history

Michigan Ability Partners was incorporated in 1985 - that's 35 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. 

1985

  • MAP starts the first vocational program in the state to close its segregated work program, offering all participants an opportunity to work in their community.

1986

  • MAP becomes a partner in the first Supported Employment Initiative, through which 100 people with severe disabilities are employed in community jobs. 

1988

  • MAP opens the Downriver Ability Project, a ground-breaking community experience program for formerly institutionalized people with severe mental and physical disabilities in Wayne County. 

1989

  •  MAP takes part in a national demonstration project funded by the National institute of Mental Health with the goal of understanding the correlation between mental health and homelessness, as well as developing service vehicles to address homelessness. Through this pilot, MAP develops its Representative Payee program, ensuring those served meet basic needs in payment of rent, utilities, food costs, and clothes.  The program added educational elements to teach money management skills and offers assistance with credit repair. 

1995

  • MAP creates innovative Vocational programming for over 1,500 students with disabilities from Washtenaw, Jackson, and Wayne counties to make a smooth transition from school to work.

  • MAP becomes one of three organizations in the community to receive HUD funding for MAP to provide permanent housing with supports to individuals 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.

1996

  • MAP conceives the WISH Intensive Services program. The project accepts people over 17 years of age for participation in what the agency calls Transformational services, providing substance abuse and mental health treatment, housing search and placement assistance, employment preparation and training, and money management and credit repair. 

 

1999

  • 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, reducing 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.

  •  Homezone, a residence exclusively for Veterans, is opened in Whitmore Lake, expanding the Housing Supports Team. 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. 

2000-2002

  • 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.

2005

  • When unemployment heads toward 10% in Michigan, people with barriers to work are left behind, including 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

  • MAP develops a wholly owned subsidiary to develop and operate affordable supported housing. REACH (Realizing Excellence in Affordable Community Housing) achieves 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. 

2007

  • The Summer Career Camp launches for high school students with disabilities, combining 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 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.

  • 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.  FHLBI’s Affordable Housing Advisory Council gave Maple View high marks for green building and innovative resident construction methods. 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.

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.

2012

  • 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.  

  

2014 

  • MAP secures Veterans Administration funding through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, and begins housing up to 94 Veterans annually.

2015

  • 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) begins. 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.

2018

  •   Key for Vets initiative, funded by KeyBank, brings $300,000 in support of MAP’s housing for Veterans.