The Housing Tale Continues

One of the biggest transitions for our adult child with disabilities was the transition to her own apartment. We signed up for waiting list openings to get the Section 8 voucher. One information source said that the waiting list hadn’t been open in ten years, and might not open for a while.

And, when they are open, we discovered that, in places like very-populated Ingham County, when the list opens, it may be for only a week or two. Low income housing is so sparse that the waiting lists are full.

lilacs

We applied to a couple of places. One was Alison House in Lansing. Another was an apartment complex in Mason. Our daughter got an apartment very quickly, probably because the waiting list is arranged with lowest income individuals at the top.

She doesn’t have the lowest rent, because she doesn’t have the voucher for people with disabilities, but she’s paying about what she paid us when she lived in our rental house.

I stayed with her the first two nights, so that she could adjust to things. She is blind and has autism, with sensory hypersensitivity. But it’s REALLY QUIET there, and she wasn’t bothered at all.

old townhousesSo I’d recommend that you find the places in your town that have rents scaled by income, fill out their (probably lengthy) application, and also keep an eye on the waiting list. If you live in Reed City or Baldwin, the list sits open all the time. If you live in a highly populated area, it may open very infrequently.

We get notices from Affordablehousing.com. I am not sure it’s the best place, but it’s the best I have found to monitor open waiting lists. More housing and independent living news to come…

 

 

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Join us on Thursday, April 19 for the LINCs meeting…one of the best things going on in Lansing for young adults with disabilities!

LINCS Meeting Notice
View this email in your browser
LINCS Educational Session for Families

THURSDAY, April 19, 2018
6:30 p.m.
Pilgrim Congregational Church
125 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Lansing, MI
FOCUS on:       DNCAP
Disability Network Capital Area

Knowing what resources are available in our community and knowing how to navigate them can be overwhelming. Disability Network Capital Area (DNCAP) assists with connecting individuals with disabilities and their families to community resources–by directly providing services and/or through linking to other service providers. DNCAP, formerly known as Capital Area Center for Independent Living, was established in 1976 and has a rich and long history with the Greater Lansing Area serving families in Clinton, Eaton, Ingham and Shiawassee counties.

We are pleased to welcome DNCAP’s Executive Director Mark Pierce and Resource Development Manager Diana Maddox to talk to us about this important community resource.  They will give us a bit of their history and cover the range of services and programming they provide at their center and throughout the community.

These monthly sessions are a great way to learn more about supporting loved ones who
are living with developmental disabilities and to
meet people with
similar interests.

Whether you are part  of Lansing Intentional Communities
now or are just looking for more information,
you are most welcome.


About
LINCS

Our mission is to
integrate adults with
autism and other
developmental
disabilities into
their communities
while maximizing
independence and
positive outcomes.

LINCS, and all individuals associated with LINCS, cannot
provide transportation, childcare or emergency services for attendees. 

Please note that attendees are fully responsible for their own safety and well-being.

HOW I GOT STARTED AS AN ENTREPRENEUR — Anna Schuck

Anna Schuck June 2016

One of our participants has had a story published in the Michigan Family Connections Newsletter. You can read it below!

I’m going to tell you about how I got started as a retailer. It all started when I was about three years old. My mom had gotten some plastic animals for me. I played with those animals a lot, and since I’m blind, the animals helped me to understand what real animals looked like. And since I have autism, my collection of plastic animals has become my passion.
Now jump forward to the year 2015. At this time I was standing in a little toy store in Jackson Mi. I was looking at some plastic animals they had displayed there on the shelf. In previous years, I had seen these figures advertised at Michael’s, and other craft stores. Yet, as I stood there, looking at them then, I started thinking “I wonder where these toy store people get these figures from? I wonder if I could carry these things too?”
And so, my business began. I started selling and ordering in 2016, but for a while before my first order, I had to scrape together $100 in order to make my very first order. Now, my dream has always been to work in a storefront, but that will probably be delayed for a time, perhaps forever, because my autism gets in the way. But in spite of all this, my business has really been the best part of my life.


The Girls’ Social Group will meet on April 5 and 19, and May 3 and 17. Thursday evenings, 6:30 to 8 PM.

What we’ve learned so far about finding an apartment for a young adult with disabilities

Every state has a housing development authority. In Michigan, it’s the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Start with MSHDA here: webapp.mshda.cgi-bps.com/Default.aspx For help finding an apartment, start here: michiganhousinglocator.com/Portals/mshda/Default.aspx (but not sure this listing service show correct information about Spectran paratransit in Lansing.)

Word of mouth–It could take as long as 3 years to get to the top of the waiting list. When/if you do get to the top, you have to take what is offered anywhere in the county or else go to the bottom and wait again.

Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) are the most desirable subsidy because, as the name implies, you can choose to live anywhere (in theory). The government reimburses the landlord for what you cannot pay. You can find out more at MSHDA.

Lansing Housing Commission (lanshc.org; 517-487-6550) is another portal to some of the same opportunities. Do you own property? Would you like help to turn it into a low-rent opportunity? Lansing Housing Commission, or any local housing commission, is probably your best bet to speak to a human being rather that only view a website.

Affordable Housing Online has quite a bit of information about different kinds of subsidized housing, but I wondered if some spam I got was because of them. Two unsubscribes and the spam was over, so I think it’s worth spending time there and maybe signing up for their info. You can sign up for email alerts for the state you live in. These folks also have some “guides” that tell more about housing options, if you scroll to the bottom of the screen. (affordablehousingonline.com) You’ll be shocked by some info, such as “This county’s waiting list was last opened in March 2014, and it’s not known when the waiting list will be open again.” It’s clear there’s a housing shortage for people with disabilities who need reduced rent.

Intentional communities are a throwback to the 60s commune lifestyle, but designed so that families and friends can encircle and support individuals who need extra help to live independently. Check out these in Michigan: Lansing Intentional Communities (LINCS; http://linc2linc.org ), Intentional Communities of Washtenaw (intentcom.org), Saline Maple Oaks (www.salinemapleoaks.com)

A good basic question when exploring housing is this: How do you feel about having a roommate? This is a crucial piece of information when searching for housing.

Good luck and post your tips. Forward this to others who might want to get some help on the journey. You can email Lydia at lschuck51@edentransition.org.

 

Meeting Thursday 3/1 in Mason

We’ll be meeting for the Girls’ Social Group on March 1 and 15, and then every first and third Thursday through May. We meet at 1981 Eden Road in Mason. We meet from 6:30 to 8. Put a comment below if you want to ask questions.

Is there someone you’d think might like to know about our social opportunities for girls and young women with autism or other social issues? Send them the link to this webpage, and encourage them to join our list. Helpful resources only go as far as our mailing list members!

Next time: What we’re finding out about housing, summer opportunities for blind youth, and other useful thoughts about transition to adulthood.