Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Warehoused: Nova Scotians with Disabilities Face a Housing Crisis

From Huffington Post Canada - an in-depth look at Nova Scotia’s system to provide housing for persons with intellectual disabilities which is overburdened and bureaucratic as governments keep promising to fix it. As journalism students in the investigative workshop at the University of King’s College discovered, our most vulnerable citizens are essentially warehoused.
Penny Kitchen
Nancy Walker’s partner had never seen her so upset. She had cried through the entire meeting with her son’s social worker, and would continue to cry “pretty much for the whole year. Every single day.”
This isn’t what she’d wanted. This isn’t what she’d wanted at all.
Ben James, her 19-year-old boy-becoming-man, had severe autism. He
Paul Gilllis
was in public school and had improved his communication by using picture-and-words systems and new technologies available for autistic people on iPods. He loved swimming, went bowling once a week and thrived at his recycling centre job.Walker had dreams for him.
But James could be violent. The six-foot-two, 230-pound teenager’s kicks, scratches, bites and head butts were nearly always aimed at his mother. Despite the stronghold that was his bedroom – reinforced walls, double studding, a Plexiglas window and a steel door – Walker still had to find ways of avoiding her son’s demands, and physical outbursts when they weren’t met.

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