WE'VE BEEN MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR A LONG TIME.
Michigan Ability Partners was incorporated in 1985 - that's 33 continuous years of service to Veterans and persons with disabilities. In that time we have been a vital advocate for those in Washtenaw, Jackson, Wayne and Monroe counties who could use a helping hand. Explore our history, learn of our impact, and contribute to our future.
WE FIND PEOPLE WORK.
MAP starts the first vocational program in the state to close its segregated work program and offers all participants an opportunity to work in their community. As a result, over 3,500 people with disabilities find jobs in the community.
MAP becomes a partner in the first Supported Employment Initiative through which 100 people with severe disabilities are employed in community jobs.
MAP develops relationships with 70 local employers who hire people in the Supported Employment Program. Employers include
Zingerman’s, Dominic’s, The University of Michigan, Cottage Inn, and Edwards Brothers.
MAP opens the Downriver Ability Project in Wayne county, a ground-breaking community experience program for formerly institutionalized people with severe mental and physical disabilities in Wayne County. The DAP program serves 44 people annually.
MAP creates innovative program options for over 1,500 students with disabilities from Washtenaw, Jackson, and Wayne counties to make a smooth transition from school to work. These include the first Career Camp in Michigan, and the first Student Employment Initiative.
MAP creates the ICAN Building System, where homeless participants contribute towards the building of homes. Funded by HUD, the MAP construction crew use the green, prefabricated ICAN Building System for the first time in the U.S. to build the outer walls of two duplexes. Paid crew members learn to lay tile and flooring, dig drainage ditches, hang cabinets, apply siding, and paint. The ICAN Building Project is nominated for a HUD Best Practice Award.
When unemployment heads toward 10% in Michigan, people with barriers to work are left behind, and that includes most people in homeless and supported housing programs. Transitional work crews are formed and hired by local businesses, creating 10 new jobs to compliment two Social Enterprise efforts underway: Fast Break Foods and Imagine That! Mobile Café.
Summer Career Camp for high school students with disabilities combines classroom preparation with hands-on work experiences. MAP partners with the Washtenaw Intermediate School District and Michigan Rehabilitative Services to get students employment-ready.
MAP participants perform so well for Walgreen’s pharmaceutical division, they take over packaging diabetic medications.
MAP is awarded a Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) grant from the US Department of Labor, eventually enrolling 192 Veterans in this vital employment program serving Washtenaw and Jackson counties.
HireMIVet is created. With community partners at Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor Rotary and the Veterans Administration, MAP creates an annual event to match local employers and Veterans who are looking for work.
Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) begin. Students with Individualized Education Plans are referred to MAP's program to help them prepare for the world of work, including social skills training, resume writing, interviewing and work experiences with local employers.
Pre-ETS expands and launches a summer work readiness program.
WE FIGHT HOMELESSNESS
MAP takes part in a national demonstration project funded by the National institute of Mental Health with the goal of determining why so many people with a mental illness are homeless, and to develop service vehicles to change that status.
As part of the NIMH pilot, MAP develops a representative payee program, ensuring that those served meet basic needs in payment of rent, utilities, food costs and clothes. As time goes on the Financial Services Program adds
educational elements to teach money
management skills and offers assistance with credit repair. The project serves 480 participants today in both Jackson and Washtenaw Counties.
MAP becomes one of three organizations in the community to receive a HUD grant to provide permanent housing with supports to people with disabilities. The Shelter Plus Care project provides 57 people annually with a rent subsidy that allows them to pay 30% of their income, but pays the landlord fair market rent.
MAP conceives the WISH Intensive Services program. The project accepts people over 17 years of age for participation in what MAP calls Transformational services. MAP provides substance abuse and mental health treatment, housing search and placement assistance, employment preparation and training, and money management and credit repair. Serving approximately 100 participants annually, WISH has assisted over 1,000 people.
Along with the University of Michigan/Veteran’s Administration team, the Critical Intervention Project pilots an intensive outreach project designed to improve health services and outcomes for frequent users of the emergency room. In the first year, 12 chronically homeless men are placed in housing, which reduces ambulance use costs by $33,000. Reduction of ER use yields similar results with a savings of just under $100,000. The results of the pilot are published in the Journal of Substance Abuse and are replicated across the country.
Developed in 1999 after the opening of MAP’s veteran’s residence, Homezone, in Whitmore Lake the Housing Supports Team expands the number of staff members. Currently the team annually supports housing for 143 participants, providing onsite assistance, life skills training, service coordination, transportation, financial and employment referrals and social skill-building activities.
1999 & 2009
MAP and MAP HDC, LLC, the housing development subsidiary of MAP, develops supported housing programs for 13 homeless Veterans. Working closely with the VISN 11 team and the staff from the Healthcare for Homeless Veterans program, a comprehensive system of housing supports is designed to house Veterans recovering from
homelessness. Supported by the VA Capital Grant and Per Diem program, these programs house upwards of 30 Veterans per year.
In 2007, MAP IS asked to provide community housing options for participants in the VA Ann Arbor Health System’s Hospital-based Intensive Outpatient Treatment program (HIOT). MAP’s role is to provide a safe residential environment for participants while overseeing property management and 24/7 crisis response for up to 20 Veterans at a a time.
Under direction from MSHDA, MAP helps house 20 former residents of Camp Take Notice, an area homeless encampment. MAP interviews participants, helps connect with landlords, and secure housing.
2012 - 2015
MAP collaborates with community partners on the Built for Zero initiative to end homelessness in Washtenaw County. MAP helps develop policy and procedures for prioritizing housing resources to the most vulnerable individuals and families.
2013 - 2016
MAP assists our community partners at the Ann Arbor Housing Commission and Ypsilanti Housing Commission as they rehabilitate their permanent supportive housing projects. MAP counsels residents, helps them relocate and secure their housing subsidies as the rehab projects are undergone.
WE SECURE HOUSING.
MAP develops a wholly owned subsidiary to develop and operate affordable supported housing.
REACH (Realizing Excellence in Affordable Community Housing) has achieved status as a CHDO (Community Housing Development Organization) and is eligible to receive affordable housing funds for development of new properties. Beginning with seven units of housing, REACH now operates 36 units of affordable supported housing and is working on other developments targeting female Veterans and families.
The Maple View Project is nominated by the Ann Arbor Business Review for the ‘Non Profit Deal of the Year Award.” It is selected as one of three nominees from among 850 agencies in Washtenaw County.
MAP secures Veterans Administration funding through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, and begins housing up to 94 Veterans annually.
The first project that REACH completed as a CHDO, Maple View Apartments (a ten unit apartment community) is built in part by a MAP construction crew using the ICAN Building System to raise the outer walls. By this time, REACH had committed itself to green construction, and it shows in the operation of Maple View through very low utility bills and resident comfort. FHLBI’s Affordable Housing Advisory Council gave Maple View high marks for green building and innovative resident construction methods.
2008 - 2009
Whispering Creek is REACH’s first rehabilitation project since becoming a CHDO. Every element of the retrofit maximized green features. Whispering Creek was the first green affordable housing rehabilitation project to receive LEED green status in the community.
Key for Vets initiative, funded by KeyBank, brings $300,000 in support of MAP’s housing for Veterans, This generous gift will secure housing for 36 more Vets for each of 3 years.
MAP has been able to accomplish incredible things in 33 years of serving the community’s most vulnerable. But participants have done even more! They’ve taken everything offered, and crafted a self-defined road to recovery from debilitating homelessness, substance abuse, mental illness, poverty and unemployment.
Why not help us write our next chapter?