As we reach the final weeks of the Barry Street Blog, we’re looking back at the success of the project with those who played key roles – and also reflecting on the impact accessible housing has on CLRS’s clients. This week, we spoke to Lewis, one of the clients who is now living at Barry Street.
Lewis (or “Lewi” as he would say it) may be a man of few words, but his excitement about his new accessible home at Barry Street was clearly communicated when we spoke to him a few weeks ago.
When we asked how long ago he moved in, Lewi said, “Cool!” and held up 6 fingers – meaning 6 months ago. When we asked if he likes his new home, he said “Yeah! Good!”
Lewi’s Direct Support Professional (pictured above) added, “Lewi loves to come back and have lunch here in the day. So he’ll go out to do work, and then he’ll tell the workers that he wants to come home to have lunch… That’s how much he likes it”.
Lewi is one of many local people with disability who now call an Opening Doors Project house their home. Opening Doors Project houses are built to varying standards of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) – which is a set of standards that the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) have devised in order to provide safe and accessible housing for people with disability. The 4 units completed at Barry Street comply the Robust Standard of the SDA standards. The purpose of building these homes to this level, is to ensure they are secure and can withstand heavy duty wear and tear. Some of the features that have been adopted in these units are secure windows and doors, high impact wall linings, additional sound proofing, and laminated glass. Utilising the Robust level of SDA has created 4 new homes, which provide a high level of physical accessibility, the capacity for overnight support, and with safety and comfort at the forefront.
Throughout the Barry Street Opening Doors Project, CLRS have also engaged directly with members of the local disability community to consult on the design and construction of the units. The 2 ‘User Groups’ consisted of clients, client family members, and other people with disability. Leah Taaffe (CLRS CEO) says, “The idea of the User Groups is to provide a level of insight that we’ve not had before. It’s a personal insight, which allows us to ensure we’re designing these units to suit the needs of the people who … live in them.”
The 2 User Groups met with members of the Project Control Group to provide insight on what they felt was needed in the design of the Barry Street units. As individuals with a direct connection with disability and/or people with disability, they have provided their personal input to ensure a more holistic and well-rounded approach to the design and construction throughout the project.
CLRS have now completed four Opening Doors Projects, providing homes for 20 people with disability in the local community. In 2023, CLRS will be delivering a new Opening Doors Project – building 2 units in Spoonbill Street, Moama. This project has been majorly funded by a very generous donation from a local couple, who wish to remain anonymous. We have also already received support from 29 local businesses towards the project. This is the largest donation Community Living & Respite Services has ever received, and we are incredibly grateful for it.
Initiatives like ‘The Opening Doors Project’ are only possible through your support, so liking, following, sharing, and commenting are all fantastic ways to help spread the word on social media.
The projects are also dependent on fundraising, and couldn’t be delivered without the generosity of the community.
You can support the ‘Opening Doors Project’ by making a donation at https://www.givenow.com.au/clrs where all donations above $2 are tax deductible. You can also support by purchasing a ticket to our upcoming Fundraising Dinner at the Moama Bowling Club. This will be our 15th Annual Fundraising Dinner, and will feature guest speaker Peter Rowsthorn, who you may recognise as ‘Bretty’ in Australia’s most successful sitcom, Kath and Kim.
Please continue to follow along with progress and fundraisers being shared across the following platforms:
- Facebook ~ https://www.facebook.com/CLRSopensdoors
- Instagram ~ https://www.instagram.com/openingdoorsprojectclrs/
- Youtube ~ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwZi2fvGc57pdt6UMCsl8iw
If you’re new to the Barry St Blog series, we’d love for you to go back and take a look at our previous blogs and videos:
- AN INTRODUCTION TO ‘THE BARRY STREET PROJECT blog = https://clrs.org.au/an-introduction-to-the-barry-street-project/
- MAIN PREPARATIONS DURING THE DESIGN PERIOD blog = https://clrs.org.au/main-preparations-during-the-design-period/
- THE ROLE OF THE BARRY STREET USER GROUPS blog = https://clrs.org.au/the-role-of-the-barry-street-user-groups/
- WHY IS THE OPENING DOORS PROJECT SO IMPORTANT? blog = https://clrs.org.au/why-is-the-opening-doors-project-so-important
- CONSTRUCTION UPDATE WITH KYLIE BRUNS blog = https://clrs.org.au/construction-update-with-kylie-bruns/
- JACK BOURKE OF THE CONSTRUCTION TEAM blog = https://clrs.org.au/jack-bourke-of-the-construction-team/
- PETER GODFREY – ECHUCA METALAND blog = https://clrs.org.au/peter-godfrey-echuca-metaland/
- FIONA RAVERTY – PARENT OF CLIENT blog = https://clrs.org.au/fiona-raverty-parent-of-client/
- ALEX – CERNO PROJECT MANAGEMENT blog = https://clrs.org.au/alex-cerno-project-management/
- Leah Taaffe (CLRS CEO) recaps the success of the project blog = https://clrs.org.au/leah-taaffe-clrs-ceo/
- Leah Taaffe (CLRS CEO) gives an overview of the Barry Street Project video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWjs7uDY4rs
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Meet Alex Crabtree from Cerno video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-QmTEnH3uw
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Annie’s Insights video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxUB-yM5hOk
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Meet Alastair video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_KJCAbtGGA
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Meet Fiona video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGfPxwHWXy8
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Chatting to Kylie video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HagLuwI2wyk
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Meet Jack Bourke video = https://youtu.be/PSdQYnothEk
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Peter from Echuca Metaland video = https://youtu.be/D5gXvK2FKn8
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Fiona Raverty video = https://youtu.be/XWfMB1AHaQM
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Cliff & Maree Downey video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwAG1HyAc5c
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Alex from CERNO video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDoZ7c6Jxe0&t=4s
- Opening Doors – Barry Street Project – Leah Taaffe (CLRS CEO) recaps the success of the project video = https://youtu.be/L-twUekzCYM