Where will your child or family member with special needs live in 5 years, as they (and you) get older? Who will provide the support needed to assist them? The State of Pennsylvania has over 14,000 adults with disabilities on their current list waiting for housing and services. The need for new options has reached a critical stage.
A group of families has been meeting to discuss a shared interest in developing housing, employment, volunteer and recreational options for adults with special needs who are not able to live independently without supports. We live throughout the 5-county southeast PA. area.
Our monthly meetings introduce families to each other and to experts in the housing, employment, and supports fields. Our listserv helps to disseminate information and connect families with resources and ideas. Our active committees are exploring innovative housing models and moving forward with creating housing communities. We will soon launch a resource website. In October 2015 we will be co-hosting a day-long conference on housing options for adults with disabilities in Philadelphia, PA.
We strongly believe in the following guiding principles:
- Housing is at the center of a wider caring community and must access neighborhood resources
- Families will continue to play an integral role in the lives of our children and siblings with disabilities as they progress through adulthood
- Progressively increasing levels of independence for each person must be embedded in the program design – in the home through all activities of daily living, and in the community through employment, volunteerism, and recreation
- Employment options and opportunities for volunteerism must be developed to enable young people with special needs to be fully integrated into our communities
- We aim to develop solutions for young adults with special needs with a variety of diagnoses and ability levels