Housing for Individuals who Experience I/DD Receives a $1.5 million Boost from the Kuni Foundation
Three diverse housing models that support adults who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the region received just over $1.5 million in support from The Kuni Foundation:
· Albertina Kerr’s Workforce & Inclusive Housing Project received a grant of $207,000 from the Foundation, enabling the organization to surpass its private fundraising goal for the 150 units of housing. Located on Kerr’s Gresham, Oregon campus, the project is set for completion in 2021 and will include 30 units for adults who experience an intellectual or developmental disability. The Kuni Foundation grant will be used to support the creation of universally accessible units.
· Next Step Strategies WeBUILT Congregate Community received a no-interest loan for $800,000 and a grant for $20,000 from The Kuni Foundation. The loan will support the completion of the final phase of the housing project, based in Clackamas, Oregon, including eight homes and an activity center for residents to gather for evening meals and other community-based activities. The housing units are designed for adults with sensory and developmental challenges, and the community will also include rental units for neurotypical individuals. The unique, affordable and inclusive housing model provides adults who experience a disability with an opportunity to own and manage the overall community by renting a portion of the units to neurotypical individuals. The $20,000 grant for the “Produce for All” project will fund a community garden and edible landscaping for the WeBUILT housing project and the surrounding neighborhood.
· Stephen’s Place received a grant of $559,000 for general operating support. Based in Vancouver, Washington, the nonprofit is a supportive, independent apartment community for adults who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities. Stephen’s Place creates a range of supported opportunities that connect residents to the greater community through employment, education, the arts, community service, physical fitness and other social enrichment opportunities.
“There is a growing demand for affordable and accessible housing throughout our region, and individuals who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities are increasingly marginalized in the quest to secure housing,” said Angela Hult, President of the Kuni Foundation. "We are excited to support these three unique, person-focused approaches that advance choice, inclusion and accessibility for individuals and their families.”
About Albertina Kerr: Since 1907, Albertina Kerr has been caring for Oregon’s most vulnerable citizens. Over the decades Kerr’s services have evolved to meet the community’s needs. Today, Kerr empowers people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental health challenges, and other social barriers to lead self-determined lives and reach their full potential. Learn more at www.albertinakerr.org.
About Next Step Strategies, Inc.: Based in Clackamas, Oregon, Next Step Strategies is a non-profit social services agency focused on supporting individuals who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The organization’s commitment to inclusive housing includes the design and construction of the WeBUILT congregate housing community. Learn more at www.nextstepstrategies.org.
About Stephen’s Place: Based in Vancouver, Washington, Stephen’s Place is a supportive independent apartment community designed for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities so they may live a fulfilled life with meaning and dignity. Learn more at www.stephensplace.org.
About The Kuni Foundation:
Based in Vancouver, Washington, The Kuni Foundation funds cancer research and supports programs and initiatives that enhance the lives of adults who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities. As co-founder of The Kuni Foundation, Joan Kuni was a pioneer in advocating for her sons and for other individuals with an intellectual disability. At a time when parents of disabled children were encouraged to institutionalize them, Joan quietly blazed a trail of inclusion, lifelong enrichment and empowerment for individuals who experience intellectual disabilities. More than five million Americans have some form of intellectual disability, and Joan was committed to ensuring that individuals could age in place within a vibrant, supportive and stable community. Learn more at www.kunifoundation.org