Hilden 21 people with various disabilities live in the apartment building on Hochdahler Straße in Hilden, who organize their daily lives thanks to the support.
Anna-Sophie Gödde emphasizes that currently her favorite place is the living room of her attic apartment. When the sun shines in the warm season, it feels like a real sauna, the 35-year-old teaches maliciously. She was one of the first tenants of a residential building built in 2009 by the non-profit foundation Graf Recke on Hochdahler Strasse in Hilden. This also applies to Anna Dupke, also 35 years old: “I like it here because I can live here on my own” – she explains – and thus gives the key word: 21 people with disabilities live in the apartment building. Some of them – such as Anna-Sophie Gödde – receive support in their daily life from outpatient nursing care. Others – like Anna Dupke – live in a “special form of life” with 24/7 employee supervision.
The correct term is probably “help”. “It works wherever a barrier really exists,” explains Reimund Weidinger, director of social psychiatry and medical education at the foundation. Because the federal law on participation, the first three of the four stages of reforms that entered into force in 2017-2020, replaced existing welfare education for self-determination. It is no longer about comprehensive care, as in a classic home, but about strengthening people’s rights and allowing them to simply lead their own lives and pursue their own interests.
This idea has already been implemented on Hochdahler Strasse. “I like to meet my friends, listen to music and go to parties,” says Anna-Sophie Gödde, who works in a workshop for people with disabilities during the day. Ventriloquist Sascha Grammel made a special impression on her. “I was in the audience at two of his performances,” she reports, and also explains where there are still difficulties with the implementation of participation: would like to participate. “We support them in obtaining flexible care,” explains Annette Methfessel, Hilden’s director of health education in the social area of the foundation.
Another important aspect of participation is undoubtedly the ability to express and express your own and other people’s concerns – such as Anna Dupke, who is involved in the advisory board of the apartment building. “If the residents have needs, they talk to us,” he explains. It is about shopping as well as obstacles in everyday life. One of them was, for example, a sandbox on the sidewalk in front of the house, in which wheelchair users got stuck. The advisory board informed Mayor Claus Pommer by letter of the problem – and it has been resolved.
The Learn to Live Together Association campaigned to build a home – to enable young people, many of whom previously lived in their parents’ home, to become self-employed – and found a partner with the Graf Recke Foundation and Porters. With a relatively small number of housing units where the goal of independence can be better achieved despite the need for care, the apartment building was “almost new” in 2009, explains Reimund Weidinger.
The trend now goes even further towards ‘outpatient treatment’ – ie shared use of residential buildings by disabled and non-disabled people. At the same time, he emphasizes that, in addition to a clean living space, disabled people also need better access to education and sport – not to mention the elimination of fears of public contact. In order to build bridges to the neighborhood, a garden café is to be opened in the near future on Hochdahler Strasse. For Anna-Sophie Gödde it is clear: “I never want to leave here again.”