The 5 Principles of Supported Living Explained

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Jay Nolan Community Services (JNCS) offers a wide variety of services and resources that are customizable for each individual. One of these services is Supported Living Services. But what is Supported Living? And what makes it so important to the individuals we support?

What is Supported Living Services?

Supported Living at JNCS is an independent living service for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. It is not a care home, nor is it residential living. The goal always is inclusion in all aspects of society; and that means living independently in your own home or apartment out in the community with whatever supports necessary to be successful.

Jay Nolan prides itself on the Five Principles of Supported Living:

1. A Home of One’s Own

JNCS advocates for the independence and autonomy of each person we serve and encourages the personal touch that makes a house, condo, or apartment into a home of one’s own. The people we support decide where they would like to live and with whom they would like to live with. It is their safe space that belongs to them. They decide what they want and what works best for them.


2. Choice and Self-directed

The people that JNCS supports have decision making opportunities not found in most agencies. The people we serve are able to determine the course of their lives. Basic choices such as when to wake up or what they want to eat, are left entirely to them. Daily choices and rights that most people take for granted are often withheld from Autistic people or other developmental disabilities. But not here. Here at JNCS, Director of Southern California Supported Living, Jorge Preciado, advocates: “Choice is big.” Choice is everything. Why shouldn’t those who Jay Nolan supports have access to the same rights as everyone else? It doesn’t make a difference how big or small a certain human right may seem; if you deny one, you deny them all.

“It doesn’t make a difference how big or small a certain human right may seem; if you deny one, you deny them all.”

 3. Relationships

Every person we serve has a circle of support. Everyone’s contribution is valued. At Jay Nolan, we strive to reach far beyond employer and client roles; we attempt to help foster new relationships at every level. We encourage the expansion of circles and supporting new relationships, whether platonic or something more. As Neerod Haddad, Director of Southern California Supported Living, eloquently says, “It’s how we connect with the world [because] the more relationships, the better.” Jay Nolan’s role is to help the people we support navigate any and all relationships no matter the purpose. Whether it is with Regional Centers, medical professionals, or even family members, friends, and partners. We can help support healthy relationships that add meaning and value to everyday life.

Family and JNCS staff sitting on a couch


4. Community Membership

Everyone is part of some community, even if we cannot see it clearly. Jay Nolan’s goal in supporting people to become an active participant is to encourage reciprocal relationships as well as community engagement. Actively participating in their community demonstrates the ability of the people we support to live independently. It also helps to foster each persons’ status as contributing members. The beauty of this is that there are no limits on how many communities a person can be a part of. Everyone has a right to be a member of the community of their choice.

5. Flexible, Tailored Support

Customizable services and supports for each person is the key to success.  Services are chosen and a person centered plan is created with the supported individual. We support people to be able to oversee and manage their supports based on their needs and desires. Then, as a person’s needs change as they grow older or encounter changing life circumstances, so can their customized plan change. There isn’t a written rule for how someone is to live their life, nor should there be rules for what the people we support want out of their lives.

Not only do these people live the lives they want, but support staff and supervisors are able to be a part of it as well. Customizable services and supports also teach Jay Nolan staff the importance of flexibility in everyday life, staff learn from the person they support just as much the people we serve learn from the circle. Each circle member adjusts their roles and responsibilities to better serve the changing needs of the person they are supporting.

“There isn’t a written rule for how someone is to live their life, nor should there be rules for what the people we support want out of their lives.”

A Life Well Lived

The most important aspect is that life is not perfect and it’s a work in progress. “It’s just life,” Director Preciado explains, “It’s an honor for us to be a part of theirs.” We work with people every day and we’re figuring out life along the way. Everyone at JNCS takes pride in walking this journey with our supported individuals. Director Haddad reflects and believes the goal of Jay Nolan is to “have them enjoy and live the meaningful life they wish for.”

The Five Principles of Supported Living, broken down, show every aspect and detail of the services that we provide. But put together, the five principles are representative of a life well lived and an independence not far out of reach for anyone who wants it.

Written by: Noelle Amey (JNCS Social Media Representative)

Click here to Learn More about Supported Living Services at JNCS.

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