Noah by the outdoor grill under the ramada.
Noah is a 30-year-old man who lived in an Adult Developmental Home (ADH) for seven years, moved back to live with his mother, and now, thanks to the DES Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), he is living and thriving on his own. The DDD Affordable Housing Program offers a number of affordable housing options. One option is a voucher program offered through DDD and the Housing Authority of Maricopa County.
"Noah is a vulnerable person," said his mother Amy. "He needed access to transportation and he needed to be in what I thought was a safe neighborhood."
When Noah and Amy learned about the voucher program, they attended an in-take session. "They told us the criteria, their rules and how it works. They said the hard part is finding apartments." Amy, a retired teacher, explained that she can't afford to subsidize a place for her son.
Amy and Noah point out the various citrus trees in one of the courtyards.
"I found this building in Glendale. I went to look at it and it's a very nice place: bus stop across the street, near enough to stores. [Noah can] walk to Circle K if necessary, walk to a couple of fast foods if necessary."
Noah's voucher started in July 2020. "After the first year, you can do what's called "porting your voucher," then you can go anywhere." According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), "A family's housing needs change over time. […] The housing choice voucher program is designed to allow families to move without the loss of housing assistance." Noah's goal is to find a place that is closer to where his mother lives in Phoenix or where his sister lives in Mesa, so that he can take the bus to visit them.
The swimming pool at the apartment complex where Noah lives.
"I love the [DDD Affordable Housing] program," said Amy. "It's amazing, it's been a miracle." Amy added that where Noah lives there is a large courtyard, grassy areas, a swimming pool and fitness center. "The neighbors are nice and friendly, and the [Management] Office has been great and very helpful. They've been accommodating when I didn't know the process. It's been a very positive experience."
In addition to the housing program, Noah receives habilitation services three times a week. His other goal, after the pandemic is over, is to find employment. "I think he's really stepped up his independence." Recently, Noah prepared corned beef in the crockpot. He also entertained his mother, sister and brother-in-law at Christmas when he prepared shrimp alfredo and served toasted bread with pepper and olive oil dip. Noah uses Instacart to order [groceries] online.
Noah prepared a cheese plate to welcome his mother and a DDD representative to his home.
"I'm just hoping when we all get our immunizations he can start practicing the bus and getting out a little bit more." Amy also noted that Noah is "learning to manage his space. When he was in my house, he was a sprawler. He's ordered shelves, gotten storage and made it work for him."
"I am so grateful [to the DDD Housing Project Coordinator.] She's hung in there with me; she still follows up. She's awesome, she's great."
And DDD is proud of Noah!