“I feel safe. I feel cared about.”
Richard moved to Options Bytown in December of 2015 and since then his life has taken the right turn. He was unhappy and frustrated with the conditions where he had previously lived and discussed a move somewhere else. Options Bytown was suggested as a safe, permanent housing opportunity and Richard agreed and moved into an apartment at 380 Cumberland Street. Housing support workers try to make the transition to an Options Bytown apartment as uncomplicated as possible for the tenant. Plans are made in advance to ensure the new tenant can be successful in keeping their housing for the long term.
The first thing they did for Richard was to help him de-clutter his vast amount of belongings. They helped him to organize his apartment and continue to work with him on cues around discarding of clutter. They provided him with a cue card to help him with his budgeting. The cue card asks simple questions like, “Do you really need this item?” His new apartment is now clean and easier to keep tidy and he is working hard on his hoarding issues. Richard loves to eat and cook and he participated in the weekly breakfast program, baking group and collective kitchen activities from the very beginning. He is proud to announce that he has learned to make spaghetti with meat sauce (one of his favourite dishes). The housing support worker referred Richard to Ottawa Carleton Life Skills to learn proper budgeting and healthy eating habits. Richard has a job at Walmart where he works 20 hours a week and he volunteers at the Good Day Workshop where he is busy helping to repair and refinish wooden furniture.
Options Bytown has provided Richard with a rich mosaic of neighbourhood connections and activities in order to make friends and become part of a community. He appreciates the support he receives from the staff at 380 Cumberland St. and says that it really makes him feel safe and cared about. Richard is the first to say that his life is back on track because he is living in permanent, safe housing with supports. Living in an Options Bytown supportive housing apartment has enabled him to achieve independence and live a lifestyle where he can find contentment.