rflecting on lack of long-term residences for people with disabilities

This is a topic I come back to again and again. That there’s such a lack of residential facilities that catter to those under 65. Yet elderly persons have so many choices in this regard. It seems like other people with legitamete disabilities having the same needs but being at the wrong age are left with very few options. Especially if they want something specific to their disability.

For example, so far as I know there are only two long term residential facilities for blind adults specifically. They’re both in IL weirdly enough. No other state has adopted the idea that for many people aspects of a supportive living model, like knowing there will be food on the table, help coordinating medical care, having a nice apartment to live in are huge concerns due to the vulnerability the disability brings to their life. In a place that has enough structure and services to fill these needs which would be very difficult to meet or imposible otherwise, yet allow flexibility in one’s day and independence otherwise seem such a good middle ground for so many.

Obveously many organizations don’t realize this.

I also think the word residential facility has a bad name because people here stories of such places being truly terrible or like living in jail. Often places do have to adhere to state regulations which can be hard to break out of the box when needed. Some people like Jonathan manage to do this while still sticking to the rules, he might just bend them a little! That said every single place is different. A lot has to do with funding and what staff are where.

I wish there could be a more open dialogue about this so that the idea can be expanded to more holistic services and a true community feel not an institution. I do feel like I’m part of a community here, a quirky frustrating one but still. I don’t feelinstituionalized or like I’m being ordered around. I feel safe and comfortable and in the midst of overwhelming emotions this is an important ankor.

So you know my take on all this if you’ve read anything from my blog since moving toFriedman place and then Albany. My thoughts on this are picking up seed, or I geuss maybe substance as myself and a couple of friends want to find new residential living options. This would not take place for myself and my roommate until at least a year from now. For my other friend it might be faster but again not like tomorrow or something. Just feeling the ever present frustration of there being so few options for the under 65 population who have a variety of disabilities. There are a couple options in IL and then there’s venturing out to other states which would be tricky and not something I want to think about. Thinking about being in a smaller place would be nice and to have people with less quirky frustrating behaviors. That said I’m very afraid of leaving the safe shelter of Albany where I literally got my life back. And especially afraid of no other more suitable mental health focused one in IL but we’ll have to see. In these places we would be getting more than $30 a month which in itself would be a plus. If anyone happens to know anything that would fit with my/my friends profiles: blind, physically disabled morbid obsedy, blind, mental illness please let me know!

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