Why?

Why 1st Life Planning?

  • We are first and foremost parents of individuals with special needs. We are concerned about the future for our children as we continue to age and can no longer provide the same level of support. We have been developing this program for over 2 years now because we recognized the lack of resources and group home options in our community. We have worked to ensure that our kids, your kids, and generations to come will have safe and supportive housing where they can have the maximum quality of life through independent living and involvement in the community.
  • Second, there are over 84,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have at least one independent living difficulty in North Texas

Who will we serve?

  • We are serving an under-served population in our community who depends on our advocacy, resources, determination and compassion to provide opportunities to maximize their quality of life. We are committed to providing superior HCS services including residential options that support independent living and community involvement for adults with developmental disabilities.
  • In doing so, we are also serving the families of special needs individuals who are concerned about the future of their children as they age and can no longer provide the same level of care. We are not only providing the opportunities for people with special needs to reach their maximum potential in life, but we are also restoring a quality of life to families who have provided for their children as they have assumed the lifelong caregiver role.

What does a group home provide?

  • Our goal is to provide the opportunities for personal growth and fulfillment of adults with special needs through group housing.
  • Living in a group home gives a person with special needs a sense of productiveness and progression in their lives. In a group home setting, individuals develop better social interactive skills as they are living communally with people outside of their family. They are challenged to grow and develop independent living skills, as they may be responsible for chores in the home, cooking their own meals, doing laundry, etc. Through participation in a day-habilitation, they will “acquire, retain or improve self-help skills, socialization skills, or adaptive skills that are necessary for the individual to successfully reside, integrate, and participate in the community” (Department of Aging and Disability Services, 2013).

Is there a problem with current housing options?

  • Housing isn’t an entitlement
  • Receiving Medicaid Waiver or SSI or SSDI funding does not mean a person receives housing
  • Federally funding housing is very competitive
  • Budgets continue to be reduced
  • Organizations that provide options are not aggressively establishing options or marketing in North Texas

What about the home and costs?

  • The affordability gap for people with disabilities has exponentially worsened in the recent years
    • Over 4 million Americans with disabilities who rely on federal monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) have incomes less than $8,500 per year
      • Low enough to be priced out of every rental housing market in the nation
      • In 2010, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment was $785 per month – far higher than $710, the maximum monthly SSI payment across all states, for people living independently
  • An accessible home offers specific features or technologies to accommodate people with disabilities such as:
    • Lowered kitchen counters and sinks, roll-under stoves, widened doorways, wheel-in showers and raised electrical outlets
    • For people who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices, finding housing with even basic accessibility features (e.g. an entrance with no steps) ranges from daunting to impossible
    • In addition, accessible units can be very costly to rent or purchase

Why shouldn’t parents be lifetime care givers?

As this generation of caregivers continues to age, many of their adult children with special needs may be forced to live in large congregate facilities or other inappropriate places like institutions due to the shortage of housing and support services

The supply of affordable, accessible, and supportive housing is far less than the need

Why focus on Texas?

  • United Cerebral Palsy annually publishes “The Case for Inclusion” – An Analysis of Medicaid for Americans with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities.   Where does Texas rank?
    • Texas has 13 large state facilities housing 4,207 Americans at a cost of $166,502 per person per year
    • Texas has a waiting list that would require the program to grow by 334% on average to accommodate the need.
    • Over 70,000 individuals are on the waiting list for housing.
    • Texas ranks 50th out of the 51 states and District of Columbia
    • Texas has consistently ranked at the bottom since 2007

*Some of the content is referenced from Community of Permanent Supported Housing and the United Cerebral Palsy organization