Community Housing of Maine (CHOM) develops, owns, and maintains high-quality housing for the elderly, working families, and people with disabilities. In addition, CHOM coordinates the work of Maine Coalition for Housing and Quality Services (MCHQS), an organization formed in 2006 by a group of parents of children with special needs. MCHQS meets monthly and has articulated as their ultimate goal: “the creation of a system of quality housing and personal supports that is person and family centered, with choice, dignity, and efficiency being at the forefront of efforts.“ Over 4000 parents and other advocates are involved in MCHQS.
For the past three years, CHOM partnered with the NH-ME LEND by serving as a site for leadership field placement. Over the last two years, trainees from Maine have helped CHOM staff develop a timeline for the MCHQS website that would provide individuals with disabilities and families with an overview of the services and supports available across the lifespan.
This year, LEND trainee Taylor Harris is further expanding the timeline, adding information and links related to secondary transition for students with disabilities. Taylor is focusing particularly on eligibility for services and testing that transition-age youth may need in order to facilitate effective transition to employment, post-secondary education, and services. Taylor will also be pulling information on the history of supports and services to individuals with developmental disabilities in Maine.
Carsey School of Public Policy at UNH is nationally recognized for its research, policy education, and engagement. The school takes on the pressing issues of the twenty-first century, striving for innovative, responsive, and equitable solutions. This year, NH trainee Zachary Wormell is working with Carsey Research Director, Beth Mattingly, to examine the experience of families who have a child with a disability and are living in poverty.
The New Hampshire Association for Infant Mental Health works to ensure healthy social emotional development before birth and beyond. NH IMH promotes evidence-based and evidenced informed practices to strengthen collaboration, services and supports for families with infants and young children. LEND Trainee Christine Terrelonge is working with NHAIMH to create structures that will support the organization as it grows. This includes assisting with collecting, organizing, constructing, and vetting the policies and procedures that will govern the organization as it increases its membership and attracts new leaders.