Quality Housing for All!
Housing is a pressing concern for individuals with disabilities and their families across the state of Maine. Formed by a group of parents in 2006, the Maine Coalition for Housing and Quality Services (MCHQS)’s goal is to create a system of quality housing and personal supports that is person and family centered, with choice, dignity, and efficiency. There are some 4000 people involved in the Coalition, including parents, advocates, self-advocates, providers, as well as decision-makers from health and human services, special education, vocational professionals, and experts on transition. By pulling together as a collective voice, efforts to improve current policies leading to quality, affordable housing and supports can become a reality for people with disabilities. The MCHQS has served as a leadership placement for Maine trainees from the NH-ME LEND Program. Trainee activities have focused on helping the Coalition in its efforts to be a clearinghouse of accessible information for a range of stakeholders. Activities have included assisting in developing a timeline of services for families, updating the Coalition’s information on housing alternatives, and developing a history of services by combining existing information. Currently, a Maine trainee is taking the lead on revising and updating the Coalition’s “Developmental Services Lifelong Continuum of Care” which includes their “Blueprint for Effective Transition” so they are more user friendly and easier to read.