A home to share A Home to Share
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"The essence of community is a sense of belonging." Jean Vanier, Community and Growth

My Story:
SandyI'm Sandy, a resident of Central Oregon and parent of an adult child with Down Syndrome. I'm a single mom and love living in Central Oregon. The community of Sisters is small and quaint. Our home is in the downtown core within a few blocks of shopping, medical services, restaurants and the Village Green a gathering place for local activities, music, picnics, and other multiple town events.

My daughter, Lizzie, and I moved here in 2005 because of the safe environment and easy access for Lizzie to walk or ride her 3-wheeler to join in the activities. Lizzie has been able to work at the local Bed and Breakfast - preparing meals, greeting and serving guests, and running the B&B as an assistant innkeeper. She developed great rapport with guests as well as the locals and is well known in the Community. She now has a part-time job at the downtown drug store and gift shop where she brightens everyone's day when she shows up with her cheerful smile while greeting her coworkers with a hug!

It's an ideal situation, except for the key unanswered question that all parents must face: "What will happen to Lizzie if something happens to me?"

We all hope that our children will develop skills and become independent so that one day they can leave the nest and soar! But that hope is not always realistic for people with a developmental disability. Levels of functioning differ with every person, and we all need support in varying ways. But the daily living skills that independent living requires of the typical adult are often limited when a person experiences intellectual disabilities.

The option of living alone without daily support may not be appropriate unless friends and family are close by to check in frequently. So the main worry of a single mom or dad, without nearby relatives, is the ongoing care needed for their child after the parent passes on. We all need to belong to community with assurance that we won't be uprooted unwillingly. That's what I want for Lizzie - for her to be able to participate in a family household where she can exercise her skills with maximum independence while receiving the extra support she needs to stay safe and health ... a place that she knows is "home" where she is welcomed and cherished and contributes to the wellbeing of the household.

A Home to Share, Inc. is answering that key question for us by providing a safe environment in a community that honors and respects differences - a community that recognizes and values the gift that each resident can offer. The focus is on "family" - each person's strength adds to the whole. Life is vibrant. Companionship supports the journey. And the human spirit soars.