A home of their own

The Red House, Tura Beach, officially opened

The ribbon was officially cut on Thursday, May 22, on a ground-breaking housing project which allows four local disabled adults to live independently.

The project was driven by four sets of local parents concerned about the future welfare of their disabled children.

Ron Russell, of Tura Beach said: “If anything happened to us, our daughter could be moved anywhere and we wanted to know that she could stay here with friends and the local support services.”

It was the common theme that drove the four sets of parents and culminated in the design and construction of the shared house, known as the Red House, Kangaroo Run, Tura Beach. Each resident has their own private area with access to shared communal areas.

The money for the land and the construction was made available through the previous federal government but in order for the project to work, it needed the support of the state government to supply care in an innovative model.

Virginia Fitzclarence, of WorkAbility, a service of the Disability Trust, said: “It’s is the first time we’ve done anything like this in this region. The service model is a self-managed one by the families. It is not service directed option and is a real fore runner in the world of self-determination.”

Service providers usually direct how care is organised but in this case the families decide how they want care provided.

Katrina Ewing, who’s son, Ross will live in the house, said: “A lot of young people with disability don’t have the option to move out of home. It’s a rite of passage for Ross and for me. Having just become a grandmother it will give me a chance to spend some time with my new grandchild.”

Parent Sue Carr said: “Our dreams have come true.”

In officially opening the Red House, member for Bega and NSW Treasurer, Andrew Constance said: “This is about four important lives in our community and everyone being given a chance to be part of our community. It’s a fundamental human right and this needs to become the norm but it was not possible without the support of the mums and dads.”

The project brought together local design and building expertise along with help from local Lions and Rotary Clubs and the community.

On Thursday, many of the neighbours and those involved in the project were present to see the outcome of their hard work and help celebrate with the four families.