‘It’s a humanitarian crisis’: Adults with developmental disabilities face housing shortage in London

‘It’s a humanitarian crisis’: Adults with developmental disabilities face housing shortage in London
“Our government has launched a comprehensive consultation with the developmental services sector, aimed at building an efficient and sustainable system for those who need supports and that $1.62 billion of that funding is dedicated to residential services.”

Wood said each case is reviewed on an individual basis and those who are determined to be most in need are prioritized for available resources.

The decades’ long wait times have created a situation where parents say they would rather their child pass away before they do, then be left behind in the current system.

“There is no one else to care for him, and if something were to happen to one of us or both of us, we don’t know how we would be able to cope,” Marie said.

“It’s almost grim but an easier thought to think he might go before us than for us to have to go before him. It’s the hardest thing a parent can think of, but what else do you do.”

Marie is not alone in that thought.

A non-profit in Kelowna is helping adults with developmental disabilities become artists

“I sometimes think I would rather she pass away before me because then I know she is at peace. It’s an awful thing to say, but we want the best for our kids, it means everything to us,” said Susan Bhatt.

Susan is a single mother, and her daughter Milani Bhatt, 32, has both down syndrome and is on the autism spectrum. She is non-verbal and needs help with everyday tasks, including going to the washroom.

“She is totally vulnerable to neglect and abuse; she would not even know if someone was abusing her.”

Susan’s husband died in a car accident when Milani was six weeks old, and since then, she has had to raise her daughter all on her own.

While taking care of her daughter around the clock, she also works part-time, trying to ensure she has enough of a pension to be able to retire one day.

Milani has been on the waitlist for 21 years, and they are no closer to getting help.

“There are hardly any new homes being built, and I really believe it would probably take something happening to me to get her a spot.”
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