Independent Living

Housing Opportunities

and Me (H.O.M.E)

Housing Opportunities & Me is a philosophy and a model of service built on the belief that everyone is entitled to a safe, decent place to live in a community of their choice with access to the services they need to help them live as independently and as self-sufficient as possible. In this phase of our mission, we will work with Warriors, families and the community to build innovative and independent living situations.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

We believe in the best practice elements of independent housing, a philosophy that calls for permanent, affordable housing for individuals with disabilities in communities of their choice.

Independent housing advocates that everyone is entitled to a safe, decent place to live and should receive the services unique to their needs that will help them to live as independently and as self-sufficient as possible. Housing should promote the development of relationships among individuals with and without disabilities.

WE BELIEVE THERE SHOULD BE A SEPARATION BETWEEN THE PROVISION OF HOUSING SUPPORTS AND SUPPORT SERVICES.

STAGGERING NUMBERS

The state of the system that supports independent living opportunities is underfunded almost as often as it is unfunded. We are inspired by the readiness of the Warriors in our programs to find an independent living arrangement in the near future. In a recent survey of our families, we heard the message loud and clear:

  • Warriors Seeking Housing in next 5 years – 50%
  • Expect to Need Services + Housing – 70%
  • Expect to Need 24/7 Support – 66%

Illinois has the 3rd highest # of people in institutions in the nation, Sadly.

Illinois can support the cost of 4.5 individuals living in the community for every one person living in an institution

Illinois ranks 47th in the nation in supporting community-based services

of individuals with I/DD live with a family caregiver; ¼ of those are older than 60

OUR PURPOSE

We aim to serve in two ways when it comes to our purpose in supporting independent living opportunities for Warriors. We will devote ourselves to being a reliable source of information. We will devote ourselves to being a reliable and responsive provider of support services.

01

Service Provider

Independent housing operates in a variety of settings, in different constellations and may include apartments, houses, townhouses, condominiums, shared housing as well as home ownership. We intend to be prepared to provide support for Warriors and their families in any and all settings where they wish to live.

02

Information Resource

The systems that support independent living are complicated and difficult to access and understand. We are committed to establishing a virtual space that will help our Warriors and their families navigate these systems. We are also committed to establishing a human presence that is available to provide direct support in these endeavors.

 Independent Living

INFORMATION & RESOURCES

The systems that support independent living are complicated and difficult to access as well as understand. We are committed to establishing a virtual space that will help our Warriors & their families navigate these systems.

Support Services

Summary of state funding structures that can be engaged to support independent living arrangements.

Residential Readiness

Checklist of important planning initiatives and benefit applications to consider in support of independent living arrangements.

Supportive Housing

Summary of other funding structures that can be engaged to support independent living arrangements.

Overview of Support Services

SUPPORT SERVICES

Individuals with developmental disabilities and their families seeking services from the Illinois Department of Human Services – Division of Developmental Disabilities should contact their Independent Service Coordination agency and register in the Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Services (PUNS) database. Individuals are eligible for services in one of two major categories. Individuals may also be eligible for supports funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS)

HOME & COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES

Live in a family home or independently as an adult. Static amount of support per month. Array of services available. Array of supplemental supports may be wrapped around an individual.

COMMUNITY INTEGRATED LIVING ARRANGEMENTS

Choose from CILA models available. Assessment determines rates to support expenses. Limited amount of additional day services may supplement.

DIVISION OF REHABILITATION SERVICES (DRS)

The Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) also provides funding for services to support individuals with developmental disabilities. Vocational, independent living, and home services programs are among the services funded by DRS. Click here for further information on DRS and the services they provide, pleas

CILA

Community Integrated Living Arrangements

CILA MODELS

See to the right for a summary of the various CILA models available under the funding structure supported by the State of Illinois’ Department of Human Services – Division of Developmental Disabilities.

24-Hour Shift

Staff CILA

A group home in the community housing up to 8 individuals, staffed by workers working in 8-hour shifts.

Host Family CILA

A 24-hour CILA in which two individuals live with a caregiver. Only a few agencies provide Host Family.

Family CILA

An individual lives with his/her family. Family members are the primary caregivers, and the individual typically receives 15 hours per week of in-home services from a provider agency (or more if needed).

Intermittent CILA

Individuals live on their own or with roommates and receive 15 hours per week of in-home services from a provider (or more if need documented).

OTHER CILA SUPPORTS

Two types supported by state funding. All persons in CILA are automatically entitled to Community Day Services. Supported employment support is available for some, based on assessment.

Community Day Services

Individuals attend a program approximately five hours per day, five days per week, and receive assistance in obtaining skills for independent living or perform work tasks in a workshop.

Supported Employment

Individuals work in community with aid from a job coach. Available to individuals with higher capacity.

A HOME-BASED OPPORTUNITY

An individual with home and community based services funding from the IDHS-DDD may find unique opportunities to build an independent living arrangement that best suits their desires. That arrangement can be built for that individual alone or with one or more roommates. That arrangement can include a variety of in-home and community-based support services.

These arrangements will take planning and partnership to develop a Warrior-centered plan that is achievable and sustainable. As a key phase of our mission, Opportunity Knocks strives to be in a position to collaborate with Warriors and their supporters in developing these housing opportunities.

SUPPLEMENTAL GOV. BENEFITS

EARNED INCOME

FAMILY SUPPORTS

SERVICE SUPPORTS

HOUSING SUPPORTS

RESIDENTIAL READINESS CHECKLIST

INDEPENDENT SERVICE COORDINATION

Many services for adults with developmental disabilities are funded through the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities and accessed through Independent Service Coordination (ISC) agencies. Click here to find the ISC in your area

PRE ADMISSION SCREENING

Comprehensive assessments, typically performed by ISC agencies, that provide documentation to verify that a person has a developmental disability and meets the criteria for state-funded services. ISC staff works with the individual and his/her family to develop and implement a plan to access the needed services and support.

PRIORITIZATION OF URGENCY OF NEED FOR SERVICES (PUNS)

PUNS is a database that registers individuals who want or need Developmental Disability Waiver services (i.e. Community Integrated Living Arrangements, Home Based Supports, Child Group Homes) funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Developmental Disabilities. To receive services in the state of Illinois, individuals must be enrolled in the PUNS database. Independent service coordinators can assist with enrollment. CLICK HERE to learn more about the PUNS list.

DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES PROGRAM MANUAL

The Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Developmental Disabilities’ Program Manual is a guide to information about Illinois’ developmental disabilities service system. In addition, this document provides supplementary contractual requirements for disability service providers under contract or grant with DHS. CLICK HERE for a link to the manual.

MEDICAID APPLICATION

Medicaid is important in that it not only provides health care coverage but is also the pathway of access for many adult services through Medicaid waivers. Many adult services in Illinois are funded by Medicaid waivers. Our state has nine different waivers, and some children may be eligible for six of them. 

CLICK HERE for information about waiver programs and services. CLICK HERE for information on how to apply for Medicaid.

SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides monthly payments to adults and children with a disability or blindness who have income and resources below specific financial limits. SSI payments are also made to people age 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial qualifications.

You may be eligible to receive SSI monthly payments even if you are already receiving Social Security Disability Insurance or retirement benefits. CLICK HERE for more information and application.

THE SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP)

This benefit helps low-income people and families buy the food they need for good health. Benefits are provided on the Illinois Link Card – an electronic card that is accepted at most grocery stores. The program is managed by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the United States Department of Agriculture. The Department of Human Services administers the program in Illinois. 

PACE

Pace operates more than 200 fixed bus routes in Chicago’s suburbs. These routes connect people to train important destinations. Buses in this system are accessible. Certified ADA paratransit customers can ride fixed route buses for free! Passengers who are sometimes or always unable to use our fixed route system are entitled to equal service under the Americans with Disabilities Act, so Pace provides ADA Paratransit service whenever and wherever fixed route service is available. Some villages, townships, or counties partner with Pace to provide expanded paratransit (Dial-a-Ride) service in certain areas. Click the links to learn more.

OVERVIEW

Supportive Housing

HOUSING SUPPORTS

Supportive Housing refers to supports attached to the person, property or community that are intended to make the living situation affordable. Examples include, Section 811, mainstream vouchers, low income housing tax credits, community development block grants.

Supportive Housing is not intended for every population that needs access to affordable housing. The threshold of need for supportive housing is higher than the simple need for affordable housing. Supportive Housing is affordable rental housing for people with:

Very Low Income

Disability

IMPORTANT RESOURCES

ILLINOIS HOUSING DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

Facilitates housing-related programs that help create a positive impact for local units of government and the people who live in their communities.

IL HOUSINGSEARCH.ORG

This is a free, online resource for renters and property providers in Illinois. Search for affordable, accessible, and market-rate housing that will fit your needs and budget. Follow the link below for more info and to perform a search.

STATEWIDE REFERRAL NETWORK

The Statewide Referral Network (SRN) links vulnerable populations who are already connected to services, to affordable, available, supportive housing. It is managed by the Statewide Housing Coordinator in the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Human Services. CLICK HERE to view and download the full PDF.

ISC HOUSING NAVIGATION

The Illinois Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), 7 Independent Service Coordination (ISC) Agencies, and the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities (ICDD) are excited to announce a Statewide pilot project titled The Housing Navigator Pilot. The pilot will cultivate and pursue community-based, independent housing options for people with IDD who are already in the waiver and those newly selected from the PUNS list. Follow THIS LINK to the DHS Office Locator page to find the contact info for your local ISC. There is currently no website for this program, so the best way to obtain more information and apply is through contact with your ISC.

IMPORTANT SUPPORTS

MAINSTREAM VOUCHERS

SUPPORTS ATTACHED TO THE PERSON

Mainstream vouchers assist non-elderly persons with disabilities. Aside from serving a special population, Mainstream vouchers are administered using the same rules as other housing choice vouchers.

HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHERS

SUPPORTS ATTACHED TO THE PERSON

Individuals obtain vouchers that are used to pay their rent (tenant-based rental assistance) while other vouchers are attached to the apartment unit (called project-based vouchers).

SECTION 811

SUPPORTS ATTACHED TO THE PROPERTY

A portion of the units within an affordable housing development are set-aside to receive this type of assistance. The tenant receives the benefit of the assistance while they live in the unit but if they choose to leave the property, the rental assistance stays with the unit. CLICK HEREto view and download the full PDF.

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION?
ARE YOU INTERESTED?

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