Community Living Services

Independent Living FAQs

What is Independent Living assistance?

•    Easterseals Midwest offers you the support to enable you to live independently in the community. Once you are approved, an Easterseals advocate is assigned to provide you weekly support on days that work best with your schedule.

How does Easterseals Midwest determine eligibility for this service?

•    The first step in this process, in order to receive funding, is to ensure you have a diagnosis that qualifies you for Regional Office Case Management. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact us at 1-800-200-2119 or info@esmw.org.

How do I know if I am ready to move out on my own?

•    To determine if you are ready, you might ask yourself some of these questions:

  • Am I safe staying alone overnight and do I know what to do in case of an emergency?
  • If I am taking medication, can I take it on my own?
  • Can I use the microwave or stove to prepare my meals?
  • Do I have the income to pay for my living expenses when I move out on my own?
  • Do I want to live alone or with a roommate? If with a roommate, do I know who my roommate will be?

If you have answered yes to these questions, the second step in this process is having an assessment completed by an Easterseals staff member. Easterseals Midwest will evaluate your needs by using an assessment tool provided by our funders.

These tools will assess your ability to afford to live independently, to live on your own with less than 11 hours a week of support, and to identify the areas in which you may need support. After completing the assessment and receiving approval from the funder, an Easterseals advocate will be assigned to work with you.

If you currently live with a family member, qualify for this service, and are ready to move out on your own, your advocate will assist you in locating affordable housing and resources to facilitate your move.

How long do I have to move out on my own?

•    It varies depending on where you live. In St. Louis County, the Productive Living Board, which funds this service, requires participants to move out of a family home and into their own apartment within 6 months of their services starting. In St. Louis City, Developmental Disability Resources requires individuals to have the intention of moving. However, there is no set date by when the individual must move out on their own. In St. Charles County, the Developmental Disabilities Resource Board requires clients to move out on their own within 90 days.

What types of supports can be provided to me by Easterseals Midwest?

•    In this program, Easterseals staff can offer support and skills training in the following areas, depending on your needs:

  • Locating and securing housing
  • Assisting you in maintaining your health and safety needs
  • Money management, budgeting, and banking
  • Personal hygiene
  • Home maintenance
  • Nutrition, meal planning, shopping, and cooking
  • Accessing transportation (as allowed by funder)
  • Social planning and developing of relationships (as allowed by funder)
  • Developing natural supports

How long can I receive this support?

•    This program has no time limitation because each person's needs vary. If necessary, we can support you in this program for your entire life

What will it cost for me to live independently?

•    Easterseals’ services are free upon approval by our funders. Our staff members offer support at no cost. However, you are responsible for paying for all of your living expenses such as rent, utilities, food, transportation, and socializing costs. Each county and city funding board’s qualifications vary. Services are funded by the Productive Living Board (PLB) in St. Louis County, the Developmental Disabilities Resource Board (DDRB) in St. Charles County, and Developmental Disability Resources (DDR) in St. Louis City.

To learn more about our programs at Easterseals Midwest,
please contact us at 1-800-200-2119 or info@esmw.org.

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