Center for independent living of northwest florida, inc.
MILES Project (Mobile Independent Living Education and Services-Health and Wellness)
Grant Year: 2023 | Focus Area: Health and Wellness| Amount: $108,364| Grant Status: In progress
The Center for Independent Living of Northwest Florida (CILNWF) is dedicated to supporting and empowering individuals with disabilities. Founded in 1980 in NWFL, the organization operates as a nonresidential, community-based nonprofit organization located in Pensacola. CILNWF follows the principles of the Independent Living approach, established in the 1970s, which emphasizes peer support and self-determination for people with disabilities. CILNWF's primary goal is to help individuals with disabilities achieve independence and actively engage in society. It envisions a world where disabled individuals have full control over their lives and can participate equally in all aspects of society. The organization provides services in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton Counties. Emphasizing consumer control, peer support, and equal access, CILNWF offers a range of services that includes education, facilitation, and advocacy. The organization believes that by fostering independence and self-help, individuals with disabilities can integrate into society more effectively. The organization's model is inspired by the first Center for Independent Living established in California, in 1972.
OVERVIEW OF THE PROPOSED PROJECT
The Mobile Independent Living Education and Services (MILES) Project will fund the purchase of a vehicle that will allow participants to achieve independence and serves as a solution to overcome challenges faced by people with disabilities (PWD), addressing issues like transportation, nutrition, healthcare, and safe living conditions. This initiative enhances outreach for those with limited resources, aiding them in accessing community services. The focus lies on rural areas, ensuring PWD can make informed decisions about utilizing available resources. With the slogan "Going the extra MILES to Achieve Independence, Health and Wellness with CILNWF," the project aligns with the goals of the Center for Independent Living of Northwest Florida. By serving areas with limited access to health and wellness resources due to transportation disparities, the project contributes to independence and well-being. The initiative strives to build relationships within underserved communities, promoting informed choices and improved quality of life for people with disabilities. With the IMPACT 100 grant funds, CILNWF will purchase a 2023 fully customized Pacifica Conversion Van wrapped with the IMPACT 100 logo and insurance on the van for 2 years.
EXPECTED IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY
The CILNWFL focuses its efforts on individuals with disabilities (PWD) living in rural areas within Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. In total, approximately 90,348 PWD are estimated to reside within Santa Rosa and Escambia counties. This initiative encompasses all types of disabilities and chronic illnesses, regardless of age, financial status, race, gender, military/veteran status, marital/familial/parental status, or citizenship. Historically, people with disabilities have faced exclusion from various aspects of daily life. By tackling the barriers that contribute to this exclusion and providing access to healthcare, wellness programs, self-advocacy/self-care skills, and support networks, CILNWFL aims to enable PWD to engage more fully in society. Many PWD remain unaware of the services available to them, impacting their quality of life. The organization’s mobile approach aims to reach those who might otherwise miss out on essential services. The MILES Project will reduce the number of PWD who are institutionalized in long-term care facilities or group homes and improve health, safety, and wellness outcomes by providing emergency preparedness training and post-emergency support.