RASAID - a place where all are welcome and all relationships are honoured and respected.
We are a group of families from the Ryde area of Sydney. We had become increasingly aware of the lack of disability housing options in New South Wales and decided we must act. Decades of caring for our sons and daughters with intellectual disability were taking their toll. We were approaching retirement age without any prospect of being able to slow down.
Aged between 21 and 50 years, our sons and daughters were at the stage in their lives when they wanted and needed to be independent but had no way of achieving this. Their siblings were starting their own careers and families but still mum and dad (or in some cases, just mum) were providing around-the-clock- care.
The prevailing climate in the disability sector was one of crisis. Group homes existed but the only places ever available were for emergency situations - at the death or disablement of the parent carer and the absence of a silbing to take over. In the vast majority of cases, the one available place was in a distant suburb or regional town. We witnessed scenarios in which overnight, a person with a disability would lose primary carer, mother or father, and the only home ever known. In being sent to a place where everyone was a stranger, ties to community were severed, friendships lost and social connections gone. Families could not plan for a humane transition for their most vulnerable member.
In October 2004, we gathered for the first time, united in our determination that we could not let this happen to our children. We did not know then that it would take twelve years to fulfil our ambition. Our hope is that our battle has made it easier for those who follow and that our model may be replicated by others, with changes in design to suit individual needs.
Our delightful rose garden brings joy to residents and neighbours alike, adding scent and beauty to the streetscape. These plants were saved from the original garden on the property and are a daily reminder of the previous owner.
The RASAID Home - completed 2016
Decades of day to day caring has taken a physical and emotional toll but now - at last - I am able to enjoy being a parent to my son. We both love the time we spend together.