Keys to Supportive Housing

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.

305_Vickie_15A 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 305Adam 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.


Rockford, Illinois is Addressing Veteran Homelessness in 2015

Rockford Completes Mayors Challenge

Lauded as First City in the Nation to

Reach Functional Zero and Effectively End Veteran Homelessness


Rockford, Illinois – The City of Rockford Department of Human Services, a community action agency serving Boone and Winnebago counties, announced today that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veteran Affairs have recognized Rockford as the first community in the national Zero: 2016 movement to reach functional zero and effectively end homelessness among local Veterans.

The City of Rockford has also been recognized by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness for successfully completing the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness; an initiative led by First Lady Michelle Obama. The Mayors Challenge calls upon mayors and other state and local leaders across the country to publicly express their commitment and provide the leadership to implement the strategies necessary for their communities to end homelessness among all Veterans within their communities by the end of 2015.

“Ensuring every person has a safe, stable place to call home takes teamwork and dedication at every level. Rockford stepped up to this challenge and today has every reason to celebrate its incredible achievement in effectively ending Veteran homelessness. Communities around the country can now look to the Forest City as a model for serving our nation’s heroes,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. 

The Zero: 2016 movement, coordinated by Community Solutions with coaching from the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), consists of 75 communities working to end Veteran and chronic homelessness by the end of 2016. The national effort supports participants in optimizing local resources, tracking progress against monthly housing goals, and accelerating the spread of proven strategies, such as those implemented through the Mayors Challenge. Rockford was selected for Zero: 2016 through a competitive, national application process. 

Functional zero is a key component to ensuring every Veteran in the community has a permanent home. In Zero: 2016, functional zero is reached when, at any point in time, the number of Veterans experiencing literal homelessness, both on the streets and in shelters, is no greater than the city’s monthly Veteran housing placement rate. Rockford has housed a total of 73 Veterans to date. To remain at functional zero, Rockford must have no more than eight homeless Veterans awaiting housing and any new homeless Veteran is housed within 30 days.


Chicago Area Community Meetings, Supportive Housing for Adults with IDD

Come learn about supportive housing for adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) in Illinois – how to create and access opportunities in your community and share your thoughts on what is needed. These meetings are open to self-advocates, family members, providers, developers, and other allies.

Click here to RSVP for any of the following meetings:

Date/Host Location
Thursday, August 6, 10:00am – 12:00pm
Hosted by Community Service Options
6845 S. Western Ave, Chicago
Tuesday, August 11, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Hosted by Anixter Center
2001 N. Clybourn, Chicago
Friday, August 14, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Hosted by UCP Seguin
3100 S. Central Ave, Cicero
Tuesday, August 18, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Hosted by The Builders at Fremont Library
1170 N. Midlothian Road, Mundelein

Supportive housing is affordable housing with supportive services. Tenants have their own home/apartment and can have a roommate if desired.

Questions? Let us know!

John Fallon, 312-332-6690 ext. 21

Stephanie Sideman, 312-332-6690 ext. 25

OSF Grants $150,000 to CSH for FUSE Replication

OSFThe Open Society Foundations (OSF) U.S. Programs initiative supports efforts to advance equality, fairness, and justice with a focus on the most vulnerable and marginalized communities and the most significant threats to open society in the United States today. OSF works to further a vibrant democratic society in which all people can meaningfully participate in its civic, economic, and political life and to ensure that the core institutions of civil society are effective and accountable to the public.

Areas of particular emphasis in U.S. Programs’ grant-making and other activities include:

  • The advancement of effective and fair criminal justice and drug policies,
  • Support of the rights of racial minorities and other vulnerable groups;
  • Support of institutions and practices that advance a more informed and engaged public and responsive and effective government.

OSF’s recent contribution of $150,000 to CSH to promote a scaled replication and the sustainability of the FUSE (Frequent Users/Utilizers Systems Engagement) model will help ensure that more people leaving our jails and prisons will have a real chance to become a part of the communities in which they live. Because of the generosity of OSF and others, CSH is able to recreate FUSE in more communities across the country.

FUSE is a CSH signature accomplishment that helps communities identify and engage high utilizers of public systems and place them into supportive housing in order to break the cycle of repeated use of costly crisis services, shelters, and the criminal justice system. In the FUSE model, supportive housing serves to smooth the transition from institution to community, promoting a transformation that serves those released from jails and prisons, and the general population, by improving lives and public safety.

The critical support of OSF and our partners will allow CSH to aggressively pursue our vision to create additional policy and resource tools, such as FUSE, that encourage cross-system collaboration and allow innovative responses to complex social problems.


Advancing Supportive Housing for Adults with IDD

CSH is pleased to announce our 2015 training seminars geared towards self-advocates, families, community champions, and development teams including developers and service providers. We hosted a webinar twice on July 14th to review all of the upcoming training sessions available to you.  If you missed this or if you are willing to share it with others, please click on either link below.

Click here to view the webinar from July 14th at 12:30pm

Click here to view the webinar from July 14th at 7:00pm

For Self-Advocates

CSH will host two training sessions, one in Chicago and one in Springfield, for people who are interested in living in their own home with an appropriate array of supportive services and peers interested in learning more about supportive housing. These highly interactive sessions will include as homework  recruiting additional self-advocates to discuss supportive housing with peers and learn more about what housing and support interests are represented in their home town. Sessions will take place in late September, and will include self-advocates as lead trainers. Please e-mail for more information.

For Families and Community Champions

In order to invest in the driving force of change within the IDD community, CSH plans to offer training sessions in September for family members who would like to learn more about supportive housing and how to influence policy changes that will create new housing solutions.  Recognizing that family members and self-advocates know best about what is needed for adults to live successfully in their own apartment in the community, we wish to arm family members with knowledge about financing supportive housing, coordinating services, and key policy changes needed to bring supportive housing to scale in your local community. This is about understanding and insisting upon real action and change in your own local community. For more information, please e-mail

For Developers and Service Providers

Panthers FinaleCSH: The Source for Housing Solutions, in partnership with the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities (ICDD), is excited to announce the 2015 Supportive Housing Institute in Joliet and Springfield.  The 2015 Supportive Housing Institute will focus on the creation of integrated housing settings that meet the needs of adults with intellectual & developmental disabilities. This series will help development teams learn how to navigate the complex process of developing housing with support services and this training series is expected to reduce the time it takes to obtain funding by improving the planning and application process.  Consideration will be given to integrated housing with up to 25% of the housing set aside for supportive housing and small scale multi-family apartments.

The 2015 Institute provides targeted training and technical assistance to both new and experienced development teams.  Teams receive over 50 hours of training including individualized technical assistance and resources to assist in completing their project.  In addition, experts from across the state, including staff and national partners provide insight on property management, financing, and building design. Special emphasis will be given to accessing Section 811 and the Statewide Referral Network.  

Please click here to view the application.

Housing Veterans

The first Stand Down was held in San Diego, CA in 1988. Today, more than 200 Stand Downs are held across the country each year. Stand Downs give Veterans the opportunity to access countless resources all in one place.

The 2015 Chicago Stand Down was held at the General Jones National Guard Armory on June 26 and 27. Veterans in the Chicago area had access to many services including medical care, legal assistance, food, haircuts, employment assistance, and information about what benefits and other resources are available to them. In addition to these services, the event encouraged Veterans to connect with each other, and served as a great place for Veterans facing homelessness to get connected to housing solutions.

CSH, the systems coordinator for Chicago’s Ending Veteran Homelessness Initiative, organized staff from across the City to complete assessments with Veterans in order to match people to housing interventions. Using one by-name registry of all Veterans experiencing homelessness through the Homeless Management Information System platform, this initiative aims to end homelessness by the end of 2015 for all Veterans, and the first step is identifying and assessing Veterans in need of permanent housing.

By gaining access to those in greatest need through outreach efforts such as the Chicago Stand Down, the Ending Veteran Homelessness Initiative is able to provide support for Veterans experiencing homelessness by guiding them to resources to rebuild their lives, the greatest of which is a place to call home.

CMS Issues Bulletin on Using Medicaid for Supportive Services

CMSThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) has released an Informational Bulletin intended to assist states in designing Medicaid benefits, and to clarify the circumstances under which Medicaid reimburses for certain housing-related activities, with the goal of promoting community integration for individuals with disabilities, older adults needing long term services and supports (LTSS), and those experiencing chronic homelessness. Consistent with statute, CMS/CMCS can assist states with coverage of certain housing-related activities and services.

Read the full CMS/CMCS Informational Bulletin here.

For more information on how states are currently using Medicaid in supportive housing, see CSH’s four new resources, released earlier this month.

Read our joint statement with the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the Technical Assistance Collaborative and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council.

Over The Rainbow

Construction is under way for the Southwick Apartment project. Over The Rainbow, the project sponsor and nonprofit dedicated to providing accessible housing for adults with disabilities , is developing a 40 unit, fully accessible affordable housing development in Matteson, Illinois.

305_SWPBuilding_15The Southwick Apartments will be 100 percent ADA compliant and house low-income adults, some of whom depend on wheelchairs for mobility or have a need for mobility features. CSH provided a $475,000 predevelopment loan to Over The Rainbow.

Thirty-five of the units will have Project Based Vouchers from the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) and from the Regional Housing Initiative (RHI). Three of the vouchers administered thru HACC will be set-aside for the Olmstead Population and overlap as Illinois State Referral Network units.

The project consists of 4 studios, 32 one-bedroom apartments and 4 two-bedrooms apartments. Each unit will be equipped with a personal kitchen and bathroom. Volunteer programs and community partnerships will provide services such as basic social and employment services, recreational opportunities, and a computer training center to help develop job skills for all residents.

This is Over The Rainbow’s first time developing and managing an integrated project and CSH’s financial support will allow this strong organization to successfully provide housing that accommodates their future residents.

OrgCode, Community Solutions & CSH Launch Next Step Tool for Youth

The Next Step Tool for Homeless Youth

The Next Step Tool for Homeless Youth, or Next Step Tool, integrates the TAY Triage Tool, developed by the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) through research by Eric Rice, PhD, Associate Professor at University of Southern California, with the VI-SPDAT, created by Community Solutions and OrgCode Consulting, Inc.

The TAY Triage Tool predicts which youth are most likely to experience long-term homelessness, essentially on a trajectory to becoming chronically homeless adults. The VI-SPDAT helps understand current vulnerabilities and risks to future housing stability, in order to support youth in ending their homelessness.

The Next Step Tool carefully merges all of these tested ideas together. Through a closed-ended survey where youth provide a yes, no or one-word answer, service providers have a better understanding of the intensity of supports to begin with when supporting the youth.  You can download the Next Step Tool at


The Youth SPDAT

To complement the launch of the Next Step Tool, OrgCode has also created a modified version of the Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (SPDAT) for use specifically with youth. The Youth SPDAT was developed based on feedback from many communities using the SPDAT who identified the need for a complete assessment tool that emphasized the unique issues faced by homeless youth.

You can download the Youth SPDAT at


CSH Transition Age Youth (TAY) Triage Tool

The CSH Transition Age Youth (TAY) Triage Tool – A Tool to Identify Homeless Transition Age Youth Most in Need of Supportive Housing – can be accessed directly here.


Groundbreaking: PhilHaven Supportive Housing

philhavenRosemont, Ill. CSH staff, along with several local officials and financing partners, joined together this week to celebrate the groundbreaking for PhilHaven, a new 50-unit affordable and supportive housing development located in Wheeling, Illinois.

Under development by a partnership formed by Daveri Development Group LLC and Kenneth Young Center, the three-story building will comprise 57,174-square-feet of living space.

The first floor will feature the property’s on-site management offices and a variety of community spaces such as a lounge with an adjacent kitchen, technology center, exercise room, reading nook and a bike storage room.

In all, the building will consist of private apartments configured in one-, two- and three-bedroom layouts and complete with contemporary fixtures and finishes.

Green building strategies will also be incorporated throughout the development by including Enterprise Green Communities Criteria as well as energy-efficient HVAC systems.

Financing for PhilHaven was provided by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, National Equity Fund Inc., Village Bank & Trust, Wintrust Financial, Cook County, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity and Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH).

CSH provided a $1,950,000 acquisition and predevelopment loan for PhilHaven. Proceeds from these monies were used to fund acquisition of the project site and predevelopment costs related to the new construction.

Residents will benefit from supportive services, including access to behavioral and mental health counseling and programs, provided by Kenneth Young Center and Alexian Brothers.