Elmira "Field Of Dreams" Housing Community

"Good Friends and Neighbour"

Good Neighbour - Expression of Interest

    If you are interested in exploring the possibility of becoming a Good Neighbour you can contact Lisa Reitzel at lreitzel@elmirasupportivehousing.com   We accept applications from single persons, couples, couples with children and pets are viewed as good neighbours and so must fit into the community.  We require a letter describing your interest in becoming a tenant and why you feel this is a good fit for you and a current resume.  References and a criminal reference check would be required if the application were to move beyond the interview stage.  We interview for new tenants as vacancies arise.  The selection process is not based on first come first served basis, we match the tenant to the culture of the building if we have several applications that are equally suitable for that particular building then the length of time on the waiting list would have some weight.  Should you choose to submit an expression of interest it would be kept on file for our consideration at an appropriate time.  We ask that should interest or circumstances change, that you would contact us and have your name removed.

Field of Dreams Housing Community

     It is the intent that this housing community will provide a broader living experience than just individual/private apartment living. The Elmira Developmental Support Corporation wishes to create community among the tenants that promotes a sense of belonging and ensures safety for all who live in the building and addresses issues of loneliness and isolation. The design of each building includes one and two bedroom apartment units. The units vary in size respectively from 640 sq. ft. to 1100 sq. ft. Some units have the plumbing for in-unit laundry and there is a common laundry room. Fridge, stove and window coverings are provided. There is a large common room with all the amenities including a small equipped kitchenette, electric fireplace, cable television, DVD player, all intended to create community within the building. There is a large private patio equipped with a gas barbecue and several picnic tables at the rear of each building.

Good Friends and Neighbour Concept

     The need for quality affordable housing is shared by many members of any community. The need for community and the sense of a broader belonging and purpose in the way we live is shared by most. They are fundamental elements of what it means to be human. Time and circumstance influence the applicability of this for any individual considering a shared living experience. Apart from the need for quality affordable housing the two biggest challenges for transition to successful independent living for persons with an intellectual disability are loneliness and isolation and safety and security. The “good friend and neighbour” by virtue of their presence, serves as a social safety net for other tenants in the building.

     In exchange for an affordable rent the ‘good friend and neighbour” agrees, along with all the tenants, to assist in the development of community within the building and to be part of creating a safe and secure environment. In short a caring person concerned for the well- being of their neighbour. The decision to become a “good neighbour” should be fundamental to the nature of the individual, care and concern for others and not motivated primarily by financial benefit.

     The “good friend and neighbours” are not paid staff. Individuals requiring assistance to live independently are responsible for the provision of those supports and the persons paid in that capacity work within the individuals’ home and are not located in or attached to the building.

     The way in which community is created and each individual participates in its development is not based on a time commitment, it is not scripted and it is not formally monitored. It is measured more in the self-evident culture that they create over time within the building. It demonstrates a culture of belonging, of shared living, friendship and safety. However, it should be understood that the creation and maintenance of this culture requires a time commitment. Although everyone living in the building is a good neighbour there are at a minimum two designated “good friends and neighbours” per building.

The application process: Includes the provision of a letter of intent and a current resume for our file. When a vacancy occurs suitable candidates will be interviewed and required to provide references. The provision of a criminal reference check (when requested) suitable for a person involved in the vulnerable sector will influence the application outcome. Please note not all applicants will be interviewed.

Selection Process: Applicants are not interviewed or selected on a first come first serve basis. Applications are screened and individuals will be interviewed based on suitability to the culture of the building that the vacancy exists and the merits of their resume, the interview ,reference checks and financial need for affordable housing.

If interested contact Lisa Reitzel

Email: lreitzel@elmirasupportivehousing.com

Food for thought

For the purposes of this housing undertaking and the role of a “good neighbour” please consider the following two comments.

A house is a residential structure that is reflective of the people who work there. A home is reflective of the people who live there. Community is influenced by the people who live there and their desire to create a safe and caring environment for all.

When I am returning home, if it feels like I am going to work, something isn’t right.