An innovative housing model that provides integrated support services to a mixed community of adults with physical, developmental and mental health needs demonstrates how the use of social and personal space intersects with social participation levels and the creation of an “intentional community”. Defined as a planned residential community providing services with a higher degree of teamwork than other settings where members hold a common social vision, focusing on the benefits of living together. For the purposes of this study, community is understood first and foremost as a geographical place. Tenants will be asked to look out for their neighbours and can expect the same help from others embracing the basic principles of community development. Findings from this five-year research project (2012 to 2017) at the new Reena Community Residence, in Ontario, Canada report on the lived-experience of a diverse population with special needs as they transition from various residential settings.
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