EVANSTON, Ill. — The deadline is next year for Illinois to be in compliance with a landmark ruling for people with disabilities.
Shore Community Services is already preparing for the deadline.
Jerry Berg lives in Evanston in an apartment owned by Shore Community Services. He does maintenance work for the Skokie-based organization and he’s always on the go.
“I’ve lived here 40 years,” he said. “II go work out at the Levy Center. I do a lot of walking. I do a lot of traveling busses and trains. I’m not afraid to get around the community.”
Berg is part of Shore’s home-based services program that allows him to live independently with weekly visits for additional support.
“Shore has been helping me a lot,” Berg said. “Helping me with budgeting, going to bank and doing my medication. … You can come and go when you want to. You don’t have staff 24/7. It’s great.”
Alexis Alm is Shore’s CEO.
“Shore is an organization that’s been around for 75 years,” she said. “We serve the needs of people with developmental disabilities and their families.”
They’re gearing up for the March 2023 deadline when she said Illinois will be the last state to become fully compliant with the Olmstead Act. The 1999 Supreme Court decision requires states ensure people with disabilities, in need of long-term care, have access to services in the least restrictive settings.
“The crux of it is that individual has rights not to be segregated unnecessarily, key word, from the general population without disabilities,” Alm said.
To learn more about shore community services and how to donate to their efforts visit shoreservices.org
Shore’s transition plan has been approved by the state. But Alm said they need more resources and staff as they focus in on job coaching and placement and home-based services.
Shore helps people live independently and in smaller group settings with the goal of community integration
“Whatever that person’s level of independence and abilities, we want to help them keep those up and grow them and support that and not just do things for people,” Alm said. “Anytime that anyone has the opportunity to live their best life, everyone benefits.”