More Exciting News for ILO: Our First Party and Dates for the Second Round of New Futures Initiative Training Finalized!

 November 27, 2014
Posted by M&LAdmin4

Thursday, November 26th, 2014

Hello everyone! We would like to begin our blog by wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving – we hope that you are spending this holiday eating delicious food with friends and family. From all of here us at M&L, we send a sincere and heartfelt Thank You to our friends, family and clients for your continued support – we have had an incredible year, and it is all because of you!

We would also like to take this opportunity to share some fantastic news that we are incredibly excited about and thankful for: M&L, ILO, CIF, the founding families and our advisors supporting our mission to create integrated communities in Washington and Maryland have new families who are joining us! As of last week, we have confirmed the dates for a new group of families to participate in the Center for Independent Futures’ New Futures Initiative™ training (phase 1) in Evanston, Illinois!

Are you curious about this New Futures Initiative™? Would you like to become a part of a movement towards creating integrated, inclusive, person-centered communities for individuals with disabilities? The opportunity is available – read on to learn more!

New Futures Initiative™ – What is it?

For those of you who may be joining us for the first time, the New Futures Initiative™ is a training program created by Center for Independent Futures (CIF). It provides families with the tools, resources, and education necessary to create/develop special needs housing in their own neighborhoods and communities.

We have published many blogs that talk about CIF, their successful Community Living Option™ housing model, and the New Futures Initiative, but the following excerpt (taken from this blog) sums up the training process nicely:

“In a nutshell, the New Futures Initiative™ is a training program that offers training and support to individuals with disabilities, their families, and special needs organizations. This training and support has been developed to teach interested parties how to replicate CIF’s Community Option Living™ residences in their own states, neighborhoods, and communities. The New Futures Initiatives™ offers a series of workshops, materials and onsite consultations – they help participants “learn about organizational structure, real estate, public benefits, building community, housing, and support for individuals with disabilities.”

If you have been following our special needs community development journey from the beginning, you are no doubt aware of how incredibly important we feel that this training is to ensuring that our sons and daughters have access to integrated, sustainable communities in our neighborhoods. Again, if you are joining us for the first time and would like to read more about why we feel that building this type of community is important for our young adults with disabilities, please read our blog titled ILO and the Importance of Forming and Implementing Community Partnerships.

Would you like to part of our nonprofit ILO and our mission of creating integrated communities in either Washington DC or Maryland?

The New Futures Initiative training typically takes place over the course of four days. The first two take place in Evanston, Illinois, and the second two take place where the community living will be developed. As mentioned in the beginning of this blog, a second set of core families will be taking part in the first two days of training in Evanston on February 4th and 5th, 2015. Would you like to be a part of this process? We are taking two groups to Center for Independent Futures office in Evanston, Illinois: the first core group for Washington DC and the second core group for Maryland. If you are interested, we have room in each of these groups for more families.

If you would like to join, or for more information about this training and/or the special needs community development process in general, please let us know! Over the course of the last year, M&L and a core group of families (which we affectionately call the “founding families”) have successfully completed the New Futures training process; in fact, we have already seen one of our self-advocates achieve independent living in communities that were created through this process. To read a first hand account of the specifics of this training, please click here to read about M&L’s experience. In addition, four out of the five founding family members have completed the Independent Living Readiness Inventory (ILRI). This extraordinary assessment has given our family members the tools to establish the skills and confidence to move into their own homes and communities.

In addition to this fabulous news of more families joining ILO and participating in the NFI training, we had our first ILO party with all the families and their loves ones in one place. It was a tremendous amount of fun and a great success. We are growing as planned, and we look back to one year ago and are shocked by how far we have come. We are so excited to look back one year from now and see how much further we will have progressed. New communities will have been created in Montgomery County, Maryland, and Washington DC with the nonprofit as the umbrella overseeing it all. It truly takes a village.

Thanks again for joining us today, and please have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.

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