What is an intentional community?
An intentional community is a housing community that is designed to serve the needs of individuals with shared needs or interests. A Living Unlimited intentional community is designed to provide housing to both individuals with special needs, as well as those who are interested in living alongside them.
What can an intentional community provide for your adult child with special needs?
An intentional community can provide longevity, security, flexibility, recreational activities and connection. If you are asking yourself how you can provide these important features for your adult child with special needs, then you need to ask yourself: what is an intentional community? What is Kokua Kona?
By creating an intentional community, parents and other family members can create an environment that will serve and support their child after they are no longer able to provide the support themselves. As you age and encounter health challenges of your own, you may not be able to continue safely caring for your adult child with special needs.
It is probable that you will pass away before your child. If your child is living in your home at that time, it is likely that there will be a transition. Either someone will need to move into the home, or the home will need to be sold and your child will be forced to move. By securing a spot in an intentional community, your child can be assured lifetime access to housing.
Kokua Kona is a Living Unlimited community, meaning a family’s share of the community LLC may be sold, transferred, and/or held in a special needs trust. The foundation of Living Unlimited properties is the equity model of ownership, which allows for lifetime housing – and peace of mind.
By design, an intentional community, everyone in the community will have a need for safety and security – or be able to help ensure it. It is designed to have a high level of supervision, supported by integrated living arrangements.
The town of Kailua Kona is a small, safe town. Indeed, the entire community of the Big Island of Hawai’i is one in which neighbors keep an eye on neighbors and people look out for one another. Kokua Kona will be secured with appropriate fencing and gates. Rooms and buildings will allow for good sight lines and for separate areas to be secured as needed.
A suburban intentional community, as described here by Living Unlimited, provides flexibility. Instead of all residents sharing a single hallway, with many shared walls, this model allows for more separate spaces for individuals to live as needed.
Kokua Kona will eventually be several single family homes, clustered nearby to allow for the best of both worlds: connection and community when desired, while maintaining privacy and personal space when necessary.
Adults with autism and developmental disabilities are at risk of becoming overweight or obese if they are allowed to live a sedentary lifestyle. It is important to foster and maintain active habits for special needs adults that allow for choice and fulfillment. Many individuals with autism have an affinity for water, so access to water is important – and must be allowed in a safe manner.
The Kokua Kona intentional community will be designed to support an active lifestyle. Kailua Kona itself offers a wealth of outdoor options to choose from: snorkeling, boating, fishing, surfing, kayaking, hiking, rock climbing and more. Kokua Kona will collaborate with community partners to make these types of activities accessible and available to interested residents. Kokua Kona will also develop onsite options for recreational activities, such as swimming, gardening and crafting.
An intentional community increases connection among its members. Many adults with autism and other developmental disabilities are at great risk for extreme social isolation. Even if these adults are able to live on their own, they may choose to live in an intentional community to allow for ongoing, meaningful social connection with others.
Kokua Kona will be an inclusive, integrated community. Kokua means help or support – and that is exactly what we want Kokua Kona to provide. Support for the residents, but also ways for the residents to help and support each other and, when possible, to serve the broader community.