In 2014 several women, long connected by the friendship of their special needs’ children, met for coffee to discuss living arrangements for their kids. All recognized theirchildren were aging and the sobering question, “who will look after my child when I die?” haunted their dreams. Group homes didn’t appear to be a good fit. Many did not need 24/7 care and had the capability to choose many of their living arrangements such as where and with whom they would live and how to spend their time. However, none could live completely independently either. After months of research and networking with surrounding agencies and parents, they concluded nothing fully fit the bill. They were going to have to develop their own plan. Thus, Integrative Neighborhoods was born.
Over the course of the past few years two of these women established residency for their sons in the Hunters Ridge Apartment complex in Farmington Hills, Michigan. They chose it for its safe neighborhood, abundance of amenities, and proximity to food, retailand public transportation. In 2019, a third apartment with three young men was established. Now that the first POD is formed, Integrative Neighborhoods is actively working to raise money to fund a Community Builder. We continue to have meetings several times a year to promote awareness, help to facilitate roommate connections, work with other agencies to combine valuable resources and raise funds to further promote and develop Integrative Neighborhoods.
Collect donations to provide housing for an onsite nighttime emergency contact person (Community Builder). This person will also develop social activities for the adults in the PODS and for potential POD members, mediate roommate disputes and provide general backup assistance for POD members.