What is needed to create supportive housing for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities? CSH brought together important stakeholders and facilitated a state-wide convening in Springfield, IL — Keys to Supportive Housing — and uncovered the answers.
Lore Baker, Illinois Department of Human Services Statewide Housing Coordinator, spoke about a pilot project that will house 50 adults in affordable housing that include the Section 811 program and tailored services packages.
Her presentation was followed by a team from Edwardsville, IL, comprised of IDD/DD self-advocates, parents, and their fearless leader, Missy Kickline. Missy emphasized the need for innovative, creative solutions for self-advocates wanting to live in their own home.
Five of the self-advocates in this group plan to move into an integrated public housing authority building in early 2016. With services being delivered by Trinity, the residents will receive help in areas such as access to employment, shopping for groceries, cooking, and other daily needs.
Kathy Carmody, CEO of the Institute on Public Policy for People with Disabilities, facilitated a discussion with IDD providers. They explored how to best use the Medicaid waiver or state defined services to create person0-centered affordable housing with services for this target population. One of the participating agencies from Chicago, IL — Envision — shared their struggles to create supportive housing within the current service funding structure.
A panel made up of self-advocates spoke about their lived experiences, hopes and dreams. Three of the advocates already live in their own homes and two plan to do so in the future. They shared some of the types of supports that can be necessary or helpful to ensure they are able to successfully live in the community, have meaningful employment, and participate in their favorite activities with friends and/or family.
Kathy Ward from the Illinois Division of Developmental Disabilities demonstrated her commitment to collaborate with partners in an ongoing discussion around system flexibility.
Adam Cooper from The Alliance closed the program by calling for ongoing partnerships to make supportive housing available to all self-advocates in Illinois who want to live in their own, affordable home. He stated it is important that everyone know that self-advocates can live independently when offered the right supports. He also emphasized self-advocates want choices and should be included in decision-making processes.