Wednesday, December 13, 2017
As a non-profit dedicated to building supported communities for adults with disabilities, Integrated Living Opportunities’ (ILO) number one priority is to ensure that self-advocates are creating communities that meet their expectations, match their needs, and fulfil their dreams.
2017 has been a banner year for growth in our organization. We have helped many self-advocates achieve independent living. We continue to support these self- advocates as they integrate fully into their communities, work on their independent living skills, and pursue their dreams of living full lives. In addition, we have also been hard at work growing our staff, fundraising for the future, and launching new community building initiatives.
As 2017 comes to a close, we would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the last twelve months – and also, to celebrate our successes.
Building Supported Communities
Over the last twelve months, ILO has grown by seven families, all of which are excited to be creating supported communities for their loved ones with disabilities. In the last year, two self-advocates have moved into their own homes in Washington, D.C., and two more young men moved into the Crossings supported by ILO and their personal networks of support. Another self-advocate is in the final stages of their independent living preparation, and will move out in the first quarter of 2018. Lastly, the Bethesda pod is building steam and we hope to have at least four to five self-advocates moving out sometime in the summer/fall months of next year.
As well, ILO board members, staff and volunteers have been hard at work building and growing our community pods – currently, ILO supports three community pods: Germantown/Gaithersburg, Bethesda, and Washington, D.C. As ILO continues to grow – an expansion of our services into Virginia is planned for 2018 – we predict that the number of community pods that ILO supports will increase.
For more information on how to build a supported community for your loved one with disability, please contact us.
Over the last few months, ILO board members, participating families and volunteers have been engaged in a number of different fundraising campaigns. As a non-profit, it is vital that ILO raise funds to continue to provide the quality services to adults with disabilities in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Every dollar raised helps us achieve our goal of supporting and empowering adults with disabilities as they become fully integrated members of the wider community.
A few of our successful 2017 fundraisers included the ILO Bike and Hike in May of 2017, ILO’s Night at the Nationals, as well as our Beers n Cheers event in October and our Giving Day campaign on November 28. In addition, ILO is currently hosting a GoFundMe campaign, and we accept donations through our website year round. If you would like to support ILO, please donate to and/or share our GoFundMe Campaign on social media – the link can be found here.
As well, until December 15th all donations raised by ILO will be matched by an anonymous donor – please help us reach our goal of $50,000 ($25,000 through donations, $25,000 through anonymous donor) by donating directly through our website. Help us achieve our goal of supporting and empowering adults with disabilities to become fully integrated members of the wider community.
One ILO’s most significant accomplishments of 2018 is the creation of ILO Community Group. Community Group is a unique, all ages, members-only group that operates within the wider ILO community. This group was created to bring together individuals with disabilities who wish to join the ILO community, but may not be ready to participate in ILO training, or actively prepare for independent living. Families and individuals with disabilities that join the ILO group will be welcomed into an inclusive, supportive and supported community that facilitates the development of meaningful relationships. Community Group members make meaningful connections and build relationships that help develop their own network of support – and networks of support are the cornerstone of ILO’s community building philosophy.
In just a few short months, ILO Community Group has grown to 16 members, all of whom are active both within the organization and the wider community. Community Group has a number of events planned for 2018, beginning with our ABLE pop up event scheduled for January 23, 2018. Individuals that going community group and register for this event will have the opportunity to learn about Maryland and Washington, D.C. ABLE accounts from the experts. After a short presentation, attendees will be able to ask questions, gather information, and even register for an ABLE account on the spot. Please note: this event is open to Community Group members only.
If you would like to join Community Group or would like to learn more, please follow this link to our ILO Community Group page. A full list of Community Group Member Benefits (including regular, scheduled events such as the ABLE popup) can be found by visiting the community group webpage. Any questions can be directed to Maedi@ilonow.org.
Would you like to join ILO?
Thank you all so much for taking the time to visit our blog today, and for your continued support over the last twelve months. We look forward to continuing to grow and expand our services into 2018, and we are committed to our goal to create more supported communities for adults with disabilities.
If you would like to join ILO, either as a participating family that is actively preparing to live independently, or as a family that simply wants to become a part of the ILO community please contact us. We are currently looking into arranging ILO training for 2018, and our Community Group is always open to new members. 2018 is going to be another huge year for our organization – and we would love to have you along for the ride!
Our next blog will be posted January 4th, 2018 – if you would like to stay connected, please take a moment to subscribe to our blog and you will be notified when each of our posts go live.