ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Wheels of Progress has created a Scattered Site Housing Program in the interim while the long-term goal of building permanent supportive, accessible, and affordable housing for people living with a spinal cord injury or other physical disabilities is in process. We will help to locate housing for individuals living with a physical disability who are live in senior nursing facilities or are at risk of being institutionalized because of inaccessibility issues. The organization will pursue its mission by providing these individuals with apartments of their own and then offering extensive ongoing support services. A team (consisting of a social worker, service coordinator, nurse, peer counselors, an employment specialist, a nutritionist, and an environmental modification specialist, etc.) will be assigned to each client depending on his or her needs, and work with eligible applicants who have obtained a Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Waiver.
Wheels of Progress’ pioneering approach will, therefore, be the immediate solution for the contemporary “homelessness” that exists for this segment of the population. Thanks to a generous grant from the
Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, Wheels of Progress will be able to “Jumpstart” the return of ten individuals back to the community in 2012.
In independent scattered-site apartments, rented from private landlords, these consumers will have rights and responsibilities outlined in a standard lease.
The program is founded on the belief that housing is a basic right for all people and that people living with a spinal cord injury or any other disabilities should be fully integrated into our communities. The program is intensively client-driven, that is, participants are respected as individuals who can make an informed choice about what they want, the sequence they want it in, and for how long they want the service. Typically, clients say that housing is what they need first. The Team works in partnership with clients to develop service plans and learn the skills they need to maintain an apartment, develop a sense of community, and ultimately become fully integrated into society.
Our clients are people living with spinal cord injury or other disabilities. Most clients will be on a fixed income (SSI/SSDI recipients). In order to be eligible for the program, an individual must be in a nursing home, at risk of being institutionalized, or living in an inaccessible home. They must agree to meet with a case manager a minimum of twice a month during the first year of tenancy and also pay 30% of their income toward their rent by participating in the agency’s money management program.
Wheels of Progress will seek private market rental housing throughout the 5 boroughs of New York City. We will keep a log of current building developments, as well vacancies in new/completed developments. We will work to negotiate leases.
The organization will serve as the single point of contact for most clients and provide most services directly. The Team will work out of a central office in New York City. Wheels of Progress will develop extensive linkages to local services, including primary care and housing referrals and placements. The team member- to- client ratio will be approximately 1:10.
Through Wheels of Progress’ vocational program, clients can be employed at minimum wage or higher, within the agency, as clerical workers, mentors and “buddies” who make apartment visits to new tenants and help them adjust to the program and their new homes. Vocational planning is a part of the service plan developed with each client.
Wheels of Progress will manage numerous scattered site apartments (including such functions as rent collection and environmental modifications). Larger repairs and maintenance are the responsibility of the landlord.