Maryland and D.C. Families Arrive for Housing Training

February 3, 2015

This week, Center for Independent Futures welcomes families from Maryland and Washington, D.C. to Evanston for New Futures Initiative (NFI) training. Brought together by Maedi Tanham Carney, founder of M&L Special Needs Planning, the families will participate in workshops facilitated by CIF staff as they start along the path toward creating housing solutions for their loved ones.

During their visit to Evanston, families will build community in their group, establishing a structure for working together and developing their support network. They'll determine the needs and desires of the residents and define criteria for housing. A highlight of the group's trip will be visiting Community Living Option residences, where CIF community members will give the families tours of their homes and share their experiences of living independently. When families from M&L Special Needs Planning participated in NFI training in Evanston last year, these visits to CIF's own housing solutions energized the group.

"The families had never seen anything like (the CLOs)," Maedi shared. "When they were able to touch and feel all of the different possibilities created by CIF, they could envision it happening in their own communities."

CIF has been connected with Maedi and M&L Special Needs since the summer of 2013, when an M&L staff member found CIF online. Ann Sickon, CIF's Executive Director, and Jane Doyle, CIF's co-founder and Director of Special Projects, traveled to Washington, D.C. to present about CIF's innovative housing process. From that meeting, the first group of East Coast families came together to participate in NFI training. These founding families are now joining Maedi to create a non-profit organization called Integrated Living Opportunities to continue creating community-based, person-centered housing.

CIF is excited to welcome a new group of families to Evanston to begin the New Futures Initiative journey. Created through CIF's firsthand experiences, NFI provides the necessary tools, materials, and professional resources to support families in creating their own housing solutions. To learn more about the New Futures Initiative, contact Becca Kaplan at (847) 328-2044.

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