LADD Launches Integrated Housing Initiative for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

LADD, Inc., a non-profit organization that empowers adults with developmental disabilities to live, work, and connect, launched a new initiative to develop an integrated housing and service model for adults with developmental disabilities. The project, called Forever, Home, will build or purchase and remodel 6-8 houses in neighborhoods throughout Cincinnati and provide independent living for 20-30 adults with developmental disabilities. Three to four people will live in each home for the duration of their lives and LADD will provide technology, comprehensive training and engagement services to support safe, independent living.

LADD announced that the first home in Blue Ash was completed this August for Margot, Amy, Kathleen, and Marc to move-in. The site for the second home is currently under contract in Anderson Township. Future neighborhoods will be determined by safety, walkability, access to bus lines, shopping centers, and stores.

“We know that people with disabilities who live in integrated community settings with appropriate support systems are more likely to develop and retain daily living skills, maintain competitive employment, and have better physical and mental health,” said Susan Brownknight, CEO, LADD, Inc. “Our goal is to bring long-term change to the current resource-intensive housing and service model. We want to give options to the thousands of middle-class families whose loved ones are currently hoping for a government subsidy to assist with the exorbitant costs of the current service model. We are trying to rethink what is possible in terms of supports for people with developmental disabilities.”

Two technology-based pilots are core to this innovative approach to care. Both pilots incorporate advanced software, technology and training to decrease the cost for support, increase service efficiencies, and support safe, independent living for people with disabilities. LADD plans to scale the pilots locally, regionally, and then statewide to create an affordable housing option that also reduces reliance on public funding.

A Smart Supports pilot will integrate advanced software with both individual and home-based technology, such as remote monitoring, voice-controlled lights, smart appliances, and other applications, to reduce direct and in-person staffing needs and labor costs. The Training Service Model will equip people with technology, such as clothing sensors, stabilizing hand sensors, or fall prevention applications, and train them on how to use it to remain safe outside of the home. Training will also focus on healthy eating, exercise, and other skill development for activities that are a part of daily life.

Forever, Home has already seen early success, raising $2,140,000 toward its $3,600,000 campaign goal. Two funders have recently stepped forward with incredible lead gift commitments. The Harold C. Schott Foundation and the Heidt Family Foundation have each pledged $360,000 in matching funds to support two homes. Both donors are tremendous partners and advocates in the work to build a more inclusive community where all are valued.

“Forever, Home provides an opportunity for independent, safe living so people with disabilities can have similar life experiences that their nondisabled peers do,” said Peter Hiltz, Trustee, Harold C. Schott Foundation. “We are excited to support this project and believe it is a priority need in Greater Cincinnati.”

Forever, Home’s vision is to pioneer an innovative, affordable, long-term housing solution for adults with developmental disabilities that will utilize technology and training to serve as the industry standard of care.

“This project is the future of care for people with developmental disabilities and their families,” said Chip Heidt, member of the Forever, Home Leadership Committee, LADD Board of Directors. “Forever, Home offers a more rewarding life for adults with developmental disabilities and will have an unprecedented impact on our community, and beyond, as it is scaled regionally and statewide.”

Alex Reilly