Among the most important values and goals we all share are the freedom to live as we choose and the desire to belong to a community. This is equally true for people with disabilities who want to live as independently as possible and be a part of a community.
A home of one’s own – either rented or owned – is the cornerstone of independence for people with disabilities. People with intellectual/ developmental disabilities (I/DD) have the right to live in safe, accessible, quality housing within a community that fosters understanding and inclusion. Unfortunately, there is a severe housing crisis across the U.S. for people with I/DD.
The Link creates community-centered opportunities for people with developmental disabilities through high quality, city-centered housing that fosters meaningful interactions and pathways to independence.
LIMITED HOUSING FOR ADULTS WITH DISABILITIES
After graduation from high school, individuals with disabilities experience what is known as “the cliff” - the supports, social opportunities and routines they have relied on disappear. Meaningful employment and financial independence, anticipated milestones for most young adults, are often unattainable for adults with disabilities.
Historically, the housing choices for an adult with disabilities are either living at home with a family caregiver or living in a state-certified housing facility. Some people with disabilities have reported that certified housing, such as group homes can have an isolating effect. Resulting in greater feelings of loneliness.
Right now in our region, 3,000 intellectually or developmentally disabled adults are on waiting lists for residential placements that can be up to 10 years long. The Link seeks to create a new, replicable model that creates co-living opportunities for people with developmental disabilities that promotes independence and community integration.
HOW THE LINK MAKES A DIFFERENCE
Our mission is to connect people of all ages and abilities through co-living opportunities that promote meaningful interactions and pathways to independence. On course to be completed by 2021 in the heart of Utica, NY, The Link is an innovative, community-centered residential development where 20% of the apartments are designed and designated for adults with intellectual/ developmental disabilities. The first of its kind in the Utica Area, The Link seeks to be a model and a mentality. The affordable and inclusive community offers social engagement, unparalleled accessibility and dynamic educational, vocational and therapeutic programming for residents and neighbors.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
THE GOOD NEIGHBOR PROGRAM
The typical residents living at The Link, as well as those living in the community, may, if they desire, receive a stipend or rent reduction for assisting their neighbors with developmental disabilities with tasks such as preparing meals, getting ready on time and doing laundry. More information coming soon.
THE CONNECTION MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM
Whether you are a family that includes a child with a disability, a friend of our community or a business that is looking for local ways to get involved, our Connection Membership entitles you to receive all Link communications and to connect with and build our Link community through regular member events. Our events will include activities such as: Yoga, Lunches, Meet ups at Concerts or Sports Games, and Educational workshops for adults with I/DD and their families. More information coming soon.