Karli is a young woman with a disability. In August 2009 she and her parents contacted The Arc of Minnesota in an effort find a place of her own. Karli wanted a place where she could stay up late, cook her own food, have family and friends over, and, most importantly, have a place where she could have her own privacy.
Housing Access Services staff from Arc Southeastern Minnesota met with Karli and her “circle of supports” to help figure out where she wanted to live and what it would take to make it happen.
The Arc Housing Access Services staff helped with many matters, such as meeting with the landlord, viewing the apartment, reviewing the lease agreement, applying for energy assistance and covering a rental deposit. Arc staff also helped Karli access the Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA) program along with Shelter Needy funds. "We even helped Karli with the actual process of moving her stuff and a few days later Karli had us over for a lovely lunch," says Melissa Evans, housing advocate at Arc Southeast.
Karli uses the Community Alternatives for Disabled Individuals (CADI) waiver program administered through the Department of Human Services for her supports and explored all the housing options in her area.
"I thought about group homes and didn't like the idea of someone watching over me every single minute and prompting me on things. ...I can do things for myself and when I need help I get what I need from my social worker, family or call Arc Housing Access Services if I need help with my place," says Karli.
“I like the fact I'm not dependent on my parents and I've accomplished so much and I'm so proud of myself. …I told people I could do this.”