Principles of Normalization
We seek to make available to the person experiencing mental health problems, patterns and conditions of everyday life which are as close to the norms and patterns of the mainstream of society.
ARA Inc. also strives to provide the mentally ill with the skills necessary to maintain their mental health and to increase autonomy. Thus, reintegration into society through training and the creation of a stable environment are integral components of ARA’s ideology.
Our organization has the following four components:
- It is our intention to provide and/or assist in finding housing for individuals living with a mental illness. The main types of housing at this time are the community residences with 24-hour support and subsidized housing with minimum support. In the Community Residences with 24-hour support, our objective is to provide maintenance through group living and/or apartment living. The Community Residences cradle a homelike atmosphere conducive to the acquisition, development, and retention of skills necessary for independent living in the community. Three of the Community Residences with 24-hour support are for long-term care clients. Another two residences are focused on short-term care (Transition House & Crisis Intervention Centre). The subsidized housing complexes are primarily a financial arrangement that enables individuals living with mental illness the option of lower monthly rent. They are provided with minimal staff support (with access to more support if deemed necessary). ARA clients will be oriented toward one type of housing or the other, depending on their perceived level of functioning with respect to their independent living skills. Subsequently, systems are in place to assess and respond to the training and housing needs of each person.
- Over the past few years, ARA Inc. has transformed its service to provide care to individuals who require preventive support to maintain his or her current level of functioning.
This leads us into ARA’s second objective, which is to preserve and develop the skills of lower-level functioning clientele. These individuals require much encouragement, attention, and supervision, as their needs are much more complex. Consequently, ARA has opened a new residence on Church Street and converted the residence on Cameron and Hall Street to Levels 3-4 Residential Facilities.
- Promoting independent living remains an important aspect of our organization’s purpose. It is expected that residents will achieve a higher level of autonomy, enabling them to move to a less-supervised environment. This objective is achieved through programs providing instruction and assistance with: food management, money management, proper medication intake, activities of daily living, laundry, social skills, leisure activities, awareness and utilization of community resources, etc.
The resident will be supported by staff in order to monitor progress and to discuss any difficulties. The maintenance and further development of skills are achieved through interactions and visits by staff, interactions with roommates, the use of community resources, and the opportunity to participate in organized activities.
- While continuing to provide quality residential services, ARA has extended its portfolio to encompass the next logical step in the healing process – Autonomy. The Affordable Community Apartments (ACA) project offers the clients single residential lodging. Ultimately, the goal is to offer the client the opportunity to live safely and independently within society while still having access to various support services.
These furnished apartments are constructed to meet the specific needs of our clients and will be rented to those who are stable and capable of living on their own with minimal support. Each resident will be expected to spend 30% of his or her monthly revenue toward paying rent. By offering residential stability and flexible support services to these residents, ARA hopes to minimize hospitalization costs by lowering the number of hospital readmissions, resulting in a healthier community and economy.
Finally, ARA supports clients who have fully reintegrated into society and are now living on their own. These clients are a ray of hope for others living with a mental illness.
Overall, our objective is to provide the client with the skills necessary to become autonomous and thus, capable of training and individual development. In essence, we seek the advancement of these individuals and the enhancement of their quality of life through education, motivation, and support.
In order to meet our primary objectives, ARA will strive to attain the following operational goals:
- To develop a continuum of residential services of high standard which offers increasing opportunities for social integration and independence.
- To recruit, develop, and maintain a well-motivated and trained staff, committed to our overall mission.
- To ensure the availability of and access to a range of outside resources through planned and coordinated relationships with other services in the area.
- To develop and maintain an active and informed governing Board that formulates general policy and direction of the agency with clear lines of ongoing communication with the General Manager.
- To develop and maintain a management structure that is responsive to the needs of consumers, staff and the governing Board through acquiring, adapting, distributing, and applying existing and new resources so as to achieve the above goals.