COMMUNITY FOR PERMANENT SUPPORTED HOUSING (CPSH) is dedicated to finding supportive community-based housing for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas. CPSH works in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Kaufman, Rockwall, and Tarrant counties. As we approach North Texas Giving Day on September 23, CPSH asked Jocelyn Chafouleas, to share her story in the hopes that you will connect to their cause and find a reason to support them.
CPSH: A Small But Mighty Charity Tackles Homelessness
by Jocelyn Chafouleas
The thought of my adult son being homeless terrifies me! Thanks to modern medicine, people with Down Syndrome, Autism and other intellectual and developmental difficulties are living longer. It’s very likely that my son with disabilities will outlive me, or my ability to run interference for him with life. Then what happens to him? Living in a State institution? Or joining the ranks of the homeless? I have to have a plan. I can’t leave him unprepared and vulnerable.
Enter COMMUNITY FOR PERMANENT SUPPORTED HOUSING (CPSH). For over ten years, CPSH has thought about my son’s future and that of over 250,000 other North Texans with at least one health barrier to living independently. Educating parents to the possibility of their adult child’s independent living is the first step in developing a survival plan for when the adult wants or needs to move away from their parents. CPSH provides workshops for individual, family, and service provider groups at no, or little, cost to the participants. CPSH uniquely offers training on developing social and independent living skills for adults with disabilities, with topics that cover planning for affordable, safe housing; financial resources, affordable budgets; and services to ensure quality of life. CPSH advocates with state and local leaders to ensure community-based housing options are available and is the first to announce availability of housing vouchers. They are striving to influence developers to include affordable options for all North Texans, not just those with disabilities. CPSH guides each person in designing their personal living plan, honoring their right to make decisions and have choices about how they live their life. CPSH will support families with referrals for legal and guardianship support, finding service providers, identifying resources for affordable housing, such as vouchers. In partnership with Texas Workforce Commission, CPSH offers education about achieving housing security, preparing for employment, and identifying social service needs.
My son and I are making progress. He lives independently, sharing an apartment with his cat. He is nearby, allowing family support when needed and inclusion in all the family festivities. His independent living skills are improving, and supported employment is on the near horizon. We aren’t there yet, but seeing my son thriving on his own provides peace of mind for now. He is enjoying his personal freedom and feels proud that he is less dependent on me. The best solution for homelessness is prevention, and the best home is the home a person selects for themselves.
CPSH received $14,000 in small donations from caring donors on North Texas Giving Day in 2020. To a large charity that might not be significant, but CPSH turned those dollars into life enhancing impact for fourteen families looking for direct, one-on-one services in finding housing and independent living supports for a loved one. CPSH appreciates the North Texas Giving Day community of donors who allow us to make this happen, one family, one individual at a time. To donate to COMMUNITY FOR PERMANENT SUPPORTED HOUSING on September 23rd, please click here. To find out more about NTX Giving Day, please visit www.NorthTexasGivingDay.org.
About the author: Jocelyn Chafouleas is the parent of an adult son on the Autism Spectrum. She is retired from UT Southwestern Medical Center and serves as a volunteer Board Member of COMMUNITY FOR PERMANENT SUPPORTED HOUSING.