Michigan Training Creates Ripple Effect

June 24, 2016

Ten years ago, Center for Independent Futures trained family members and service providers from Washtenaw County, Michigan, about creating alternative housing solutions for individuals with disabilities. In the decade since, that training’s impact has spread from the initial dozen trainees to change the lives of countless individuals and their families. 

Founded in 2005, Intentional Communities of Washtenaw (ICW) was formed by families to create housing options and services for their loved ones with developmental disabilities. In the beginning stages of their journey, members of their community participated in our New Futures Initiative™ training. This training takes participants through a series of workshops designed to teach our step-by-step process to create housing solutions.

As their journey began, ICW received a grant from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation. Today, they host an annual fundraiser and contribute to an endowment fund to ensure sustainability. They’ve found creative ways to collaborate with community human service providers, including Catholic Social Services and CHS Group, to build critical partnerships between the private and the public sector. 

ICW is now in its eighth year of providing services to residents, including 28 individuals with disabilities living independently in apartments or condos and supported by the Community Builder model used in our own Community Living Options. At ICW, each Community Builder supports communities with 5-8 members, facilitating decision-making, planning activities, and helping individuals lead full, independent lives.

Just as we shared our expertise with the families of ICW, they in turn shared their experience with families and groups throughout Michigan, creating a ripple effect. The OASIS Community of West Michigan connected with ICW and then contacted Center for Independent Futures to participate in the New Futures Initiative themselves. They completed the training earlier this year.

We are honored to be part of the story of Intentional Communities of Washtenaw and the stories of the individuals, families, and other organizations who have learned and grown from their efforts. To learn more about how you can create new solutions in your own community, contact us at (847) 328-2044 or email center@independentfutures.com. To learn more about ICW, visit www.intentcom.org or contact Martha Bloom at (734) 761-8139.


Upcoming Events & Activities