Resources for Community Living (RCL) began because of questions from parents of people with disabilities who wondered if shared housing could work for their sons/daughters. An Advisory Council consisting of professionals, parents and others interested in housing for people with disabilities was formed to investigate whether a need existed and if this need could be met using the shared housing concept.
It was determined that the shared housing concept would need to be adapted to serve individuals with developmental disabilities. Specifically, staff members would need to spend more time getting to know participants to develop appropriate home-sharing arrangements which provide benefits to both homeowners and home sharers (participants). In addition, intensive support services (both prior to and throughout the duration of a housing arrangement) would be needed to assist the participant in living more independently and to ensure the success of the arrangement.
In 1988, the Shared Housing for Special Populations (SHSP) program was formed to match adults with developmental disabilities with elderly homeowners in mutually beneficial home sharing arrangements. Over time, it was determined that the above limitations created significant barriers to developing home sharing arrangements. Many elderly people had deeply ingrained stereotypes regarding people with disabilities, which could not be overcome. In addition, many people with disabilities expressed an interest in living with others their own age.
In 1993, Resources for Community Living (formerly SHSP) separated from its parent agency to become an independent agency. Since that time, RCL has greatly expanded the above services to include independent apartments, which allow people with disabilities to live alone if they choose. Today, many housing arrangements developed and supported by RCL involve people with developmental disabilities living in their own apartments. In addition to housing, individualized support services (e.g., money management, cooking, safety, communication skills, community involvement, etc.) are provided by trained staff members to encourage independence and enhance quality of life.
In December 2003, RCL again received Accreditation with Distinction for a three-year term from The Council on Quality and Leadership in Supports for People with Disabilities (The Council). Our success in achieving Accreditation with Distinction for the maximum term allowable (for the third time) reaffirms the quality of RCL services, as well as our commitment to supporting people with disabilities to achieve their goals and dreams. Accreditation requirements were waived by the State of Illinois in 2010.
Since 1998, Resources for Community Living has helped several participants with disabilities to purchase their own condos. This service is provided by RCL in conjunction with Project Ground Floor and other financing programs. Home ownership helps to provide the stable environment from which our participants can maximize their potential and increase connection and contribution to their community.
Families of Resources for Community Living participants have taken an active role in raising community awareness about the organization. In 1999, family members and volunteers organized the agency’s first major fundraising event, our first annual Gala Benefit Dinner Dance and Auction. This event was extraordinarily successful in raising much-needed funds to support the programs and services offered by RCL.
In 2016 RCL formed the Financial Independence Center to assist clients and families in their struggles with financial wellness. The Center offers free financial coaching, debt management, micro-enterprise opportunities and much more. In January of 2019 with the support of the Jon and Lois Kinney Empowerment Fund RCL embarked on a program to provide direct supportive housing by purchasing a 6-flat in downtown Palatine, IL. For two years RCL has worked on forming a community partnership which is an innovative approach to create housing and support options for individuals with disabilities.
All this would not be possible without the support of individuals, families, municipalities, Cook County, and foundations. Please not only support us but join us in providing individuals with disabilities the opportunities to attain the level of independence they aspire to.
If you would like additional information about Resources for Community Living, contact Fred Stupen at:
4300 Lincoln Avenue, Suite K · Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
Voice (847) 701-1554 · TDD (847) 701-1556 · Fax (847) 701-1560