Creating a New Way of Living

The Koupal family household has changed a great deal in the past year thanks to their vision to create a new way of living for their adult child, Luke.

The idea is that the parents would live in the extension built on their home, while Luke and three roommates would live in the existing house with caregivers, as a means to give him more independence and themselves a needed break.

“We feel like having Luke make these changes now at his age 25 is the right time because he’s more energetic, more pliable and he can adapt to change better,” said Matt Koupal, Luke’s dad.

Special approval through Naperville City Council and construction came and went, but the process to find the right roommates for Luke has come with its difficulties.

“The challenge really is to find the right roommates for Luke and they need to be at his level with the same sort of life skill range as he has. So we’re trying to find that perfect match,” said Koupal.

Each roommate must be funded through the state with help from the Ray Graham Association. Once the three roommates are approved, and are ready to move in, 24/7 staff would provide care and programming to support each.

“It’s really a beautiful model for him to have the fullest life and yet stay here in his home,” said Koupal.

The state of Illinois has been supportive of their efforts, and the Koupals want others to know that this way of living can work for you.

“We’re thrilled for our freedom and we can taste a little more of it. We’re excited about Luke and the guys being here and that full life and we just want people to know how this kind of thing can work. People need to understand how much people have supported us and would support them,” added Koupal.

The Koupals have found two potential roommates with similar disabilities to Luke. Once all three are found, the parents will move into the addition. They’re hoping the process is complete by the fall.

Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.

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