Our Theory of Change
The Real Choice Initiative serves people with disabilities who need accessible and affordable housing and reliable in-home care, both sectors currently experiencing crises due to underfunded social services. The result of this lack of resources is a critical shortage of suitable rentals and in-home care providers, along with a generation of people with disabilities with severely limited options for living in the community.
As people with disabilities with the inherent knowledge of the challenges of maintaining independent living in the midst of these crises, we are the people to guide others as they maneuver around structural barriers and work to remove the barriers through systems change. Our programs bridge the gaps where support services lack funding and capacity to support individuals with their housing search and where people who need care and care providers have no functional way of finding each other. These gaps present imminent threats to self-determination.
We have the resources, qualifications, and experience to support individuals to access services. We track availability of housing units through regular contact with property management agencies. Staff has formal training in person-centered planning, the process to support others to plan life goals and strategize ways to achieve them. Our planning process is detailed and includes people responsible for completing tasks within the plan, allowing us to coordinate supports and advocate for individuals when necessary.
We have well established relationships within the disability community, including a range of community groups at the intersections of disability and other identities, which helps the organization stay relevant and equitably serve the people we work with. We also have developed relationships with various government offices that regulate housing or serve people with disabilities.
These resources, relationships, and skills also position RCI to engage in Systems Change work that challenges the systemic barriers for people with disabilities to access in-home care and suitable housing. Our knowledge of the decision makers, stakeholders, and policies and programs of relevant agencies enables us to develop actionable strategies to address these issues. RCI staff and our board have extensive experience in policy change and have built the scaffolding for strong organizing.