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What is LIGHTS

LIGHTS is a unique new program which has been created by community leaders in partnership with Community Living Toronto to address the very significant shortage of independent and appropriate housing for intellectually disabled citizens in Toronto. Its goal is to enable new housing opportunities to flourish for the intellectually disabled, and to share its blueprint for success with other communities across the country.

Vision of LIGHTS

All individuals with intellectual disabilities in Toronto will have access to long-term housing appropriate to their needs, and thus attain greater inclusion in their community, independence, respect and security.

Mission of LIGHTS

LIGHTS brings together individuals with intellectual disabilities, families, community members and Community Living Toronto in a unique synergy that will facilitate the establishment of residential solutions for the intellectually disabled, and provide interim funding to overcome financial obstacles in the establishment of a place to call home.

How:

LIGHTS will support families seeking housing opportunities in four ways:

  1. Assisting families in determining how they can create and operate a home (shared with others) for their intellectually disabled family member. These homes will be managed by the families involved, with LIGHTS as a supportive partner.
  2. Connecting families seeking similar residential options. Families will be part of an online network that will help them identify and secure potential roommates, coordinate staffing, and provide and share information and knowledge around government funding programs.
  3. Building capacity for this critical housing sector by securing in-kind, tax-deductible donations of real estate and by advising families of other real estate options which will add to the number of homes available for these families.
  4. Providing temporary, interim funding to families who cannot afford the start-up process, with the goal of bridging early cash flow needs while families seek additional resources, including government funding, to assume these costs.

Who Will Support This Process?

LIGHTS will help families achieve their plan by utilizing the following:

  • LIGHTS Facilitator: A full time facilitator will work with families to explore residential options in their communities and funding eligibility.
  • Access Points: LIGHTS will provide information on the website www.lights.to & will be part of the ConnectABILITY.ca site. Here, families will find relevant information on innovative residential topics, live chats and be able to network with other families with similar needs and interests.
  • Resource Team: Community Living Toronto staff will assist families in putting resources together and developing a plan and budget that will also comply with MCSS applications for individualized funding.
  • LIGHTS Advisory Board: The LIGHTS Advisory Board will oversee the vision and direction for LIGHTS. It will be actively involved in fundraising, advocacy, marketing, and steering and evaluating the annual plan for LIGHTS. The Board will also approve disbursements of interim funding to the families from The LIGHTS Fund.