Finally HOME NJ Project

Disabled woman cheering on orange couch in a living room.

About the Project

Values Into Action was awarded the NJ Housing Grant for People with Complex Medical and Behavioral Support Needs (and who are aging) by the NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities. We are calling this project, “Finally HOME NJ”.

The goal of of the Finally HOME NJ grant is to raise awareness of the needs of people with complex medical and behavioral support needs (and who are aging) who prefer to live in a home of their choice separate from services, with supports they control.

Finally HOME NJ will also inspire, enlighten and engage disability system partners to understand the viable and sustainable housing related approaches and practices in supporting people with complex behavioral and medical needs, and those who are aging.

Finally HOME NJ Project Partners:

  • The College of New Jersey’s Center for Sensory and Complex Needs,
  • The Black I/DD Consortium,
  • Community Living Education Project (CLEP),
  • The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities,
  • Community Health Law Project (CHLP),
  • and SPAN Parent Advocacy Network.

We are also working alongside a Project Advisory Team (PAT) comprised of family members with lived experience and self-advocates.

Get Involved

Finally HOME NJ is asking for feedback on the barriers and obstacles that prevent people with complex medical and behavioral support needs and who are aging that prevent them from living in homes of their choice. You can share your insights via our survey.

Upcoming Events:

Join VIA and the Finally HOME NJ Project in Learning Sessions…

Starting in January 2024, we are hosting a series of Learning Sessions that will raise awareness of this group’s needs and challenges they face in finding housing of their choice.

We hope these sessions will plant seeds for systems change, enable professionals to understand and meet the needs of those who accept their services and help people understand options and choice.

You can learn more about each session and register for them on this link.


Schedule of Events

(For list of past events, please scroll to bottom of the page)


Finally HOME NJ Housing Symposium

March 9th, 2024; 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Location:

TCNJ Student Center
2000 Pennington Rd, Ewing
Township, NJ 08618

Join the Finally Home NJ Project with Values Into Action for our Finally HOME NJ Symposium!

The Symposium will feature speakers who will share their experiences and insights on the viable and sustainable housing related approaches and practices in supporting people with complex and aging needs. This Symposium seeks to share the many stories and lessons we’ve learned throughout the course of this project, and provide a strong foundation on which we may continue doing this important work.

Please note that this is an in-person event and there will not be a livestream. Lunch and refreshments will be served. 

Register for the Symposium


Past Learning Sessions


Introductory Session: “Using Charting the LifeCourse Framework to Plan for Housing in New Jersey.”

Tuesday, November 14th, 6:30pm – 8:00pm.

There is more to moving than finding the home and the paid supports. Without giving as much consideration to building an unpaid support network, we are at risk of experience loneliness in our lives. Loneliness is proven to impact the overall physical and mental well-being of people. In this session, we will consider the importance of effective SDE support in building networks which literally improve lives.


Session 1: “A Key to a Successful Move – Community Connections.”

Wednesday, January 17th, 6:00pm – 7:00pm.

People with complex medical, behavioral, and aging support needs and the professionals that support them are invited to join
this webinar on using Charting the LifeCourse tools to plan for housing options of choice.

Session presented by Patty Kowalchuk and Steven Roosen from Royal Commmunity Support


Session 2: “Tenant Rights in the I/DD Community.”

Monday, January 29th, 2024; 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM.

Charting the LifeCourse Tool framework; 7:00 PM – 7:30 PM.

Attorneys who advocate and represent tenants will share casework experiences in advocating for tenant rights and defending against evictions. The attorneys will also provide information and experiences in preserving subsidized housing and obtaining accommodations including those related to emotional support animals.

Session presented by Erika Kerber & Meena Song from the Community Health Law Project.

Charting the LifeCourse Tools presented by Susan Rowell, Associate Director – Participant Directed Services with Values Into Action PA and Charting the LifeCourse Ambassador.


Tuesday, January 30th, 2024; 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM.

Charting the LifeCourse Tool framework; 7:00 PM – 7:30 PM.

An Attorney who advocates for and represent people with home health aids will share casework experiences in advocating for their rights and appealing insurance denials for their home health aid coverage. The attorney will also provide information and experiences in obtaining and maintaining home health aid services.

Session presented by Abigail Cregge from the Community Health Law Project.

Charting the LifeCourse Tools presented by Susan Rowell, Associate Director – Participant Directed Services with Values Into Action PA and Charting the LifeCourse Ambassador.


Session 4: “Highlighting Concerns of Marginalized Communities”

Tuesday, February 13th, 2024; 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Charting the LifeCourse Framework; 7:30 PM – 8:00 PM

This session seeks to raise awareness of the experiences and challenges unique to people with intersecting marginalized identities. We will explore how our current systems and culture contribute to racial inequality in the realm of housing and service provision. We will also discuss some of the systemic barriers that worsen the marginalization of the Spanish-speaking population and share real-life examples of how people have overcome them. 

This is a 2-part Learning Session with the first segment being presented in Spanish. Attendees who speak English will be able to understand and participate in the Learning Session through the use of a language translation application via Zoom.

The second segment of the Learning Session will be presented in English with an emphasis on the experiences of the black and brown I/DD community. Attendees who speak Spanish will also be able to engage and participate in this Learning Session through the language translation application via Zoom.

Charting the LifeCourse tools will be shared with attendees by LifeCourse Ambassadors, Nemesis Vidro Casiano and Juwanna Scott, to demonstrate how attendees can apply knowledge gained from the Learning Session to their own lives.

Segment 1 is presented by Hilary Ruiz, Hilary Ruiz, Operations Manager with Royal Community Support and Tarcila Vasquez, Parent.

Segment 2 is presented by Nadine Wright-Arbubakrr, Founder of Nassan’s Place.

Session 4: “Destacando las Preocupaciones de las Comunidades Marginadas de Aprendizaje”

13 de febrero de 2024; 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Herramientas para trazar el Curso de Vida; 7:30 PM – 8:00PM

Esta sesión busca crear conciencia sobre las experiencias y desafíos únicos de las personas con identidades marginadas interseccionales. Exploraremos cómo nuestros sistemas y cultura actuales contribuyen a la desigualdad racial en el ámbito de la vivienda y la prestación de servicios. También discutiremos algunas de las barreras sistémicas que empeoran la marginación de la población de habla hispana y compartiremos ejemplos de la vida real de cómo las personas las han superado.

Esta es una Sesión de Aprendizaje de 2 partes, siendo el primer segmento presentado en español. Los asistentes que hablen inglés podrán entender y participar en la Sesión de Aprendizaje mediante el uso de una aplicación de traducción de idiomas a través de Zoom.

El segundo segmento de la Sesión de Aprendizaje se presentará en inglés, con énfasis en las experiencias de la comunidad negra e hispana con discapacidades intelectuales y del desarrollo. Los asistentes que hablen español también podrán participar en esta Sesión de Aprendizaje a través de la aplicación de traducción de idiomas en Zoom.

Las herramientas para trazar el Curso de Vida (Charting the LifeCourse tools)  serán compartidas con los asistentes por los Embajadores del Curso de Vida, para demostrar cómo pueden aplicar los conocimientos adquiridos de la session de aprendizaje de sus propias vidas.

Segmento 1 – Puntos de Presentación en Español

Presentado por Hilary Ruiz, Gerente de Operaciones de Royal Community Support y Tarcila Vásquez, Madre.

Segmento 2 – Experiencia de la Comunidad Negra e Hispana con Discapacidades Intelectuales y del Desarrollo.

Presentado por Nadine Wright-Arbubakrr, Fundadora de Nassan’s Place.


Session 5: “Advocacy and Systems Change”

Tuesday, February 20th, 2024; 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

We all have a story to share and a vision for our life, no matter our challenges and barriers, which makes us an effective advocate. There are many times and places when and where we can lend our voice and use our life experience and expertise to support expanding affordable housing. In this session, we will share tools to support your work in changing systems.

Presented by Kate Kelly of the Supportive Housing Association, and Colleen McLaughlin from the Boggs Center at Rutgers University.


Session 6: “Housing Options: Finding and Financing”

Thursday, February 22nd, 2024; 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Join us for this webinar covering what supportive housing is, who needs it and how to make it work for you or a loved one with IDD. This webinar will highlight a range of housing options; feature resources and budget considerations, and funding streams to help create more housing options for people with a variety of disabilities.

Presented by Diane Riley and Kate Kelly of the Supportive Housing Association of NJ


Session 7: “Re-Envisioning Hope.”

Monday, February 26th, 2024; 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM.

In this session, we will share real-life examples of working alongside individuals with complex behavioral and medical needs to tackle housing challenges. We will discuss the tools and relationships that can make difficult processes more approachable, and how to build structures and support systems to lean on when times get tough. This session seeks to call attention to the importance of partnership, compassion, and hope in person-centered planning.

Presented by Christine Clause, Neighbours, Inc.


This work is supported by the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities, in part by grant number 2101NJSCDD, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Washington, D.C. 20201 as part of a financial assistance award totaling $2,098,439.00 with 85% funded by ACL/HHS and 15% funded by the State of NJ. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.