CIF Begins New Grant for Housing Solutions

January 19, 2015

This week, Center for Independent Futures begins work on a new housing project called "Enhancing Capacity Through Community Partnerships." This project, funded by a generous grant from The Coleman Foundation, will support three family groups in the Chicagoland area as they work toward new community-based living arrangements for individuals with disabilities.

These families will participate in four workshops facilitated by CIF staff member Becca Kaplan and CIF Consultant Jennifer Knapp, Executive Director of Community Choices in Champaign, Ill. In addition to facilitating housing workshops, the project will include training individuals to continue this process with other families. In the fall, families and community partners will gather for a one-day symposium to discuss the creative housing solutions that have been developed.

Through a previous Coleman Foundation-funded project, CIF produced a guide called "Alternative Housing Options for Individuals with Disabilities." The Community Partnership model outlined in the guide offers a new way of developing housing options for individuals with disabilities. Here are a few reasons why CIF has chosen to use this model in its work to create new housing solutions...

CIF's Top 7 Reasons to Join a Community Partnership

1) Government is at capacity. Funding is not increasing. In fact, there are cuts being made. We need to expand our options.
2) It makes financial sense. Expanding the scope of available resources means that more people will have their needs met.
3) You'll have more flexibility and control. Community Partnership models offer greater choice and flexibility.
4) You can focus on contributions. The Community Partnership approach focuses on the gifts and talents of individuals with disabilities and their families.
5) It builds community. By coming together, we are creating a community and personal network for individuals with disabilities that can outlast formal organizations.
6) It fosters creative thinking. We need leaders from other sectors to help us identify new and creative funding mechanisms and support structures.
7) It leaves a legacy. Community Partnerships represent a new way of thinking that can characterize a new generation of supports for people with disabilities.


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