In early 2000, shortly after the Supreme Court’s “Olmstead” decision, The Ability Center (ACT), utilizing its own resources, established the first Community Living Program in the State of Ohio. The Ability Center’s vision was to empower individuals residing in institutional settings with the choice of where they live and how they receive care in their own community.
Since 2000, The Ability Center has assisted 800 individuals in achieving this vision. 82% of the individuals that we assisted in leaving institutional settings have successfully sustained their independence in the community for at least one year.
In 2008, The Ability Center’s transition program became the model for the State’s Money Follows the Person (MFP) Demonstration Project known as HOME Choice. Ohio’s HOME Choice program currently ranks second in the nation for overall transitions.
Research indicates that the annual cost savings of transitioning just one individual from an institutional setting to a community-based setting saves approximately $39,100 per year, which in turn would be a total yearly savings of $31,280,000 for those 800 transitions that have transpired over the course of our program’s existence.
While these numbers are exceptional, the true success of this program is that individuals now have the freedom of choice to live, work, and thrive within their own community. We continue to strive to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible housing, as well as community supports to ensure an individual’s sustainability in the
A successful transition isn’t just about a physical relocation back into the community, it’s about reentering society armed with knowledge and understanding on how to meet needs. Our work is far from over and we need the community’s voice to continue to provide this most valuable service.