Road To Relationships

Adam, 27, lives independently in a small rural Ontario community in an apartment building with thirty other people, “a community within a community.” Adam became part of this community in 2015 when he was asked if he would consider social housing. Adam’s parents and one brother also live nearby. Together with the support of his family and Jodee, his independent facilitator, Adam shares his journey of building more authentic relationships and increasing his community participation.

Adam’s openness to trying independent facilitation one year ago created an opportunity for both Jodee and Adam to take the time to get to know one another and build an honest and open relationship as a starting place to explore hopes and dreams.

Adam and Jodee met at the local coffee shop, in the home, in the community, and in neighboring communities, taking the time to get to know strengths, hopes and fears, and exploring ideas that appealed to Adam. Recognizing Adam’s “amazing sense of humour, creativity, artistic gifts, and culinary genius”, Jodee notes, “When I meet someone, I try to plan the same way. I see our relationship as a partnership marked by healthy discussions and an openness to constantly changing ideas.” Adam reflects on working together with his independent facilitator, “Honesty is a key factor, straight forwardness, and a sense of humour helps.” He adds that before meeting his independent facilitator a year ago, he had “not had the achievement of getting along with a worker,” noting that, “I am surprised that it is going as well as it has.” Jodee says, “I think our relationship is very reciprocal,” adding, “Facilitation provides a space for a very different kind of relationship.”

As Adam shared his interest in archery, an interest first shared with his father who was an archer, Jodee began to help Adam in bridging networks to locate an archery instructor who could work together with Adam to refine his skills. This involved exploring the development of a partnership with a professional archer in an archery club start- up where none existed locally before. Jodee notes, “Adam is in charge the entire way.” Reflecting on his hopes and dreams, Adam shares that he is doing alright with his fitness interest, doing laps around the track, and cooking for himself daily. He is able to share his thoughts and feelings honestly and openly with Jodee as he charts his course through life.

Jodee recognized Adam’s additional strengths and skills in social media, gaming, videos, and culinary experimentation with recipes. Adam’s descriptions and video instructions can be seen in his own YouTube channel he established in 2009 and together they consider the idea of an on-line blog. Adam’s explains how his community has grown through his appreciation of cooking and participation in neighborhood potluck dinners he attends in his apartment building. “The elders here have taken a liking to me. We gather for regular potlucks.” It is in sharing original home-made brownie and nacho recipes at these pot-lucks that Adam’s creativity is illuminated in his face-to-face relationships.

Adam continues building community participation and independence. Jodee shares, “In sharing your story about what is important to you, a conversation that may change how you are seen in the community may occur. On line, in the community and with your new relationships, family support, the apartment community, people got to know you.” Adam has found Independent Facilitation very helpful and meaningful, and shares, “If people are interested and get the opportunity, take it.”

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