What We Learned in Baltimore at the HCBS Conference

What We Learned in Baltimore at the HCBS Conference

As Point Rider’s policy wonk, and more importantly, as a passionate advocate for the human and civil rights of adults with IDD to live in the setting of their choosing, Community Development Director Mark Olson spent four fun-filled days August 25-28, 2019 inside ballrooms at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront for this year’s Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Conference. This is the annual gathering of state and federal Medicaid agencies hosted by ADvancing States, the association representing state long-term services and supports agencies (formerly known as the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities, or NASUAD). Click “Read More” for his takeaways from the conference.

Heartbreak: Now We Can Die

Heartbreak: Now We Can Die

[Judy Horton is the mother of Kelly who was the inspiration for Down Home Ranch, and wife of Jerry with whom she co-created the community in Elgin, TX that is home to 42 adults with IDD. She writes monthly about the stories of mothers and their sons and daughters with IDD.]

Too many parents of adults with IDD have not made workable plans for their children after they are gone.  So parents sit tight and hope for the best, although they are not unaware of the inevitable.  I recall in the early days of Down Home Ranch several parents remarking to us, “Thank God for the Ranch.  Now we can die.” 

Point Rider Awarded $75,000 Grant

We are pleased to announce that Point Rider has been awarded a $75,000 grant from a respected Texas charitable foundation. These funds will support the pro bono side of our mission by enabling us to increase our organizational capacity and extending our outreach to those seeking to create new housing options, access supports and services, and connect to other families and nonprofits. Point Rider pro bono services include:

  • Webinars  

  • Conference Presentations 

  • Small Group Presentations (Web-based, Conference Call, or In-person)

  • Networking and Referrals

To Profit or Not

To Profit or Not

Years ago Al Rodriquez was Director of El Buen Samaritano in Austin. Judy and I were still wondering if we should abandon our academic careers, take an absurd leap of faith and try to create, from scratch, a nonprofit ranch for adults with Down syndrome and other disabilities. Al was encouraging of our idea of starting a nonprofit, but also cautioned this: “Understand. You’ll always be worrying about money. You’ll always be asking for money.”

Fast forward 30 years. Judy and I retired from leadership of Down Home Ranch in 2016 and formed Point Rider, Inc. as a nonprofit to share our years of experience and expertise by consulting with families and organizations to create affordable residential options for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. And we're still asking for money.

Venture Philanthropy in Housing for Adults with Autism and IDD

Venture Philanthropy in Housing for Adults with Autism and IDD

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about, and research into, an affordable financial model for an intentional community for adults with intellectual and development disabilities (“IDD”) predicated on financial self-sufficiency and minimizing reliance on Medicaid waiver funding or tax credits.  This new financial model would be the backbone of a live/work/play neighborhood community. The solution I seek, however, has very few examples of comparative models.

From my efforts to try to innovate a new financial model, two funding concepts jumped out at me that may bridge the for-profit and nonprofit worlds, and could be critical to a new community model’s success – Venture Philanthropy and Philanthropic Equity.  Let’s take a look at what that might mean for a nonprofit offered a million dollars.

Matthew's Dilemma

Matthew's Dilemma

[Judy Horton is the mother of Kelly who was the inspiration for Down Home Ranch, and wife of Jerry with whom she co-created the community in Elgin, TX that is home to 42 adults with IDD. She writes monthly about the stories of mothers and their sons and daughters with IDD.]

Mathew is approaching 50, verbally fluent, charming, and quite witty. He is as independent as any other regular guy. But we quickly became aware of just how much support he needs and relies upon. And how isolated and lonely he is. Yes, he lives in a regular, typical, normal urban community, but in reality he is segregated from that community. It doesn’t welcome him.

Life in the Ark

Born of the Church, L’Arche sprang forth to give the world a new vision of people with intellectual disabilities. It woke the world up with the surprising news that these people not only have needs, they have gifts that the world both desperately needs and needs to recognize. Jean Vanier, who founded the international life-sharing community model, passed away May 7, 2019.

To Be or Not To Be (Cool that is)

[Judy Horton is the mother of Kelly who was the inspiration for Down Home Ranch, and wife of Jerry with whom she co-created the community in Elgin, TX that is home to 42 adults with IDD. She writes monthly about the stories of mothers and their sons and daughters with IDD.]

No one in high school got more high-fives walking down the hall than Don, Jr., but he never once was invited to go out with the gang to a football game or to go have pizza. Not once, in four years. So the leaders at Ranch Camp at Down Home Ranch decided to graduate 40 camp counselors with a different worldview about people with special needs.

CMS ISSUES NEW GUIDANCE FOR HCBS FINAL SETTINGS RULE

New guidance issued on March 22, 2019 relieves some of the overly prescriptive requirements that unfairly targeted certain types of settings including private homes, and creates new opportunities for development of intentional housing and employment for adults with IDD. Point Rider is pleased to have been part of the effort, but serious concerns remain whether or not your setting plans to utilize HCBS waiver funding.