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Janet’s Story

1921181_422286264582387_1515584338_oMy name is Janet Snazelle. I live in Montague, a small town on PEI. I grew up with my family in Alberta and then in Newtown Cross on PEI.

I lived with my mother until my step father died.
Then, when I was in my twenties, I moved into a group home in Montague.
I liked some things there, like parties.
But I wanted to move on.
The group home felt crowded.
I wanted to do things alone, with more independence.
Like walking to the library by myself….when I felt like it.
I felt that they put words into my mouth…what they wanted to hear.
There were some people there who thought that I could live more independently. …and they did help me move on.

I did move on. I moved into an apartment.
I shared it with one other person, Jane, and a support worker.
We were supported by the same organization that ran the group home.
We lived in one of Dr. Hambly’s apartments.
We had to move out of there after a while and we moved into a subsidized apartment.
I lived with Jane for a number of years.
Then Cathy became our support worker.

I like Cathy a lot.
But after a few years the organization that supported us wanted Jane and I to change where we lived without Cathy.
Actually they wanted me to move into the house which had been the group home.
But I said “No – I won’t move. I have this apartment. It’s in my name. And I choose to have Cathy live with me”.
I fought very hard. I was strong. I am proud of myself.
In the end they said they wanted nothing to do with my housing.
I said “Fine”.
So Cathy and I stayed together with no support service behind us.
And we’re fine!

I like the way I live. Cathy and I are friends. We share doing the groceries and we share paying the bills.
Cathy helps me with things that I need help with …… the bills and cooking. She goes to my doctor’s appointments with me.
She gets paid a bit for supporting me by the DSP program.
Cathy supports me when I am down, and I cheer her up when she is down.
It goes both ways. We are equals.
She does not look down on me or treat me like a child. That is very important.
And I have a cat, Boaz.

Having my own apartment makes me feel good about my-self. It’s a home to come to.
I can make my own decisions about what I do and when.

More people should be able to live like me.

For more information on Employment, please visit Social Policy Reform and Systems Change.