Today, every 20th person has some kind of disability. This allows 19 people to learn to accept, understand, and collaborate.
So far we have come
Since the beginning of the project, and after the evaluation of the users who are in the accommodation, a comprehensive preparation has begun. The goal of the preparation is to prepare the beneficiaries during their stay in the home as much as possible for the various situations that await them, daily, in community life. This practically means that it is necessary to wake up the sleeping skills or acquire some new skills necessary for daily functioning in the social environment.
Thus, users simulated life outside the home, including in community activities, going to the store, at the market ... Self-sustaining hygiene of space, personal hygiene, preparing meals, preparing and marking holidays, and more.
In December 2018, a contract was signed with the Local Community of Stara Moravica about the use of their residential building, the construction and furnishing of housing units within the project in order to prepare the users in a more natural environment, that is, an environment that is most similar to the environment in which users will live using the service of housing with support.
Along with the preparation of the beneficiaries, the process of improving professional support was carried out through two educations and two study visits. Education concerned the transformation of the social protection institution, deinstitutionalization, the importance of planning, the development of the plan and the preparation of users.
During the study tour, in June 2018, we visited examples of good practice in Slovakia and Serbia. In Slovakia, we visited an institution in transformation that, in the same way, by deinstitutionalization into smaller housing communities, returns users to the local community by providing them with a higher quality of service and life, with timely professional support. On the spot, we could see how users with very difficult developmental disabilities can live in supportive homes. In Serbia, we visited a residential community of housing services with the support of Veliki Gradište, which has six beneficiaries, de-institutionalized from the Gvozden Jovancicevic Institute from Veliki Popovac. The utmost importance of this visit is that the users of this service are engaged in various positions in the local community, which is very important in the process of engaging in community activities and achieving the right goal of deinstitutionalization.
In November 2018, a forum was held in the village, where people from the village were invited, and especially personal invitations were handed to future neighbours, in order to get acquainted with the goal of the project, the service concept and the users themselves. The villagers had the opportunity to ask question and resolve any possible doubts regarding the deinstitutionalization process.
Also, in order to promote the program of the project and the sensitization of the environment, with a special emphasis on young people, we participated in various sports events - where we achieved good results at football tournaments in Backa Topola and Stara Moravica.
Within the project, in the previous period, two round tables were held on the topic "Sustainability of supportive housing services" and "Challenges in the licensing process of supported housing services". Topics were selected in relation to their importance for most institutions and grant beneficiaries. Representatives of the Republic and Provincial Institute for Social Protection, representatives of institutions for accommodation of beneficiaries, Centre for Social Work and Local Self-Government were present at the round tables. At the real round table, there was also the director of an accommodation facility in Slovakia, who spoke to the audience about the process of de-institutionalization and transformation of institutions in Slovakia. During both days, the situation in the area of support service, basic difficulties was summed up, and the attendees actively participated in forming proposals for improving the quality of support services. Some of the more important issues that have been addressed are the establishment of a national social protection strategy, the use of funds from dedicated transfers, the competencies of local governments, the financing of support services, the restoration of business capacity, the prevention of further housing, the development of social protection services, lobbying for lifting the ban on employment and networking the service provider.
What is ahead of us ...
In the following period, we expect construction and equipping of two housing units in which eight tenants will live. Future tenants will create their surroundings, furnishing houses, yards and after all of everything - their lives in accordance with their aspirations.
Upon moving in, the goal is to create adequate programs to support their active involvement in various community activities, and to encourage their autonomy and community activism.
We want to become an active part of the community, to establish and maintain good neighbourly relations, to contribute and use the resources of the local community.
To live with you, and not next to you...