Purpose: Increase Community Vision’s work in advocacy around affordable housing to connect people with disabilities to accessible, affordable, sustainable places to call their own.
How the Fund Come About: Since our inception in 1989, Community Vision (CV) has been guided by the vision of our founder, Joe Wykowski, that people with disabilities should have a place to call their own. Because of CV’s work, many people with disabilities are home owners, receive customized support, or are thriving in affordable housing. We launched this fund in Oct ‘22 to honor Joe and continue his legacy far into the future.
Challenges to be Addressed:
- People with disabilities often express that having a safe and affordable place of their own is their number one desire, but so many go without.
- Systems and policies set up to support people with disabilities are antiquated and cause barriers. This leads to people being forced to stay with family and friends, or live on the street, while sitting on long waitlists to find a place that meets their needs.
- There are not enough units and minimal awareness building and resources available
Why Community Vision:
CV is uniquely suited to combat these challenges, as we have been directly serving individuals with disabilities and developing housing options for over 33 years. We know people’s housing needs, what services are available, and have strong connections with the community.
How we are Addressing the Challenges
The Joe Wykowski Advocacy Fund will expand the ability for people with disabilities to live on their own by supporting our efforts to challenge the mindsets of decision makers (in Salem as well as Portland), change the rules that limit people’s housing options, and create more affordable housing and individualized supports in our communities.
Here are a few key issues we are planning to tackle first:
- STATEWIDE HOUSING: Partnering with Disability Rights Oregon and others to increase the number of accessible, affordable housing units funded by the state
- LOCAL HOUSING: Educate regional and city decision makers on the benefits of including people with disabilities in integrated, affordable housing complexes
- SERVICES: Lead efforts to bolster individualized supports offered to people with disabilities who are living in their own places
We realize this is hard, often complicated work, but Community Vision is poised to make change. We have proven that people with disabilities can and want to live independently. We have the experience and will share our knowledge with our peers and decision makers in Oregon. Now is the time to act.
We hope you will join us. For more information, ways to get involved, or to support our work, reach out to Jennifer Knapp, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org