By Heather Readman
Home Sharing is a concept that not everyone is familiar with, and yet it has the great ability to impact everyone involved and serves the community as well. We asked Heather to share her family's experience with us...
We are a Home Schooling family, consisting of 5 humans, two dogs and three cats. Life is busy for sure, but it's a good life.
A couple of years ago we did a home study with the intention of a Home Share. “Home sharing is a residential option in which an adult with a developmental disability shares a home with someone who is contracted to provide ongoing support. In most situations this involves very close relationships. The individuals within the home share not only their physical space, but also their lives.”1 However, there just didn’t seem to be a need in Summerland at that time.
My husband Mark and I were both working out of the house. We were feeling the pressure to get it all done. We began praying for God to show us how to juggle it all. During this time of struggle and prayer, we received an email with a potential opportunity for a Home Share.
We met a wonderful family who were looking for a Home Share situation for their daughter, Hannah. We were one of the families they were considering. We felt immediately like this was an answer to prayer. That summer, Hannah moved in and became part of our family. I was able to quit my job and work from home. It was a season of adjustments. The way our friends and family accepted Hannah, really embracing our new family, was so heartfelt! Hannah’s family, the professionals involved and the support from Summerland Support Services, all make up the team of people that are the backbone to our success in being able to provide good care.
This journey has had its challenging days, but also it has also been a blessing to all involved! Hannah moved closer to her family and our kids welcomed a sister!
There is need in our community for families who are willing to provide a Home Share and also for Community Support workers. I highly recommend looking into it... there is so much we can learn from these amazing individuals who are just asking what we all are; Love me, know me, recognize me, and accept me. Not too tall of an order at all. It’s such an amazing experience and I would encourage anyone who is interested in providing a Home Share or becoming a Community Support worker to inquire more with Summerland Support Services or myself.
1 Taken from Community Living, British Columbia Home Share webpage.