So we’ve read a lot about what the Opening Doors Project is all about, but this week we thought we would capture exactly why the project – including the Barry Street Project – is so important. To do so, we asked each of our key contributors to answer:
Why do you believe the Opening Doors Project is so important for our local community?
- For Leah Taafe (CLRS CEO), it’s all about giving people more options, and allowing them to live where they want to. She says, “It’s really important in our community because people with disability have significant issues in accessing appropriate specialised housing. And the purpose of this project is to build those houses in our local community, so that … you have the opportunity to remain in your community and you don’t have to move out of your community to find housing that suits your needs. You can stay … where you know everyone, where you feel comfortable, where you feel safe, where you have family… So we’re really passionate about providing that opportunity for people to live in the9r community as independently as they possibly can.
- For Fiona Raverty (mother to Dylan, a CLRS client), it’s about getting more out of life, having more independence and allowing for further growth. She says, “What I’m most excited about the Barry Street project is that we both get a little bit of independence back in our lives… even we found when he goes away and he’s been staying at a carer’s house, he’s really grown as a person – like he’s got out there, been more social…. So it would be nice for his independence to achieve more and get more value out of life.”
- For Alex Crabtree (from CERNO, Barry Street Project Management), it’s about inclusion and providing options. She says, “I think it’s important for communities to be more inclusive and be able to provide options and … really fantastic options for disability housing and disability living… and hopefully we can do that with CLRS’s project – provide a really high-quality product to contribute to that…”
- For Annie (mother to Dylan, a CLRS client), it’s all about empowerment and independence, saying, “I’ve always been quite passionate about trying to help Ryan be the best he could be and live as independently as possible”.
- For Alastair (from EDG, Barry Street Architects), it’s almost as simple as supply and demand. He says, “there’s a clear need for assisted-living projects in the community. With such great organisations as CLRS, more and more people are moving to the area simply for the services that are offered”.
- For Leanne Cuffe (CLRS Board Member, Barry Street Project Control Group), it’s about choice and lifestyle – but she also believes it’s great for the local economy. She says, “ The Opening Doors Project is important to the disability community because it gives people alternatives and choice to accommodation and housing. And it’s also really important to parents and loved ones and carers of people with disability to know that they do have options, if they’re no longer able to be cared for in … their present circumstances. So that’s a really big peace of mind to many people within our community… It’s also important for the people with disabilities – it improves their lifestyle, their access to community and gives them a new level of independence that they may not have had prior to shifting into these houses and units… also to the broader point of the community, it allows employment areas of opportunity through support and caring. And certainly through the build – CLRS and the Project Control Group are very conscious of trying to employ and use businesses within our local community where possible, to supply the things that we need.”
To summarise, in Leanne’s own words, “it’s just a fabulous project full stop, and ticks boxes for many areas within the community.”
The Opening Doors Project is only possible due to fundraising, and the generosity of the local community. We hope this blog has helped you to understand why it’s important to raise funds for the projects. At present, the Opening Doors Project MEGA DRAW is raising funds via an online raffle draw event. Tickets give you the chance to win a $10,000 Home Improvement Package, which will be drawn on November 30. They also give you access to smaller monthly prizes, generously provided by local businesses. To buy tickets or for more information about fundraising, sponsorships and donations – head to https://clrs.org.au/get-involved/opening-doors-project/