Training Leads to Housing Success in Maryland

December 10, 2016

Center for Independent Futures is excited to share some great news from our partners at Integrated Living Opportunities (ILO). ILO builds intentional communities for adults with disabilities in the Maryland and Washington, D.C. area and has worked with Center for Independent Futures from its inception. In November, four of ILO’s self-advocates, young adults with disabilities, moved into their own homes with the support of their family, staff, and volunteers.

In celebration of this news, we’d like to share a blog post from an ILO family describing their moving day experience. For more information about ILO, visit

The Big Move: Robert’s Story

By Reda Sheinberg

Four families and four self-advocates worked together to establish an intentional community in a new apartment complex, The Crossings at Old Towne Gaithersburg, in November 2016. The Gaithersburg families are members of the new non-profit Integrated Living Opportunities (ILO). ILO provided the training and organizational infrastructure to assist these families in creating this opportunity for these self-advocates.

The four Gaithersburg families made a commitment to ILO and to each other to support our self-advocates to live independently in the community. To make this possible, ILO hired a part-time staff person to build a strong community with the four self-advocates. Each self-advocate will have personal supports through a combination of family, hired support through private and government funding, and other support in the community.

Our son, Robert, was the first to move into The Crossings on November 2. Robert’s move-in day was the culmination of months of work, starting in February 2016. The day was hectic and wonderful all at the same time. The movers were done before 10:00 a.m., and soon we were unpacking at Robert’s new apartment.

Since Robert moved in on November 2, the other three self-advocates, Matt, Shaun, and Andrew, followed. They will continue to work with Sherita--ILO’s first employee, our community builder--and all the families to settle in and achieve more successes, both individually and together.

Future Plans for ILO Intentional Communities and Self-Advocates

At ILO, board members, staff, and volunteers have no plans to slow down! The recent success in Gaithersburg has only inspired them to work harder and grow ILO intentional communities as quickly as possible. It is ILO’s mission to help adults with disabilities to live independently, integrated into an inclusive community with the opportunity to lead a fulfilling life. In addition to the self-advocates who recently achieved independence, other self-advocates live independently in Bethesda, Maryland, and D.C. ILO is also on track to see yet another self-advocate move into her own home in March 2017. As a result of these incredible successes, ILO community pods are being created all across Maryland and Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit ILO’s website.

In the spring of 2017, more ILO families will begin our New Futures Initiative™ training. We’re excited to continue working with this group to create new possibilities for individuals with disabilities and their families.




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