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AnglicareSA is opening doors and creating pathways for Disability & Wellbeing Services customers to be able to live with more independence.

Since August, six customers have moved into brand-new housing accommodation in Adelaide’s northwestern suburbs – a complex which includes three single-bedroom units and two three-bedroom units, as well as a community space, garden, and staff office.

AnglicareSA Manager, Accommodation Services Disability Support, Rebecca Curnow said the customers had previously lived together in a home where they only had their own bedroom and communal kitchen.

“The idea of this housing project was to offer a space where we can support them to develop those independent living skills,” she said.

“We want to help them build those skills, so they are able to do their own thing – things like shopping for themselves rather than communal shopping like they have always done.”

And it wasn’t just about rehousing the customers into a brand-new space, the Disability & Wellbeing Services team also worked on a co-design process with the customers, providing an opportunity to help shop for items, decorate, and set up their spaces how they wanted them.

“We wanted them to have ownership of their future,” Rebecca says. “They deserve to be able to live their best life, they deserve a nice new space to call home.

“It’s a space they have helped create and positive environments build positive people. That’s what we wanted, we wanted them to put their own personality into their homes.”

The residents are able to live independently, even those sharing a three-bedroom unit as the third bedroom is designed as a breakout room to offer a second living space.

And while much of the focus is on supporting independence, there are also opportunities to come together for regular activities and events.

“They have regular Friday barbecues, basketball, exercise circuits in the central garden space, fruit trees and vegetables, and even the local SA Police Community Constables drop in from time to time to challenge the residents to a few games of table tennis.”

Working closely with Believe Housing Australia, the tenants are learning about their responsibilities of living independently – tasks like housekeeping and maintaining the neatness of a property.

“We are hoping they can learn, grow, and develop these skills to a point where some perhaps see it as an opportunity to be able to live independently without the around-the-clock staffing support on offer at this property,” Rebecca said.

“In such a short space of time they have become so house proud.

“They have told staff to knock on their door any time and they’ll let them know if they are busy, or they are asking for advice on things such as how to fix up a mark on the wall.

“They take great pride in where they live.”