Minnesota's Housing Access Services Program

Minnesota's Housing Access Services Program is successful in working with individuals with disabilities to find a home of their own in the community.

My name is Tong Kou Thao. I live in St. Paul on the east side. I bought a house in Frogtown. I lived there since 1995 until 2006.

I was living in Frogtown until I had my stroke. After I had my stroke, I lost my house. My son said I will find somewhere for you to live, but until I do, you 'll have to live in a hotel first. When I lived in a hotel, my PCA brought food for me and he came to get my clothes and do my laundry.

Then there was someone who came to help me find housing. Her name was Cindy from Housing Access Services and Arc. The house that I recently moved into is really nice. Moving there, Cindy also told me that the deposit would be paid for from Housing Access Services. At the same time, they helped with the application. They also helped with finding additional money for rent and to help supplement my other expenses.

Housing Access Services helped me move into my home and they also helped find furniture for me. I want to thank everyone involved for helping me find my home. This program was able to find me the home that I was looking for. I am very happy.

My name is Karli Harguth and I am 22 years old. I am from Eitzen, MN which is at the very southeast corner of MN. I have a seizure disorder. I was born with metabolic disorder. I was living with my parents.

Mom and Dad weren 't ready to let me go. It got to be where they seemed too over protective. I mean I am supposed to be independent. My friends were going off to college. It 's like, why can 't I leave the house? There was a major issue with health and of course there was the money and I didn 't want to live in a group home and have somebody watching you all the time and checking in on you. That' s what my parents do. If I wanted to live in a group home, I might as well have just lived at home anyways.

There are apartments that have people that check in on you but I didn' t want that either. I want to be on my own without anybody coming in or people checking on me or telling me to do this or telling me to do that. I want to be free. It was just a matter of getting there.

Grandma and Mom were the ones that went along with me. It was mostly garage sale furniture that we got. So it was used but yet it was really good. We had bought it ahead of time too. I mean we didn't know where I was going to stay so it was always stored in grandma 's basement so until I found a place to stay. My grandma, she knew I could do it.

I had a county case worker who helped me get a CADI waiver and that helped with some of the expenses. Housing Access Services was an answer to my prayers. It really was. It helped make my dream come true. My mom got an Arc newsletter and had found it. And she had told me about it. And we knew for sure that we should give them a call...and wow! Things moved so quickly after we got in contact with them.

They helped me find my own apartment. So they were there when I signed the lease. And they helped and even got to the point where they helped me move everything in and helped me to get on programs for like energy assistance which helps a lot with bills. And they check in every once in awhile. They 're always there if I need them. But nobody comes in and checks on me other than my meds.

So I 'm living independently that way, which makes me feel really good. This whole process has changed my life completely. I haven 't been able to experience a college setting. But I mean I' m out on my own...before my brother and sister! So that' s really exciting. And I guess if other people can get on this process, maybe they will feel the same way.

My mom does still call every night and just to check in. She wants me to call saying that I 'm in bed and I 'm OK. She still does worry about me but she knows that I 'm happier now and she knows this was the right move. I told them I could do it.

Right now they feel really good about it too knowing that I 'm happy and I 'm out of the house. My dream has come true.

My name is Adrianne Harper. I was living in a group home for a year and a half. And I didn' t like that because, you know, it took so much for them to take care of each client. So I just wanted to live on my own.

I moved into an apartment. The PCAs there, they felt that because it was in their agency' s name, that I had to do whatever they wanted me to do. When they wanted me to get up, I had to get up. When they wanted me to eat, I had to eat. When they wanted me to go to the bathroom, whatever, I had to go to the bathroom. I felt that I didn t have any rights of my own and I didn 't like that.

Housing Access Services, they shocked me. I was really impressed. When they came out, they said all of the right things. We would get you in a place when your lease is up. And they did.

They gave me a list of places. And I went to see these lists of places. And I chose the one I wanted to move to. Now I live in Maple Grove, and I 'm in my own apartment. The lease is in my name so I live under my rules. They have been checking in with me periodically. Of course I still have PCAs but, it 's like, I get to do whatever I want to do now which is excellent. Housing Access Services helped me tremendously.

They stepped up to the plate when I needed them the most. They' re really awesome.