What Is A "Good Neighbour"?

Good Friends and Good Neighbours 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 succesful indepent living for persons with an intellectual disability are loneliness, isolation, safety and security.  The “Good Neighbour” by virute of their presence, serves as a social safety net for the other tenants in the building.

In exchange for affordable rent, the “Good 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 and a social safety net.  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 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 works within the individual’s home and is not located in or attached to the building.

The way in which community is created and each individual participates in it’s 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 buillding is a good neighbour there are at a miniumum two designated “Good Neighbours” per building.

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