Everyone deserves a comfortable, safe place to live. At Baptist Care SA, finding homes for clients with a disability is often the first step in their journey towards independent living.
These clients might be moving from a parent or guardian’s home into their own place. They might be coming to the end of their current home’s lease or are simply unhappy in their current situation. In some cases, they are being discharged from a hospital or facility and have nowhere to live.
It can be a stressful time for clients, but Baptist Care SA works with them to find housing solutions, as Lisa Farrell-Smart, Senior Manager Disability Pathways at Baptist Care SA explains:
‘We work with our clients to determine their needs. They often want to be close to their work, shops, or another support network. Some of our younger clients need a home close to their school. And of course if a client uses a wheelchair to get around, they’ll need a home that is modified and allows easy access. Finding a home that meets these requirements, and is available, can be a long process. Sometimes temporary accommodation must be found until a long-term solution is found.
Transitional Housing is a one of Baptist Care SA’s unique services. In emergency situations, Baptist Care SA will find a temporary home until a more permanent solution is found for a client.
Some of Baptist Care SA’s clients have challenging behaviours that require special-build homes. Called ‘Robust Housing’, these homes are designed and built to be incredibly strong and with features like shatter proof windows, for the protection of the clients and the support workers, who are with them 24/7.
Clare McMullan is the Client Engagement Manager at Baptist Care SA and helps find housing for disadvantaged clients on a daily basis.
‘There is a real shortage of Robust Housing in the Adelaide Metropolitan area. So to help alleviate this gap in the market Baptist Care SA has developed a Disability Housing Strategy, which includes the building of up to nine new Robust Homes in the next 12 to 18 months to help meet our clients’ needs.”
Disability housing is a challenge, but one that Baptist Care SA meets head on. “I think the key is in the relationships we have,’ explains Lisa Farrell-Smart. “The most important relationship is with our client of course, but over the years we’ve developed strong ties with the Adelaide disability support network and real estate property managers.”
Disability housing is and will probably always be a challenge, but Baptist Care SA will not stray from their desire to support clients have the best life they can, true to their promise of ‘making life better together’.