When Joe and Susan Iannoni started looking for a supportive housing option for their adult daughter Allie, who has Down Syndrome, they quickly became overwhelmed.
“It was challenging to say the least,” said Susan. Allie didn’t qualify for Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) housing, and the Iannonis weren’t sure where else to turn. Then, they heard about Mainstay Supportive Housing.
“She loves living in the house,” Susan said about Allie, who moved into Mainstay Supportive Housing’s home in Norwood Center about four years ago. “She has far more freedom now. She doesn’t feel like she’s constantly hanging out with us. I don’t know if she realized how much she was missing out on before.”
Family Supportive Housing for the Iannonis
Mainstay Supportive Housing is a nonprofit that provides housing and home-based services in Massachusetts.
Joe and Susan appreciate the Mainstay supportive living model that gives Allie the independence she wants, but also has a trained, dedicated staff on-site in case she needs them. Friendly staffers from Mainstay Supportive Housing are onsite overnight, both during the weekdays and weekends. Each evening, they prepare a healthy, delicious dinner for Allie and her eight housemates.
“It’s like a big family,” Susan said about the nightly meals. “They’re all having fun, they’re all taking over one another. They’re having a good time.”
Allie has a part-time job working in a cafeteria at Pappas Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital for Children in Canton.
“She is a good worker,” Joe said.
Staying Social with Boston’s Supportive Housing Community
In addition to independent living in Norwood, Allie loves all the social activities at her comfortable and well-appointed Mainstay supported housing community,, including Bingo, game nights and arts and crafts. She also enjoys going for walks.
“She likes hanging out with her housemates,” Susan said. “Some nights the girls will get together and one of them will order take-out and have it delivered to the house. They have a little pizza party.”
The Iannonis come to visit Allie a couple of times every week, and they take her grocery shopping “just to get a chance to spend time with her,” Joe said. Like all residents at Mainstay homes in the Norwood, Newton, Malden and Walpole areas,Allie can bring her own food into the home and store it in her own cabinet.
“She’s so happy, it’s hard to get her to come home and visit,” Joe said, smiling at how much Mainstay Supportive Housing has improved the quality of life for Allie and the entire family.
To learn more about Mainstay Supportive Housing options in Chelsea & Spencer, visit mainstayliving.org/supportive-housing/.