Happy New Year!
The holidays are over and we have rung in a New Year. Like many, LU ended the year in retrospection. This quote rings true for us:
"Holding on tight to a big audacious mission requires us to say no, or not yet, to many things. Building something that matters takes time, but more than time it takes patience, strategy and grit."
So ... we humbly enter 2017 with determination and grit. There is much to be done!
Property Update: El Sobrante
An LU board member is in contract to purchase a 3.6 acre greenfield (meaning it has no buildings) property in El Sobrante. Obtaining the property is moving slower than expected due to it being landlocked. The entry point previously identified is not panning out, so we are in difficult negotiations with the owner of the adjacent empty lot. We are exploring options and will soon determine if continuing with such an impediment is really worth while. We will keep you posted.
In the meantime, we plan to contact those who expressed interest in the El Sobrante property for a meeting to discuss other options and opportunities. Stay tuned.
Updates on advocacy issues
The State of California submitted its revised Statewide Transition Plan on November 23, 2016. You can read more here. The revised document sent to CMS does seem to have taken into consideration many of the concerns parents expressed during the public comment period. This is good. Now our community waits to see if CMS accepts California's plan.
Other Notable Meetings
The Parent Advocates for Neurodevelopment Disabilities Housing (PANDH for short) asked Alex Krem and Susan Riggle to talk with their group about what we at Living Unlimited are doing. It was great to discuss with these go-getter parents all of the different types of approaches being explored regarding housing for special needs adults. For example, there is a development of approximately 60 apartments being built in Berkeley. The plan is that 40 of the apartments will be rented out at market rates and 20 of the apartments will be rented to I/DD individuals at reduced rents. Now that's innovative!
Someone in the meeting suggested that what we really need to do is put all the smartest people who know the most about the housing problem and have been thinking of solutions all together into the same room and see what great ideas come up. Brilliant idea.
Another parent suggested that instead of relying on developers to do the right thing, we (the parents of special needs children) should consider becoming developers. This comment definitely got creative juices flowing (and a few spreadsheets…).