Nonotuck Resource Associates, Inc. (on behalf of the New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation as well as its American and international partners) is proud to have recently contributed to Home is the Heart of Shared Living: An International Gathering. This brand new event celebrating shared living all over the globe took place virtually on November 3 and November 4, 2022.
Nonotuck and President/CEO George H. Fleischner helped advise the New York Alliance on the event, along with a host of international organizations. As part of the event, George co-presented on the innovative Brooklyn Street, a cooperative “intentional community” in the Berkshires. George was joined by Mary Lou Accetta, a Brooklyn Street cofounder, and Chair of the Nonotuck Board of Directors.
Mary Lou Accetta and George H. Fleischner will tell the story of an Intentional Community in North Adams Ma. The goal of Brooklyn Street Neighbors is to create a community that combines the best aspects of our childhood with insights from more recent decades. For us, this means a neighborhood where children can play safely, neighbors can count on each other, families live separately but share many resources, that promotes healthy and sustainable living, and includes a common space for regular community events. Mary Lou and George will speak to the development of BSN and the natural yet intentional integration of people without disabilities with people with disabilities.
Longtime member of the Nonotuck community Cheryl Ryan Chan—her son has received services from Nonotuck for 10 years—presented her shared living journey in the session entitled “They Said He's Too ‘Dangerous’ to Succeed: How Showed Them How Wrong They Were.”
“My son Nicky spent 5 years in a hospital-based institution for severely behavioral children. They locked him behind a desk & put him in restraints any time he did anything they decided they didn't like. When it was time for him to transition into adult services, the agency said he was a monster who would never have any value to the world. I refused to believe them. After learning about SL - and being given a challenge by an adult agency director to have more faith in my son's potential - I embarked with that director to create a "hybrid" SL situation: SL with group home staff levels to provide what was necessary to be safe and access his community. 10 years later he & his provider Ben share a life of love, dignity & everything bachelors do that Mom doesn't need to know! Here's our story.”
Find all of the 2022 sessions on the Home is the Heart of Shared Living website.
Learn how Nonotuck developed a love-based ideology of care. We started our shared living program as an alternative to group homes for people with disabilities. Instead, Shared Living creates genuine life transformation for people with disabilities, as well as families and communities. The true power of caregiving is found through hospitality, authenticity, and love.