Sadowski Funds Pave the Way for Independent Living
According to Florida Statutes, people with special needs include:
- Adults with disabilities who need support services to live independently
- Youth aging out of foster care who are eligible for the state’s Road-to-Independence Program
- Survivors of domestic violence
- Persons who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or veterans’ disability benefits
Sadowski funds are used in every community to help these individuals find affordable housing, or modify existing housing to make it handicapped-accessible. Affordable housing can make the difference between living in the community and living in an institution, or ending up homeless.
- In 2013, over 590,000 households were low-income, had a member with a disability, and lived in unaffordable housing (Shimberg Center for Housing Studies).
- Lack of affordable housing can prevent domestic violence (DV) victims from fleeing their abusers. Affordable housing ranks second only to safety among the needs that DV survivors express when they enter crisis shelters (Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence 2014).
- About 1,000 young adults age out of Florida’s foster care system each year. In a 2014 survey conducted by the Department of Children and Families, 31% of youth (age 18 to 22) who had aged out of foster care said they had been homeless at some point.
Between the 2006-07 and 2011-12 fiscal years, SHIP assisted over 1,000 households with a member that has developmental disabilities (Florida Housing Finance Corporation data).
Lift Installation Assistance Keeps Son in Home
Nancy and Robert Mendola used SHIP funds to pay for the installation of a ceiling lift system for their teenage son, Andrew, who uses a wheelchair. The lift helps family members transition Andrew from the bed to the shower. The Mendolas also used SHIP to make the bathroom wheelchair-accessible.
Two nonprofits in Marion County, Arnette House and Silver River Mentoring and Instruction, Inc. (SRMI), used SHIP funds to purchase and rehabilitate a building to provide transitional housing for youth aging out of foster care. The low rents allow the young tenants to balance school and part-time work.
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