What housing options are available?
There is a continuum of housing options available for adults with disabilities. These options are related to the level of independence desired and the type and amount of support and care that you need. Housing options range from fully independent living, like your own apartment (if you don’t need many supports) all the way to fully staffed group homes that provide assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Most individuals fall somewhere in between those two extremes.
INDEPENDENT LIVING (minimal/no support)
Some people don’t need or want many supports to live independently. If you have all the resources and skills you need to budget and pay for your housing, keep your home safe and clean, meet all your own personal grooming needs and shop for, make and clean up after meals, you may be able to live on your own with just a little help from your family or other supports. Before you head out on your own, it is important to discuss it with your full support team and make a plan for how to handle problems that might crop up along the way. An assessment of your living skills is also a good idea, to be sure you know how to do all the things that are required to live successfully on your own. It will also be important to find a place to live that is in a safe location, that gives you easy access to your work, shopping and social activities and that you can afford. Sometimes it is hard work to find just the right place, so patience and lots of planning are needed. You may need to look at subsidized housing in order to afford your own place.
SUPERVISED INDEPENDENT LIVING/COMMUNITY LIVING
This model is known by many names you might have heard, including residential supports, independent community support, in home support, individual supported living, or some other name. Regardless of what you call it, this model typically includes one or more people living together as roommates who are somewhat independent. They usually live in a location where the individual can have some level of independence, including access to transportation for work and shopping. The residents may own or rent their home. Supports are provided in the home, as needed, by support staff. The level of support is determined by each individual’s needs. It is typical for staff to help residents work on things like budgeting, meal planning and preparation, personal care, organization of your space and things, transportation skills and personal relationships. The staff may live on-site, nearby or even away from the home, depending on the needs of the residents. Hours of coverage vary greatly, again, depending on the needs of the residents. Some homes may have support staff there 24 hours a day, while others may provide just a few hours a day or even per week.
This is probably the most common model of housing for people with developmental disabilities. People who live in a group home need supports every day. There are direct care staff who work with individuals and are available day and night, as needed. They help with routine activities of daily living, like personal hygiene, cleaning, laundry, cooking, community involvement and relationships with other residents. Sometimes they offer specific training to help the individual become more independent and they often escort the individuals to social activities in the community. The number of staff present is determined by the number of residents in the home and the amount of services required by each individual. Typically, residents spend their days outside the home at work or other day programming.
(Clicking on one of the links below will take you away from mi-lifemap.org)
Michigan Housing Commission
Lansing Intentional Communities (LINCs) is a community integrated model of living that provides adults with disabilities the opportunity to live independently while creating community connections.( http://linc2linc.org/)
211 Directory of Social Services Complete the on-line request form, chose Housing, click search. (http://www.centralmichigan211.org/clintoneatoningham.html)