Washington, DC (PRWEB) August 27, 2013
M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC, is very passionate about housing for individuals with disabilities. As the special needs financial planning company points out, a housing shortage already exists for individuals with disabilities, and as more and more of these individuals age into adulthood, the shortage, and resulting crisis, will worsen.
In order to combat this housing crisis, M&L will be launching their Independent Living Program and Housing Project late summer/early fall 2013. In preparation for this launch, the company has been immersing itself in housing information for the last year. As a part of their quest to learn as much about housing as possible, M&L has been approaching housing programs across the US, and featuring interviews with these organizations, as well as analyses of the programs themselves, via their weekly blog
This week, the company is presenting their latest housing program interview and analysis. The article features Doreen Cummings, of Jewish Family & Children’s Services (JF&CS); throughout the interview, M&L spoke with Doreen regarding the JF&CS organization, and the inner workings and organization of the two housing models offered by the company. These two models are the Small Group Living Model, and (of greater interest to M&L) Doreen’s Collaborative/Shared Living model.
As M&L writes in their article, JF&CS has been offering human services to families in the Greater Boston area for more than 150 years. This organization, which is one of the largest non-profits in the United States, is committed to “helping people of all faiths, races and ages with the challenges of life.” As well as offering services to individuals with disabilities (including their Disability Resource Network service, and day and employment programs), the organization – which services 17,000+ annually through more than 35 programs – provides services and supports to seniors, parents, children and the community.
As M&L already noted, JF&CS is also heavily involved with housing. The first model, Small Group Living, is a financially inclusive living option that provides space for 3 individuals with disabilities (with similar needs) to live with supports such as personal care, healthcare coordination, social/recreation activities, daily task assistance, and supportive counseling (just to name a few) being provided by JF&CS staff.
The second model, Collaborative/Shared Living, is designed to help adults with disabilities achieve affordable, independent living – they wish to “offer a program that, like college for typically developing young adults, is a temporary private expense for families and that, during that time, state and federal housing benefits can be secured so that long term care (staffing/rent) can be covered.” As Doreen stated to M&L, she wants to help individuals with special needs live in the “now”, rather than waiting to receive housing grants/funding.
Under Collaborative/Shared Living, residents (individuals with mild to moderate disabilities) have a bedroom in a large house; they share staffing and all common areas i.e. bathroom, laundry, kitchen, etc. The staff to client ratio is 1:8/9, and 2:12/14 in the newer homes being opened by Doreen. Staff are scheduled from 3:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, and from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The models also include 2 staff that live in a suite in the house, and offer emergency, over night and morning support.
When M&L inquired as to how the program was operated financially, they discovered that JF&CS helps families “cobble together” existing public resources to offset the costs of the housing; any expenses that remain after the public benefits are applied are the responsibility of the resident and/or resident’s family. The public benefits that residents typically avail of include the Adult Foster Care benefit, and the SNAP (food stamp program) as well as SSI and/or SSDI. The JF&CS also helps residents apply for their Section voucher, although the waiting time for this voucher is between 8 and 10 years and approval is not guaranteed.
Families interested in this housing program are encouraged to contact Doreen directly; as she tells M&L, after the initial contact, interviews with the potential resident will be arranged, and the assessment process will begin. Eligibility requirements vary from household to household; some require the resident to be 18 years of age, others have a minimum age of 22.
Individuals wishing to read the interview, and M&L’s analysis of the program in its entirety are encouraged to visit M&L Special Needs Planning’s website. Information on this program can also be found on the JF&CS website, http://www.jfcsboston.org.
M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC works to help families acquire information, resources and tools needed to plan for the future of their family members with special needs. Through discussion and analysis of issues such as special needs housing, these certified financial planners strive to educate families and help them better plan for their financial future. Those wishing to read more about housing options for individuals with disabilities can visit the M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC website and are encouraged to contact them for more information