Imagining Home

Since 2015, like-minded families have been delving into finding and creating “home” for a loved one with a disability. 

Principles that guide our actions…

and what they mean for housing.

The Imagining Home group operates amidst a set of principles the group developed and maintains. 

Scroll right to see what guides the group

Scroll right to see what guides the group

Principle 1

Life happens best in familiar and typical ways in ordinary community – one person at a time, based on the interests of the person and following natural rhythms and patterns where home is the anchor, starting and ending one’s day from home with natural breaks and rests happening at home. 

Principle 2

It is important to always begin with the person and their interests – who they are, who they might be, their deep qualities, their skills and gifts – and then to listen deeply, again and again as they reveal more and shift and grow over time – these will provide the common ground with other citizens in their neighbourhoods and communities and afford the opportunities for genuine contribution that will be welcomed and valued by others. 

Principle 3

Supports and plans are best arranged around individualized options – arrangements uniquely designed to bring out the best in your son or daughter and what they have to offer – not separate and apart, or grouped with others with disabilities. 

Principle 4

Typical and diverse settings in familiar community places will provide natural safeguards and other community members will be role models, teachers, potential friends, and eventually appreciative recipients of the person’s presence and contributions. 

Principle 5

Relationship is part of a rich full life and provides essential safeguards where people are vulnerable. Ways to focus on the developing the kinds of situations where relationship will arise will be interwoven into all discussion – situations where a person is present among other citizens frequently and regularly, in places and ways where they share a common interest with others and where they have a role which offers their own contribution to others. 

Principle 6

 Our goal is to get beyond mere presence – just being there – and to look at authentic participation and real inclusion and these things are only possible when we help people to hold and build upon valued roles which include contribution, take place in community and involve other citizens. 

Principle 7

Shared decision-making is an essential part of the listening and learning process – the voice of the individual is important and shared decisions will be made among the important people in their life. 

Principle 8

Simple everyday choices are a given within the everyday limitations we all experience, but these are also within the larger context of figuring out how each person can be truly involved in being a part of governing the direction of their lives. 

Principle 9

This good life in community is for everyone regardless of ability or support requirements, and in fact, may be especially powerful for and suited to those with complex support requirements. 

Principle 10

 Because we believe that ours is and can be an abundant community, our search for belonging and relationship will seek out groups and opportunities where there are not yet people with disabilities because these will be richer with more unique opportunities with the greatest potential, and where community members stand to gain the most benefits from coming to know this one person. 

In terms of housing,

these ideas mean that we are looking to imagine, plan and move into home situations which are: 


Designed for and with one person at a time, realizing that no two people will have the same ideas, interests or preferences in home, housing or support; 

Focused on each person so that they feel they are in a “home of my own” where they are in charge in typical and important ways; 


Anchored in diverse neighbourhoods where they are not grouped with others with disabilities and seen as “one of them”, but rather where they live in homes with and among others so that they are seen as “one of the neighbours”; 

Places of security and identity from which to take on roles where they contribute to their community and enter into new relationships with others in ordinary and typical ways and in ordinary places in their community. 



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