Our Home, Inclusive Community Collaborative Thrilled to be Championed by Project Partners in Recent Oregon Live Op-Ed Piece
A recent op-ed published on Oregon Live, calls for social justice solutions to the growing problem of lack of community-based housing choices for people who experience disability. The co-authors of the column, Angela Hult of the Wayne D. Kuni and Joan E. Kuni Foundation and Joe Wykowski of Community Vision, highlight the ongoing crisis with some stark facts. According to Family Caregiver Alliance, approximately 39.8 million caregivers provide care to adults 18 years or older with a disability or illness. Of those caregivers, 34 percent are 65 years of age or older. As parents age without options for their loved ones, individuals with disabilities face uncertainty about where they will live when their family can no longer care for them. As a nation made up of communities and families, we have done little to address the real needs of those who experience disabilities in the more than fifty years since President Kennedy called for a reduction of the number of persons confined to residential institutions.
One Step Toward a Community-Based Solution
Looking at the magnitude of this problem, the need to focus on incremental change at the level of personal relationships, the level of community, becomes clear. Collaboration between individuals and organizations is an important first step toward reducing systems dependency and building real, inclusive and diverse communities. That’s why we were absolutely thrilled to have our first cohousing-inspired development–Our Home – Cathedral Park–called out in the column:
Our Home – Cathedral Park, in Portland, is an example of the innovation and collaboration we need. The co-housing inspired community will have home ownership opportunities for individuals and families of diverse abilities, ages and incomes. Co-housing fosters intentional connections through shared indoor and outdoor spaces, the sharing of items like tools and garden equipment and collaboratively planning and managing activities, including child and elder care and carpooling. The St. Johns project includes 22 universally designed condominiums, which means they are accessible to people of any ability, with both subsidized and market-rate units. Up to 25 percent of the units are intended for families and individuals who experience an intellectual or developmental disability. The location will provide access to jobs, education and health care. The project benefits from strong collaboration among nonprofit, government and for-profit organizations, including Community Vision, Metro, Proud Ground, Habitat for Humanity, and Urban Development Partners.
Moving Forward, Building Strong Inclusive Communities Together
Our Home, Inclusive Community Collaborative, along with our first built cohousing inspired community, Our Home – Cathedral Park, is deeply grateful for the opportunity to work with individuals and other local and national organizations. Together, we are beginning the work of addressing the lack of secure, consistent housing choices for individuals who experience disability by creating inclusive, non-disability specific, diverse communities. By starting small and building on our successes, we will work to address the issue of isolation by fostering strong bonds of community.
Thank you to our partners at Community Vision, the Kuni Foundation, Metro, Proud Ground, Habitat for Humanity, and Urban Development + Partners for seeing the need on both the individual and larger scale and stepping forward to collaborate toward building real community connections to address this ongoing crisis. is actively seeking partners and community members. Please join us in building the future of inclusivity.