Kristina's Housing Story
Kristina lives in San Jose and is active in The Kelsey's community events and engagements. She is currently seeking housing for her two young adult children, and has shared with us her housing dreams and desires for them.
While researching housing options for my two young adult children, I learned about The Kelsey. I attended one of their Inclusion Hours with Councilmember Raul Peralez in San Jose hoping to hear more about their mission. That evening, I learned about a new housing development model with inclusion at its core.
My name is Kristina Wiley. I have two young adult children, Jared and Sara, both on the Autism Spectrum. Jared is 22 and Sara is 20. They both are part of our community here in San Jose, with their own interests, dreams, and things to contribute.
Jared was born and raised in San Jose, but currently lives in Monterey so that he can participate in a unique transition support program for young adults called College Living Experience. There, he receives services around academics, career development, independent living, and social skills while also attending the local community college. Jared is learning how to get around with public transportation, how to plan and prepare his meals, and how to maintain his living space. He is thriving in this program. Jared’s ultimate goal is to live near his family and friends in San Jose, while also maintaining his newfound independence.
Sara lives at home and attends San Jose State University. When she graduates next year, she would like to find a job that’s meaningful and live on her own. I do my best to teach her the skills she would need to thrive in her own place. I worry where she will live when I’m not around.
Although they may do things differently, they both have the same desire – to live independently in a place where they won’t be singled out for having a disability. They want to be in an inclusive setting, in a community, where they will be able to choose who they want to socialize with and be treated like everyone else.
If I could tell real estate developers why inclusive housing is needed, I’d say this solution is the opposite of an institution and instead a true community. My children deserve to be included and supported in society. They just want to pursue their interests in a home that they can call their own.
Stories by The Kelsey are collected to illustrate the housing issues facing people with disabilities and elevate the voices of adults with disabilities and their families. A complete list of Stories is organized here. If you'd like to share your housing story, contact us today.