What Home Is… Art Show

Showcasing the Talents of Artists with Developmental Disabilities

Inclusive Housing Resources hosted an art show featuring original works of art by more than 50 adults with developmental disabilities at its office on October 21, 2021. All of the submissions were phenomenal depictions around the theme of what home is. Home is much more than a building. It’s something to take pride in. Everyone deserves a safe and affordable home to make their own. 

“Showcasing the artistic talents of our community and brightening the hallways of our office served as the perfect reason to host this art show,” said IHR CEO Gina Gehm. “These pictures are a visual representation of the work we do, providing homes for individuals with disabilities in the region.” 

For this competition, IHR supplied the art materials and partnered with InsideOut Art Studioto judge the entries. First, second and third place winners and an honorable mention were named. IHR awarded Kings Island passes (1stplace), a restaurant gift card (2nd place), a movie streaming service gift card (3rd place) and a piece of art glass and gift certificate (Honorable Mention) to the winners. The plan is for this artwork to fill the hallways of the IHR offices. 

Inclusive Housing Resources manages the Housing Network of Hamilton County and Partnerships for Housing.  Through these organizations IHR provides high quality, safe, affordable and accessible housing for adults with disabilities in Butler, Hamilton and Clermont Counties. IHR staff also perform accessibility environmental modification services for individuals with coverage under their Medicaid Waiver.

If you or someone you know is looking for housing for someone with a developmental disability or accessibility environmental modifications, we’re here to help. Referrals for our housing come through your local County Board. Please contact the person’s SSA for information about leasing from IHR. For any additional questions feel free to call us at 513-619-2929. 

Transitioning to a life of happiness and independence

IMG_0115“I love living here,” says Tina, who shares a home with housemates Carla and Ramona. The threesome has lived together for the past year, and they could not be happier.

Prior to their transition, life was more regimented and certainly more crowded — two of the three lived in a group facility, which housed more than 60 people.

In order for a smooth transition to occur, however, home improvements and modifications were required to make Tina, Carla, and Ramona’s home more spacious, accessible, and safe. Renovations were in store.

BathroomThe Housing Network of Hamilton County, who owns and manages the property, replaced the bathtub. To prevent falls, the nonprofit installed a large walk-in shower with handrails; doorways were widened, and a new door was built to make entry in and out of bedrooms more accessible.

According to Maria, who provides assistance to the three women, the new arrangement has provided Tina, Carla, and Ramona with a newfound sense of freedom, as moving out of the group home has allowed flexibility in their lives.

They now help plan their meals for the week and take on added responsibility by assisting with cooking.

“In the group home, there was no such choice, as meals were planned by the facility’s staff,” Maria says. “The move has also given them more ‘spur of the moment’ type opportunities. If they want to grill out that day, they can just go out on their deck and do it, while living in their previous home, things like that would require time and need to be approved.”

DeliquiaMoving into their new home has also given the three more flexibility when it comes to finances, as well. Instead of paying for the service of living in the group home, they now only have to pay for monthly utilities and food. It’s a much more affordable arrangement for all, and it allows the ladies extra spending money, which they’ve used to beautify their home (they love to keep it clean and decorated), and to purchase things like Halloween candy, which they passed out last year because they wanted to partake in community engagement.

TableMoving into their new home has led to tremendous benefits in Tina, Ramona, and Carla’s lives, Maria says, and the three take a great deal of pride in it.

“If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?” Maria asks.

Tina, Carla, and Ramona’s response: “Right here.”

Finding safety and sense of self in new home

IMG_20160602_175233No one knows how to best care for Shawn and Dusty, both of whom are autistic and require a great deal of assistance, better than their caregiver, Phyllis — a loving mother and grandmother who has worked with the pair for the past 20 years.

Shawn and Dusty made a life-changing transition upon moving into their new home a few months ago, which was acquired and is managed by the Housing Network of Hamilton County. According to Phyllis, the move is the greatest thing to ever happen to the two and can most fittingly be described as “a blessing from God.”

Shawn and Dusty’s old home is one Phyllis describes as being “unsuited for nurturing a safe and caring living environment.” She remembers nights where she would awaken to hear sounds of “pop-pop” and “bang-bang,” as gunfire could be heard on the streets nearby. Shawn and Dusty would often have outbursts, she says, which resulted from the amount of noise brought upon by the neighborhood.

IMG_20160602_175315On top of constant worry regarding the safety of Shawn, Dusty, and herself, Phyllis also had concerns regarding the safety of the property itself. Nightly, she was forced to chain the patio furniture in an effort to prevent theft.

After moving into their new home, however, Shawn and Dusty are living what Phyllis refers to, plain and simply, as “the life.” They are able to spend time outside without having to worry about traffic and violence; the only people they encounter during day-to-day activities are friendly neighbors — perhaps an elderly couple walking their dog — and the home is quiet, which has led to fewer distractions and outbursts.

Shawn and Dusty have acquired a newfound sense of belonging and independence, as they were forced to share their former home with two other housemates. According to Phyllis, the move has positively affected their lives on all accounts. Dusty and Shawn can now feel safe and at peace in their home, and for that, Phyllis is eternally grateful.