LIVING INDEPENDENTLY

People with disabilities can live independently! You can decide how to live, work and participate in your community. However, living independently does not mean doing everything by yourself or living in isolation; instead, it means having the same choices in your every-day life that your non-disabled peers have. This can be making informed choices to participate in all aspects of society, with the help of any needed support. Some of the agencies below assist in obtaining the support services you will need to live independently. Others offer facilitated living settings. Act now and empower yourself with knowledge on the options available to you.

For people with disabilities, it can be difficult to find available and affordable housing in Miami- Dade, Broward County and Palm Beach counties. Many group homes and supported living programs are for adults ages 18 and up but often they have waiting lists. It is wise, during the transition years, to begin looking into such places and filling out paperwork to plan for eligibility. For assistance with independent living, please contact the Center for Independent Living.

“Despise not any man/woman and do not deem anything unworthy of consideration, for there is no man/woman that does not have his/her hour and no thing that does not have its place.”
Ethics of the Fathers 4:3

Local Resources

The Center for Independent Living of South Florida offers free to the user services in advocacy, self-help and independence training, references for services and peer support. Services for assistive technology, hearing impairment, independent living and social opportunities are just a part of what CIL offers.

The Arc of South Florida provides adult day care, group homes and vocational training for people with disabilities.

Jewish Association for Residential Care (JARC) One must be 18 years of age or older and have a documented intellectual disability but may have a secondary disability such as epilepsy, cerebral palsy, et cetera. This program does not meet the needs of persons with severe emotional or behavioral impairments. Individuals must possess basic self-help skills to such a degree that he/she can care for most of his/her own self care needs, assist in the maintenance of his/her own living quarters, care for personal clothing and share in household responsibilities.

Supported Living Apartments are for designed for adults who do not require 24-hour supervision in order to lead fulfilling lives. Supported living coaches assist clients with skills such as budgeting/money management, paying bills, grocery shopping/meal preparation, medical and transportation.

Melvin J & Claire Levine Jewish Residential & Family Service – is a partner agency of the Alpert Jewish Family & Children’s Service – Group Homes. Staffed by highly trained direct care professionals, JRFS’ Group Homes provide spacious accommodations, comfort, security and 24-hour support for six to seven coed residents ages 21 and older.

Supported Living Apartments. The apartment program caters to adults requiring some level of supervision, but able to be safe in their own apartments. Each resident has an individualized care plan encompassing areas including nutrition, exercise, vocational goals, medical and psychiatric needs, in-home supports, finances and interpersonal goals.

United Community Options of Broward, Palm Beach and Mid-Coast Counties provide residential services for both children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Additional support services include medical, dietary and behavioral services as needed. United Community Options also offers Behavior Focus Group Homes for individuals with behavior challenges. Supported living coaching provides training and assistance to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities that live independently in the community. Individuals are assisted and trained in daily living skills, managing personal finances, housekeeping needs and life skills.

The Jewish Association for Residential Care (JARC) is a nonprofit, non-sectarian organization that currently operates 10 group homes for adults with developmental disabilities and/or mental illness. JARC’s other services include an adult day training program, supported employment and a supported living apartment program.

Levine Jewish Residential and Family Service offers a supported independent living program catering to adults, ages 21 and over, who require some level of supervision but are able to live in their own apartment. They provide specialized programming, transportation, medication management and employment opportunities for residents.

Easter Seals a wide array of services over the life span for children and adults with different abilities. These include adult day services, in home care, vocational training and housing.

Florida Group Homes is an online resource with listings of group homes and assisted living facilities for people with disabilities.

The Association for People with Disabilities (APD) provides: Medicaid HCBS Waiver through iBudget Florida; Placement in an intermediate care facility for those with developmental disabilities; Supported employment services; Supported living services; Consumer Directed Care Plus (CDC+); and IFS (Individual and Family Supports) funding for non-waiver customer expenses

The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council publishes an online Housing Resource Guide that identifies and explains the housing resources available in each of Florida’s communities so that people with developmental disabilities will be better able to access the housing they desire.

Casa Familia is dedicated to creating affordable housing for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in an enriched community setting in Miami-Dade County. Through the generous support of Miami-Dade County, Casa Familia has received 9 acres of land at 11025 S.W. 84th St., in Kendall close to public transportation, employment opportunities, shopping, recreation, medical facilities, and much more. Casa Familia has established strategic partnerships with Atlantic Pacific Companies, a long-standing development firm, and United Community Options, a well-established social service provider, with the experience to develop and operate a best practice community for individuals with IDD. With the support of the University of Miami Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, Casa Familia will create a multi-phase residential campus of permanent supported housing, focused solely on serving adults with IDD.

Exceptional Designs. If you are an adult with a disability and need modifications to your home so that you can live more independently please contact Exceptional Designs.  They specialize in customized home modifications for people with developmental and/or physical disabilities.

Florida Independent Living Council. Statewide planning organization that works to help remove barriers to independent living for people with disabilities and to increase necessary supports and services. The Council is made up of 14 voting members appointed by the Governor, and the majority of voting members must be individuals with disabilities who are not employed by a Center for Independent Living (CIL) or a state agency.

Foundation for Independent Living, Inc. A private not-for-profit community-based independent residential living program for adults with disabilities. Also provides residents with job matching, job coaching at the time of placement and upon request, job support groups and liaison support between the resident, employer and the program. Other services include life skills training, coaching and support, social activities, outings and a variety of classes.

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National Council on Independent Living

Mortgage and Home Loan Help for the Disabled

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Americans Live With an Autism Spectrum Disorder
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