This project will support the purchase of furniture to create a space where our participants, along with members of the community, can gather, connect, share, and build friendships.
Take a moment and think back to a difficult or challenging time in your life. Who did you turn to, to support you through that time? Your family? Your friends? Both? Most of us have a circle of close friends we can count on to share the best and the hardest times of our lives. But what would it be like to go through these times with no one to turn to for help, no one to talk to, no one who would listen to you? To journey alone …
For adults who live with a developmental disability building friendships outside of family is one of the greatest challenges they face. Post completion of school social interactions outside of family are minimal. Many of the people in the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities are paid to provide support. While friendships between individuals and staff may be very meaningful, the fact remains that it is a professional working relationship, not a freely formed friendship.
We believe that one of the most important and rewarding things we can do in life is to build a circle of friends who will give to us when we are in need, and receive from us when they are in need. And that is true for everyone.
This funding will be used to purchase furniture for the ‘Gathering Area’ in our new building. The funding will be critical to create a space that is warm and welcoming where people can come together, share conversation, build relationship, and develop lasting friendships. Our hope is to create a home like space that is safe and comfortable for adults with a developmental disability to come together and share their lives, their hopes and their challenges. Imagine the emotional support and nurturing these adults might receive from having friends who can laugh about positive disability related challenges and commiserate about bad ones as well as, or in conjunction with, the more common friendship topics of TV, movies, romance and community events. Friends who have shared similar experiences. Friends who let you know you have a place to belong. Because that is really what this funding is going to create … A Place to Belong.
What is the estimated cost of this project? $7,000
What is the estimated date of completion of this project? 09/09/2019
Cornwall works hard to make parks, stores, and businesses accessible and inclusive for all people. But despite this some groups of people still miss out. People with developmental disabilities are one of these groups. In fact, they are often referred to as an ‘invisible population’ due to the perceptions and misunderstandings about who ‘they’ are and what ‘they’ can, or cannot, do.
This funding will take steps to change that by providing a safe area where individuals with developmental disabilities can come together, not just with each other, but also with members of the community. This building will be the first in the area created to be fully accessible, addressing both the sensory and physical needs of adults. The “Gathering Area” will provide a space where members of the community can connect and interact with those who have a developmental disability and get to know them for the people they are. It will provide opportunity for socializing, communicating, and developing friendships that build a bridge between those who do and those who do not have a developmental disability. Therefore, this space will increase accessibility and breakdown barriers to inclusion throughout our community.
That the people we are privileged to work with are just people like anyone else. They laugh, love, work, play, cry, and dream just like anyone else. Yes they have challenges in their lives resulting from having a developmental disability. But If you take the time to get to know each individual for the person they are, you realize it’s just a disability, just a challenge that they live with. What really matters is who they are. And that is not a diagnosis or a disability. It is a warm, kind hearted, generous, helpful, talented person who would love to get to know you and be your friend.