This Post was originally posted on SteppingStoneCommunities.org on December 11, 2018
It’s that time of year when our hearts turn toward home. As children, home is where family, comfort and safety help us grow up to be all we can be.
Once grown, we set out to make homes of our own. For many of us, this the time when we discover our own individuality. There is great strength gained when we choose our own space, decorate it to reflect our own personalities and to complete the healthy separation from the childhood haven. This will be the place where we mature, participate in our own communities and even hopefully age in place.
One of my happiest memories is of the first time my family came to MY home for Christmas! It was perhaps the first time I truly felt like a “grown up”.
But for over 10,000 Coloradans, such independence seems unattainable. When through no fault of your own, your income is limited to an average of $750 a month, and the most modest apartment in your hometown rents for more than twice that amount, how are you to make that oh-so-essential leap from the nest? How do you get the independence to discover who you really are?
State and federal funding for independent residential option for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities lags far behind the need. In spite of a demonstrated need for 10,000 residential units, in 2018 the state legislature found funds to subsidize just 300. Where will the other 9,700 individuals go?
Because many caretakers of these adults with I/DD are over the age of 60, the Colorado community will be facing a tsunami of need within the next few years.
Stepping Stone Communities seeks to begin meeting this need with the first of many apartment buildings designed to house 50 adults with I/DD. Another 50 units will be affordable for workforce and senior housing. Together these individuals will build a community operating their home as a cooperative learning and growing together.
We look forward to the time when 50 adults with I/DD and their friends can invite their families into their very own homes for the holidays.
The need is enormous. The goal is ambitious. But this building MUST be built. Will you help bring this deserving population home for the holidays?