Housing Update: New Futures Initiative™ Training progress and the growth of ILO

 February 26, 2015
Posted by M&LAdmin4

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Hello everyone, and welcome back to the blog this week!

Today, we would like to revisit our most recent New Futures Initiative™ training session, and focus on our progress to date with the housing development projects taking place in Maryland and Washington, D.C. In addition to the success of this training session and the growth of our group of core families (we recently welcomed 9 new families!!) we are making incredible strides in the development of our housing non-profit, Integrated Living Opportunities (ILO).

Here at M&L we are so excited and gratified that all of the hard work of the founding families, M&L staff, CIF and all of our supporters is resulting in positive, definite steps toward the creation of sustainable, community-based, person-centered housing. Every step forward is a step closer to seeing your family member with special needs live an independent, successful, inclusive life. Please read on to learn all about our progress, and how you can become a part of this special needs housing movement.

New Futures Initiative™ – Our Progress So Far
Note: For more information on our special needs housing development project and ILO, please
click here. Additional info can be found by selecting “Integrated Living Opportunities” from the drop down menu titled “Blog Categories” on the right sidebar of our webpage.

M&L first became involved with housing for individuals with special needs when owner/founder Maedi Tanham Carney CFP®, CWIC began researching independent living programs and housing options for her daughter, Ellie. Through this process, Carney gained first hand experience of the challenges facing individuals with disability as they search for housing, and became aware of the full extent of the special needs housing crisis in the United States.

Carney realized there weren’t enough housing options or living programs to meet the demand, and was further aggravated by the fact that the programs that did exist were very “one size fits all”, and often did not take into account the vastly different needs of individuals with disability. With that realization came the desire to do something to change the current status quo, so when Maedi met with CIF and learned about their Community Living Option™ residences, she decided to bring this unique, person-centered community-based housing model to her own community. Thus, M&L’s special needs housing development project was born, and M&L became the official East Coast Representative of CIF and their New Futures Initiative™ training program.

Since that time, Maedi has hosted a number of seminars in the area on the New Futures Initiative™ training, has facilitate the first group of 5 core families (the founding families) through this program, and has seen one self advocate achieve independent living, and four others complete their Independent Living Readiness Inventory (ILRI). Most recently, Maedi welcomed another group of 9 core families to the project and facilitated the second round of New Futures Initiative™ training in Evanston, Illinois. To read about the specifics of what this training entails, please click here to read about the first core family group’s experience, or here to read the article released by CIF discussing the most recent training session.

Integrated Living Opportunities (ILO) Update

When first learning of the special needs housing development project, the New Futures Initiative™ training, and ILO, many people are often curious as to how ILO fits in. Here the short answer: ILO is the non-profit that M&L created to oversee everything related to the housing project, such as the NFI training, community building, support networks and (eventually) supported living services. In short, ILO is an organization that will facilitate the networks of support created by families coming together to create communities and housing opportunities for their families with special needs. All self-advocates will have their own circles of supports (personal networks), and ILO will make sure they are sustainable while the parents are alive and, more importantly, after they are gone.

ILO is still in the early stages of development – we are currently in the process of becoming a 501c(3) – however, we are excited to say that we have a bright and busy year ahead of us! As we mentioned earlier in the post, the addition of 9 new families will only help to open doors and ensure the success of all of our self-advocates. Our community is slowly being built, and networks of support that are so crucial to the success of these self-advocates are forming and strengthening. Our self-advocates are currently completing the steps required to help them achieve independent living; one of our advocates, Elaine, has already accomplished this goal! This year, we are helping 3 of our self-advocates achieve independent living – we expect those individuals to achieve this goal before the end of 2015. 2016 will see 5 self-advocates move out, and the rest will follow in the next two years. We are currently on track to seeing all of our self-advocates achieve independent living by 2018.

And, much to our delight, ILO is lucky enough to be receiving some help – we have been awarded 3 interns from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith’s School of Business. These interns will be concentrating on a very specific objective: helping Carney and M&L ensure that ILO has a voice and is heard by the people that we are trying to help. To that end, these interns will be helping to create a marketing plan, will assist with fundraising attempts, and will help us form strategic partnerships with other organizations. Please stay tuned to our blog over the coming weeks to learn more!

Would you like to learn more about special needs housing development, the New Futures Initiative™ training, or ILO?

Here at M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC, we plan to continue to work towards finding sustainable solutions to the special needs housing crisis that currently exists in the United States. We look forward to help many self-advocates and their families create community based, person centered housing that suits their needs.

Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting new families into the New Futures Initiative™ training sessions at this time, and the spaces in our housing development projects are currently full. We still strongly encourage families who may wish to take part in any future training sessions and housing development to contact us – we would love for you to join ILO; we would love for you to become a part of the community and help grow our networks of support.

As always, contact us with any questions, concerns, or suggestions you may have. We are here to listen.



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