RCI is engaged in housing advocacy to encourage the creation of more affordable, accessible units. At the same time, we are compiling data on existing housing and availability. This database has potential as a resource for the disability community and will be the foundation for supporting the transition from group homes to independent living.
The Real Choice Initiative’s peer counseling program will match available housing to a person’s needs and expectations for living sustainably in the community. Counselors who live independently and are trained in the person-centered planning process tailor plans to achieve independent living for clients with special attention to necessary accommodations, barriers to applying for and maintaining housing, additional services clients may need during and after transition, and emotional support throughout the transition process.
Support staff will help to put plans to achieve independent living into action. RCI support staff will receive training on the person-centered approach and providing support in ways that enhance self-determination. Staff will work with clients to get to referral appointments and apartment viewings, assist as necessary with paperwork and personal care during appointments, and help clients move into independent living situations.
Peer Counseling Services
Creation of plans to achieve independent living
Together, clients and counselors explore past independent living experiences if applicable, current needs and wants, and the path forward.
Short-term financial planning
Counselors will provide guidance about resources, such as SNAP, ABLE accounts, and K Plan funding that can help clients afford housing, pay for accessibility improvements, and buy household goods.
Case management around issues that involve independent living (e.g., guardianship)
Counselors make referrals to appropriate resources for issues that need resolving prior to living independently.
Fair Housing support and guidance to maintain housing
To ensure best results in the long term, clients participate in training on fair housing and renters’ rights, and counselors provide knowledge and referrals.
Ongoing support to navigate issues as they arise
Circumstances change, and counselors will be available to support former group home residents to sustain independent living.