Supported Independent Living
All four CSIs (Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Virginia) support people who live in their own homes or apartments and receive varying amounts of support. Persons supported in this manner include persons with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities and persons with acquired brain injury.
Persons who live independently typically receive fewer than 24-hour supports. Instead, they receive a negotiated and planned number of hours of support over a week’s time, depending upon their skills, degree of independence, and complexity of personal issues and lifestyle.
The flexible hours of support provided coincide with problem solving needs. If a person is having difficulty achieving community integration, for example, one evening per week may be devoted to attending an advocacy group (e.g., People First), a church social, or a sports league. Accompanying staff will make every effort to help the person find community integration by one means or another, realizing that it may take several efforts to do so.
Hours of support may also be devoted to attending a medical appointment, helping to reconcile a check book, establishing food stamp eligibility, seeking a housing voucher, and helping with other meaningful tasks. The objective is not simply to provide companionship, but to support skill building and problem-solving.
Oftentimes in this residential model, CSI supports are supplemented by a non-disabled apartment mate, who is designated responsibility for being home in the overnight hours and during some weekend hours in exchange for living rent-free.
Over time, some CSI staff hours may also be replaced by “natural” (i.e., unpaid) supports from a family member, church member, or friend. The person supported may also have acquired sufficient skill to act alone in some circumstances.