Keeping Independence Alive

Giving Tuesday at Access Living

In fall 2014, Derris called Access Living and set-up a meeting with Larry Hamilton, Access Living's Housing Counselor at the time. "Larry talked through the options and what was expected of me," Derris said. He quickly got involved with Access Living's housing programs, attending monthly counseling meetings, participating in Access Living's housing advocacy group, and continuing to meet one-on-one with Larry.

In April 2015, the Chicago Housing Authority issued Derris a housing voucher. After his landlord approved the voucher and his apartment passed an inspection, July 1, 2015 marked the first day of his new lease, giving Derris the housing security he needed. Talking about his new lease, Derris said, "It released a lot of anxiety. Considering my health issues, I was picking at the seams. I would have wound up in a nursing home." The Housing Counseling program ensured he stayed out of a nursing home. "The City [Chicago Housing Authority] worked, Access Living worked. I saw it working. It was the fact that I got the help I was looking for."

Now, Derris is living independently and volunteering at Access Living. "If you are going to help me, then I feel the need to give something back," Derris said. Access Living, and the new clients going through the housing process, are all better for the help Derris offers.

Give back by making a donation to Access Living in the spirit of Giving Tuesday!

Donate Now

Your donation helps Access Living continue its important work of fostering independence and inclusion for people with disabilities. Thanks to an anonymous donor, your gift is eligible to be matched!*

*First time donations will be doubled, as will new enrollments to the monthly giving program, as long as the annual total is greater than in previous years. Additionally, increased gifts from previous donors will be matched 1:1 based on the incremental difference.

Vatonna Dunn
Development Associate – Marketing and Event Fundraiser