Being in community means having friends and allies, people who will support you when you need it. It also means being able to help out others. And it means feeling that you own a space of the world we live in and share.
Our community connection workers come alongside isolated people to find ways to link them with others or find valued roles in the community, like employer/employee or volunteer or simply good mate.
Here are some stories to illustrate the work:
A person we support – let’s call her Dianne – is desperately lonely. Dianne lives with a range of disabilities and is excluded by many people in her locality.
Our workers have recently helped her to meet a young woman who has made a commitment to spend time with her. Dianne regularly visits this woman for meals and for coffees. She has met others in the household who also offer friendship and assistance with a range of things.
We have begun talking to Dianne and others in her support network about how we can develop a share-housing situation where she can share more of life with others.
A man – let’s call him James – lives with multiple disabilities. When frustrated or anxious he often became aggressive or violent. He was evicted from a number of low budget hostels and placed in lockup facilities for people who are a risk to others.
With his consent, we organised a voluntary circle of support to look at ways of improving his life opportunities. Some people in the circle contributed for a few months by assisting him and taking him out to places, and one man has made a long term commitment to James. We have also advocated at high levels of government for James. He is now out of the lockup facility, has funded supports and is living in an independent unit. His ally from the circle of support still spends regular time with him, catching up and going out to community events.
James’ life opportunities have been significantly increased by a combination of funded supports, having his own accommodation and having some freely given community relationships.
Contact us if you or someone you know may be interested in finding out more about community inclusion.
There is no cost for this service. The service is funded by the Department of Communities (Disability Services).