Partners for life – supported living for adults with autism
within an urban environment
In recent years, Israel has begun to transition from an institutional living model to an assisted living model, as well as to a supported living model for people with disabilities. As a result, these services were developed, but only for high functioning people with autism.
However, with regard to people on the medium and low range of spectrum, only the institutional model is offered. That means twelve people living in six bedrooms, when two individuals share one bedroom. These houses have the same features as an institution, although they are located within the community.
Increasingly, parents are interested to have their children's needs met in a community which allows them to have maximum choice in their way of life. Moreover, it offers them a chance to fulfill their potential in all aspects of life, in the spirit of the "Equality for People with Disability" law and the International Human Rights Treaty of the United Nations for people with disabilities.
Advanced and up-to-date models and different studies around the world prove that an individual solution tailored to the specific needs of people who live with a small number of partners enable these individuals to have their wishes and needs met. In addition, they enjoy a maximal integration in the community and a good quality of life, even though these people are severely disabled.
Bakehila Organization for people with autism will establish an innovative model of rich community living intended for multiple groups of up to four individuals. This urban community will maintain close-knit ties between the individuals, their nuclear family and their partners' families. They will be living their life to the fullest, using existing urban infrastructure. This is a quality model of an urban environment, where most of the population lives and where most of our families live. We will nurture a close tie with the community and the broader family – beyond the immediate family members.
We will create multiple clusters of "family units" in a limited geographical area (neighborhood), consisting of up to four partners living in an apartment. These adults with autism will be able to choose their partners and live in quality supported living, where each of them has their own room.
The daily cost of living – food, clothing, taxes, utilities, etc. will be the responsibility of the partners' families. The financial support necessary for communal life will be sponsored by the Ministry of Social Affairs and by Social Services.
Each partner will receive an accommodated support from a professional staff, which will empower the individual, aid him in fulfilling his potential, and assist him in his social and recreational activities in the community and with his peer group.
Strength obviously springs from families collaborating to generate workable solutions. We therefore encourage family involvement in supported living. We will strive to create a quality neighborhood community that will work together on joint projects with community volunteers. The partners will use the local community resources such as country clubs, and will be assisted by local employment facilities, transportation, medical services and more.
The "Partners for Life" apartments are suitable for families that wish to enable their adult children with autism to live semi-independently within the community, while maintaining close emotional and physical ties to their families.