When we talk about Recovery there is no question that housing, having a place from which to build a life of wellness, is foundational.
If a housing candidate should roll up in a wheelchair, a property manager knows that a ramp and a parking place near by are in order. Providing housing for people with what we might call- an invisible disability, can be another matter.
This summer Colorado’s Division of Housing, in partnership with Housing Colorado, began hosting a series of trainings for housing professionals. As Maya Angelou said, ‘If we know better, we’ll do better’.
Exploring reasonable accommodations, recognizing behaviors, providing effective communications and skills to assist in de-escalation are just some of the tools that are explored. The real knowledge comes not only from the panelists, but the property managers, and maintenance personnel. The sharing of real life situations is invaluable. There are many ideas on how to lend the necessary supports to keep folks in housing in spite of some of the challenges.
Clearly, the greatest asset of all is the compassion of housing professionals. These are folks that care about their communities, and want to be a part of the success of people in Recovery. These are the real heroes in housing.