Parents Create Housing Alternatives for Adult Children With Disabilities

As children with disabilities enter
adulthood, more parents are joining forces to create independent housing
that is more "home" than "facility." Baruch and Joyce Schur were out of
options. They couldn't find anywhere for their physically and
intellectually disabled 26-year-old son to live, at least nowhere that
met their criteria or didn't have a years-long waiting list. The
55-year-old couple made plans to move out of state. Uprooting themselves
from their native Chicago and leaving friends and a family business was
the only way to give Josh a home – not an institution – that offered
independence, a kosher kitchen, and a sense of community before his
parents became too elderly to care for him. But then the Schurs took an
even bolder step. They joined forces with five other families in similar
circumstances to do what government could not: They created something
better. They become a nonprofit, raised their own funds, bought their
own property, and hired a design team and social services agency to
staff a home. Last month, six young men – with cerebral palsy, autism,
and Down syndrome – moved into a red-brick Georgian on a quiet block in
the same Chicago neighborhood, Rogers Park, where they grew up. Other
parent-empowered groups are also rolling up their sleeves, joining this
quiet crusade. A Glenview, Ill., couple has partnered with Rush
University Medical Center to build housing for young adults with autism
in Chicago's West Loop. In Wheaton, Ill., another family group
collaborated with their church for a similar project.


Source/more: Chicago Tribune via Minneapolis Start-Tribune

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