Housing for People with illnesses, disorders and disabilities should reflect the community and be like their neighbors. The notion that people who require support, services and programs should live differently misses the point that they will benefit from inclusion, not exception.
At EDCSPIN, our People live in “Houses like Mine”
“Houses like Mine” is a constant reminder that the block, neighborhood, furnishings, community involvement and cultural access of those who need help should not be anything less than we want for ourselves. Of course, no two houses are identical and the internal characteristics of houses are as individual as those who reside there. Therefore, when we try to provide residential services, we are always mindful that each individual plan of service needs to be person-centered and individualistic. People with illnesses, disorders and disabilities want to participate in the world and enjoy a special place in the community just as the rest of us do. And they should.
Evelyn Douglin Center for Serving People In Need, Inc.’s (EDCSPIN) focus is on providing individuals with developmental disabilities and/or mental retardation the opportunity to learn skills needed to reach their highest level of independence while insuring they experience the same privileges and opportunities enjoyed by all members of our society. Our philosophy is to provide individual services that address their specific needs within their own communities promoting a positive learning experience. Through this person-centered approach, EDCSPIN encourages our program participants to strive to reach their potential within familiar environments. Within “Houses like Mine.”
Any person, government entity and/or organization involved in residential care for persons with special needs may wish to consider the following Statement of Values we aspire to at EDCSPIN in servicing people with disabilities:
Persons with Disabilities First
We will measure everything we do against a simple standard; is this good for the persons with disabilities we serve? If not, we will not do it. The safety and well-being of those we serve can never be compromised. We always welcome input from families, advocates and providers.
We will honor the trust of the families of those we serve and those who pay for our services. We will conduct ourselves ethically and within the law at all times. We will communicate honestly.
We will act with fairness at all times. We appreciate the need to balance work and family life. We respect individual differences. We welcome open communication and promote inclusiveness.
We value teamwork and the need to have everyone paddling at the same time, in the same direction, toward the same goal. We want our employees to grow so the reach of our good works can also grow. We seek to recognize effort and achievement and to express gratitude for jobs done well.
We are accountable for the proper use of funds. We are committed to transparent reporting that is so essential to healthy and trusting relationships.
We value each other and believe no one’s role is more important than another’s. We are all about serving those in need and we are all in this together, working to enhance the lives of those we serve.
If you grapple with the question of what should “Housing for People with Mental Illness, Substance Use Disorders and Developmental Disabilities” involve, you may want to ask yourself, what would I want in my own house? For most of us, what values are lived out is more important than what amenities there are. Ideally a home is a place where we can count on Love, Trust, Safety and Respect. When you consider that those with disabilities deserve no less, you may soon realize that they really only want a place they are proud to call “Mine.”
At EDCSPIN, we believe it is not how you fill the house but how you fill the hearts of those we serve in the house. For us, that takes a daily commitment to our own values.