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Abilities from Disabilities

The Krysti Bingham Cerebral Palsy Foundation (KBCFP) was founded by Dianne Bingham, in 2001, along with her husband John, to provide a safe home and haven not only for their daughter Krysti, a young woman with cerebral palsy, but also for the many other maturing persons with the same condition. These parents recognized a need for special services when they realized that Krysti and other patients like her would outlive their caregivers. Their intention is to keep people, like their daughter, out of institutions and keep their lifestyles productive, challenging and rewarding as they live out their lives. Dianne's extraordinary commitment; hard work, and tenacity have made it happen. Krysti Bingham was the catalyst that propelled her family to move mountains to make this happen.

The goal of KBCFP is to create home-like, long-term residences that are an alternative to institutional facilities and nursing homes. Its mission statement reads: "The Krysti Bingham Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Inc. is committed to providing assisted independent living housing and services to adults with Cerebral Palsy, helping to avoid unnecessary institutionalization and providing a "Home Life" setting for eligible residents."

Too often, people in the prime of life have been forced to live in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and hospitals, or at home with aging parents. The KBCPF "Hope Houses" transform the lifestyle of persons with cerebral palsy from one of social isolation and dependency to one of dignity, shared experiences and community involvement. As an example, the Black Diamond project has a central dining room with restaurant-style menus and home-cooked meals. It also hosts barbeques with other nearby group homes. In addition to these social activities, the project has physical characteristics that make it conducive to independent living such as, everything on ground level with no thresholds (i.e., barrier-free), roll-in showers, radiant heat, central vacuuming outlets, outdoor decks for all units, etc.

By focusing on meeting the mutual needs of the disabled person and the family, KBCPF's programs strive to prepare its disabled consumers and families to lead more fulfilling lives by making wise choices and by interacting more effectively with others in the community. Through its programs, therapies and employment, KBCPF encourages, enables, and brings people to a point where their ability eclipses or exceeds their disability.

To that end, the KBCFP in collaboration with HUD, the Delaware State Housing Authority, New Castle County, and private funders has developed two Section 811 projects in Delaware for the disabled- a 6-unit project, Black Diamond, in Smyrna (the first housing developed under the Philadelphia Office sub-categorization of cerebral palsy) - $582,900 capital advance, and a 4-unit project, Llangollen Hope House, in New Castle- $422,300 capital advance.

In January of this year, HUD announced that another $124.5 million in Section 811 funding had been awarded nationwide to assist very low-income people with disabilities. Section 811 is a critically important housing program that allows persons with disabilities to live as independently as possible in the community by increasing the supply of rental housing with the availability of supportive services.

The program also provides project rental assistance, which covers the difference between the HUD-approved operating costs of the project and the tenants' contribution toward rent. Housing constructed using interest-free capital advances under HUD's Section 811 Program are primarily used in smaller newly constructed buildings, typically group homes for three to six people, just like Black Diamond Hope House. The eligible residents only pay 30% of their income for rent and the federal government will pay the rest.

Content Archived: February 15, 2011

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