Image Credit: Yuri Dojc
Maddy is eight and she's already got a sense of what community living really means. Two years ago, her mother, Ellen, signed up to be an aide worker to Lori and Jocelyn, who live in their own apartment, thanks to the efforts of Community Living in Owen Sound. Ellen sometimes brings along a couple of "helpers."
"I want my kids to know Lori and Jocelyn. They may seem 'different' at first, but the kids have learned they share the same feelings. They like the same things. Lori adores babies and Jocelyn loves flipping through magazines with Maddy. They've become friends, for sure. Maddy never even noticed Lori was in a wheelchair. Kids are so pure. There are no stigmas for them. They're open and curious little sponges, ready to take it all in. So are Lori and Jocelyn.
"I hope I'm a companion. A confidante. A friend. It is very humbling. I love that Lori and Jocelyn can be in their own place � and not in an institutional setting where there are set meals and rules. We can 'wing it' here, and be responsive to who they are. That's a basic human right. To be able to be yourself."