Why First Choice?

Adults served by the First Choice organization are either individuals with serious mental illness or persons with developmental disabilities, or in some cases adults with both mental health challenges. Persons with these disabilities experience chronic, life long challenges that impact their ability to support themselves or function independently in the community. Many reside in licensed residential settings or other supported residential settings in order to meet their needs. While some persons may recover to some extent in order to live more independently, many will still be depending upon others for support and services, placing them under the poverty level of income. Limited public funds for the most part support the residential room and board and supervision needs for these persons, however their discretionary funds to meet their own personal needs is often significantly limited.

Persons with serious disabilities experience a significant disruption in their functioning, that has critical impact on their quality of life in many ways. Persons with serious, life long disabilities, almost always have extremely limited resources, living well below poverty level, and are often receiving minimal disability coverage, which barely covers their basic housing, necessary care and supervision costs. These individuals often have far less than $50 per month that must pay for other necessities or needs, including required medical co-pays and any personal care items or expenses, including clothing. Many individuals have few or no family resources to assist them with any unmet needs. Imagine how you would live your life if you had such limited funds– $50 or less per month– to cover your needs and necessities, and even the occasional personal want. Often these individuals are unable to afford an appropriate and warm winter coat, let alone a small radio, or an occasional magazine or book. Many such persons with disabilities already take advantage of available local resources for reduced cost or used items, but this means often does not adequately or appropriately meet the individual needs of the person, and still involves the use of their severely limited personal funds. At best, these individuals often ‘settle’ for what they can locate through others for their use to just get by.