These are apartments built with the specific purpose of enabling people with disabilities to be completely autonomous.
The last one has been inaugurated in Plauen, in Saxony.
The first tenant is a 26 year-old boy affected by Lesch–Nyhan syndrome, a serious inherited disorder causing impaired motor development, mental retardation and poor muscle control which, sometimes, lead to self-mutilation.
The apartment occupies two floors, 140 square meters each, and can accommodate eight people.
Here, disabled people have the opportunity to live independently, relying on their own strengths and technology.
The apartment is equipped with an elevator (which is indispensable because the boy is confined to a wheelchair) and a number of facilities enabling flatmates to cook, eat and even clean the house.
The purpose of this project is to guarantee every individual a complete autonomy and strengthen his or her personal resources.
It takes about five years to build this kind of flats.
The first one was inaugurated in 1996 and now in Plauen there exist four apartments accommodating 26 people.
The number of people demanding to live in these flats is high and, unfortunately, although there are only eight available places, the waiting list includes already twenty people.
How much did the project cost?
In order to satisfy disabled people’s needs, 300000 euro have been invested.
The financial resources were provided by three associations, Aktion Mensch, Software-Stiftung and Stiftung Wohnhilfe.
A huge amount of money was collected by the Aktion Mensch lottery, the biggest private fund-raising organisation in Germany.
This lottery finances every month around one thousand projects dedicated to disabled people, people with social problems, children and youths.
Such projects aim at increasing the chances of these people to participate in the community life.
There also exist special self-support programs created with the purpose of enabling all citizens to become independent and satisfy autonomously their needs.
These projects came true not thanks to federal of regional investments, but the constant commitment of citizens financing Aktion Mensch. Around 4.6 million Germans, indeed, spend every year their money to try their luck (lottery tickets cost from 12 to 35.5 euro).
A luck which, however, does not represent only the hope to win huge amounts of money, but also a real economical support that allows Aktion Mensch to invest every year more than three billion euro in social projects.
by Mattia Rosini