by Sheenagh Morrison
Hi I’m Sheenagh I’m going to tell you about a wonderful program. It’s called supported apartment living, or SAL for short, and it’s through Community Living Victoria. The program is located here in Victoria. There’s ten clients on site and four off-site. The staff have an apartment in the apartment building which they use as a office. They are at the apartment Monday to Friday from 9am-9pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm. They help us go to any medical appointments, grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, and budgeting.
We all get together every evening and watch Wheel of Fortune on television. We do other group activities like dinners out, movies, day trips. We go on hikes, swimming at a rec center once a month, and the IMAX movie theatre. We just got a therapy dog to come and visit us 2 times a month as we can’t have our own dogs. We also do our own group stuff once in awhile as well like coffee and walks. A lot of us take the bus everywhere we go.
We all have our own apartments, and we can come and go as we please. The four off-site people are in the outreach part of SAL, so they get the same support as everyone else. We range in age from 23-77.
I work at Thrifty Foods as a courtesy clerk, part time, and I’m also in Special Olympics on the swim team, so my support depends on the days I’m around. Someone else works at Target , someone else works at a gym, and other people are in day programs.
It’s a great program because we are like family, and a lot of us have a fun sense of humour. I wish there wasn’t such a big waiting list. To get in to the program, people are now interviewed, and come to a group activity to see if they’re a good fit, or if there’s a emergency case. I wish there were more programs like it across the country, and internationally.