, and a caretaker’s apartment in the $300,000-$350,000 range.
“The main floor is a common space with a game room, it’ll have a common kitchen they can have meals in if they want,” Warsaba’s father, Ron, explained. “The intention is to have one meal a day that they all help together with and make.”
The plan was first brought forward by a group called Input Housing six years ago.
Earlier this week, Input Housing successfully rezoned two properties and filed applications for building permits. Now they’re in talks with contractors in hopes of breaking ground in August, and having the condos move-in ready in September 2019.
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Most of the units are already spoken for, with future residents forming their own community before construction has even started.
“Their circle has expanded because of this, and they’ve gotten to know some of the other people that will all be living together,”Bree’s mother, Patricia, said. “Collectively, they do look after each other. They have a shared strength.”
“We’re like everybody else,” Bree Warsaba added with a smile. “We just want to live among our friends, and to take care of each other.”
Warsaba already lives fairly independently and feels she’s ready for the next step. She works in data entry with a local software development company, and volunteers at Queen Victoria Estates Regina.
Those heading up the project say it will fill a unique gap in Saskatchewan, as this home will focus on ownership rather than renting- giving residents more power over their future.
“The residents of Input Housing will have individual consent …and the ability to withhold it,” An Input Housing presentation to Regina City Council read. “They will have the power of self-determination. They will be like family to each other when we are gone. They will also need, and receive, the benefit of guidance, when they need a little help.”
Ron Warsaba hopes it will serve as a model for similar buildings in the future- offering peace of mind for parents, independence, and security for a family that’s chosen each other.