Celebrating Specialized Housing and Ron's Home Sweet Home 🏡

Posted by Cynthia Haddad on Wed, Nov 25, 2020 @ 06:30 AM

The Special Needs Financial Planning Team John Nadworny, CFP, CTFA | Cynthia Haddad, CFP | Alexandria Nadworny, CFP,  CTFA

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Celebrating Specialized Housing and Ron's Home Sweet Home

My Brother's Journey to Home Ownership

By Cindy Haddad, Ron's Sister and SHI Superfan

Last month, I joined a group of families online to view the premiere of From Self- Advocacy to Independent Living, a documentary film telling the inspirational story of David and Margot Wizansky and the history of Specialized Housing, Inc.

Ron's home in Arlington, MASpecialized Housing, Inc. (SHI), pioneered the concept of people with disabilities owning their own home within a supported community. This simple description doesn’t come close to describing the enormous positive impact this living arrangement has provided for SHI residents and their families.

While my older brother Ron resides in a SHI home in Arlington, MA, watching the documentary made me think about my own journey with SHI, one that started over 25 years ago.


I attended an adult sibling meeting held by the Arc of Greater Boston (now part of Northeast Arc) and the speaker was Margot Wizansky. As she described this first-of-its-kind, amazing living situation, I thought WOW:

  1. I can provide a stable environment for Ron 😊 and
  2. I don’t have to move into the family home 😀 and
  3. Ron and I do not have to live together! 😁

At the time, SHI had a house with a space available in Harvard Square and my Mother and I went for a visit. Everything about it seemed perfect; the staff and residents had tremendous positive energy and the house was awesome. It had an unbeatable location and was very close to a bus line that ran right by our home, a great benefit since Ron knew how to use public transportation.

Ron had told us that he wanted to move and we rushed home, excited to share our good news. Well, I was in for a surprise; Ron had no interest in moving into a house and sharing space with several people! I had thought that coming from a big family, he would have no issue living in a house with 10 people. I had thought I knew best but had forgotten to ask Ron what his thoughts were before moving ahead. Ron then moved into a different housing arrangement which, years later, he outgrew.

Ron Out & AboutOver the years I have spoken with many families of the adults who reside in a SHI home, including some of the first residents of the first house in Brookline. They hold these residences in the highest regard for the longevity of staff, stability of community and environment of independence, respect and support. I always thought, Ron deserves all of this.

Two years ago, when working with a SUPPORTbroker at the Arc of Massachusetts and our DDS service coordinator to find a change of residence for Ron, they suggested a SHI home in Arlington, our hometown. Well, seeing is believing and all the accolades have proven to be true. Ron loves his condo, the staff is great and during Covid, when it was unsafe to go to work, he and his housemates have provided support for one another. While the model is well-known now, and not fit for everyone, it has brought out the best in Ron.

Ron and Jackie This holiday will be different for various reasons, but I am taking time to focus on and be grateful for the brightness provided by so many in my life, especially on behalf of Ron. I give thanks to the entire SHI family, but especially to Jackie, Ken, Josie, Sharita, Uche, Heather, Michael, Chuck, Ted and so many others for their wonderful care of their residents and keeping them safe during Covid. I am grateful for the amazing pioneering parents and their children who have led the way for us and to their other siblings who carry on. I continue to stand in awe of Margot and David for their vision, leadership and incredible belief and advocacy (even beyond Mass Advocates Standing Strong), on behalf of people with disabilities for decades.

Their light shines brightly- watch the video!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: Housing

Join us: Affordable Housing Options Beyond Section 8

Posted by Patty Manko on Sat, Feb 18, 2017 @ 08:00 AM

The Special Needs Financial Planning Team  Cynthia Haddad, CFP | John  Nadworny, CFP | Alexandria Nadworny, CFP  We are committed to offering educational workshops to organizations and parent  groups.  Please call Alex or click here to attend a workshop or discuss a presentation  to your group.Workshops Calendar

We have a housing afforability problem in Massachusetts because we have a housing supply problem. Learn how to navigate and evaluate the options available for affordable housing: JOIN US for affordable housing research and tips from Eric Shupin, Director of Public Policy for the Citizens Housing and Planning Associaiton (CHAPA).

 RSVP : Alex.nadworny@shepherdfinancialpartners.com 

 

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Tags: Housing

Housing: A Variety of Options, November 7

Posted by Patty Manko on Fri, Oct 09, 2015 @ 03:41 PM

We are hosting a presentation for families planning to create a home for their loved one. At this presentation, discussion will center upon combining personal savings and resources with government benefits to design the most appropriate and sustainable residential option for your family member.  

Please feel free to share this email or download a PDF of the flyer to share with individuals or families interested in learnng about these options. Please contact Alex Nadworny  (781-756-1804) for more information.

 Housing_a_Variety_of_Options_flyer

 

Tags: Housing

Considerations When Planning a Home for Your Child with a Disability

Posted by Patty Manko on Thu, Oct 01, 2015 @ 05:48 PM

Screen_Shot_2015-09-15_at_3.12.55_PM-1When planning a home for an individual with disabilities, the cost of the physical housing is many times a surprisingly small percentage of the total expense.There are 2 primary factors to consider in planning for lifetime residential options for your child with disabilities.  

  1. Supports required - the level of assistance your child needs in order to manage their day to day activities.
  2. Your financial resources.

Assessing & Planning for Supports

Supports an individual may require for daily living ranges from individuals with medically complex situations (requiring assistance in all activities) to individuals in need of minimal supports.  

Once you have identified the level of support your child requires, you must next determine the level of staffing necessary to provide this support.  Staff is usually the largest expense to be considered when quantifying the cost of your child’s residential options.  There are planning techniques that may be used to maintain the level of services your child requires and contain the costs within your budget.  One example of this is to find opportunities to change the ratio of staff to individuals.   Since the quality of a program depends on the support staff, establishing the optimum ratio requires skill and experience.

Planning for a Rich & Meaningful Life

Most importantly, the goal of planning should be to reach beyond your child’s baseline needs and provide the opportunity for an enriched and meaningful life for them. This goal requires a great deal of time and garnering of resources. 

There is no one-size-fits-all best solution for all families. Your investment in a residence for your child is a factor in your own personal tax, retirement and estate planning. The key is to determine the best situation for you and your family as a whole.  

Contact us  to find out more  about our upcoming   Housing Presentations.

 

Tags: Housing

Housing for People with Disabilities

Posted by Patricia Manko on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 @ 02:31 PM

describe the image
 Read Our Story of Creating a Home for our Son

When planning a home for an individual with disabilities, the cost of the physical housing is many times a surprisingly small percentage of the total expense.

There are 2 primary factors to consider in planning for lifetime residential options for your child with disabilities.  They are:

  • Supports required-the level of assistance they need in order to manage their day to day activities
  •  Your financial resources

Assessing Supports

The support an individual may require ranges from medically complex situations or individuals requiring assistance in all activities of daily living to individuals in need of minimal supports.  

Once you have identified the level of support required, you must determine the level of staffing necessary to provide this support.  Staff is usually the largest expense to be considered when quantifying how much your child’s residential options will cost.  There are planning techniques that may be used to maintain the level of services your child requires and contain the costs within your budget.  One example of this is to find opportunities to change the ratio of staff to individuals.   Since the quality of a program depends on the support staff, establishing the optimum ratio requires skill and experience.

Planning for  a Rich & Meaningful Life

Most importantly, the goal of planning should be to reach beyond your child’s baseline needs and provide for them an opportunity for an enriched and meaningful life. This goal requires a great deal of time and garnering of resources. We are working at this goal right now and you may find it helpful to read about the process we have employed in planning for a home for our son James, in our blog, Diary of a Dream

There is no one-size-fits-all best solution for all families. An investment by parents in a residence in which their child will live is a factor in their own personal tax, retirement and estate planning. The key is to determine the best situation for you and your family. If you have questions regarding your own individual situation, please give us a call.

Contact us

Tags: Housing, Special Needs Financial Planning

Special Needs Financial Planning Newsletter

Posted by Patricia Manko on Wed, Oct 24, 2012 @ 06:08 PM

Click on the icon below to download our October newsletter featuring

  • Planning is a Family Affair: Coming of Age as a Brother or Sister of a Person with Disabilities
  • Our new, exclusive SNFP Housing Checklist
  • Tips to help people with autism and their families have happy holidays

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Tags: Housing, Special Needs Financial Planning, autism

Age 22 and Beyond: Transitioning from Home to Independence-Part 2

Posted by Patricia Manko on Tue, Aug 14, 2012 @ 12:15 PM

Planning for Stage IV: Child's Age 22 and Beyond

describe the imageThe first step in the process is to understand your own readiness for seeing your child as an adult on their own. The definition of “on their own” does not mean without assistance but means not under your constant protection and view. Again, think of your other children. Could you have imagined them handling their own affairs, doing their own laundry, making the right social choices as long as they were living under your roof? For some, the time for separation couldn’t come soon enough. For others, it seemed to never be the right time.  But in all instances, it involved an emotional readiness to accept the risk of independence. The same is true with a child with a disability. Only you have fewer answers and more questions and more insecurity about the decision that you are making.

 In trying to determine what kind of home you envision for your child as an adult, one of the main criteria which differentiates one type of setting from another deals with how much assistance your child will need in order to handle the daily needs of life. This should be broken down by the basics of: food , personal grooming and daily hygiene care, money management and social activities and connections. How much physical assistance does your child need in order to handle these tasks? Do they need someone physically on site with them in order to accomplish these tasks or do they need reminders through visual cues, organizing the environment so as to limit confusion, support from people outside of where they live or do they need to be under the watchful eye of someone living in the house.

 Have they ever been left alone for any period of time? For an overnight period? If they haven’t, what do you worry would happen if they were alone? Can they be taught to handle what you fear will happen. Is that fear of “what if” the same you fear for your other children in terms of now making the right choices?

 Next rank what is most important to you and to them on the following issues. Remember, there is no right or wrong answers; these are for clarification purposes only.

 Do you see your child living in an urban, suburban, or rural setting?

The answer is usually dependent on the ability level and therefore the importance of having access to stores, public transportation and jobs.

 Does it matter if your child lives with others of the same gender or mixed genders. To whom does it matter? There are advantages to both and in most cases either situation is fine provided rules of privacy and space are clearly defined.

 Location is often a variable which stands in the way of finding the “perfect” housing arrangement. Often families will insist on a location of a few towns, typically near where they live. Bear in mind that restricting yourself, however practical, may well eliminate a housing option which presents very compatible roommates and is perfect for the individual.

 How insistent will you be about the level of cleanliness, the nutritional content of all meals, the organization of the room, the neatness of the apartment or the house, the bedtime hour, etc. These may seem like minor issues when you are thinking about them in the abstract. However, they will be the details which will make you re-evaluate your decision for independence daily unless you have come to terms with the value you place on each variable. Ask any parent what they want for their child and they will answer: “I want them to be happy”. It is the definition of happiness-your definition versus theirs that makes for peace and satisfaction with the decision of where the child lives as an adult. A parent wants to feel supportive of the decision. It is essential that these issues get resolved in order for that support to be felt.

Source: Dafna Krouk-Gordon, Executive Director, TILL Inc.

Tags: Housing, Special Needs Financial Planning