Personal Supports in Detroit

Funded as a demonstration project from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, the NEIGHBORHOOD-BASED PERSONAL SUPPORTS PROGRAM is designed to assist people with disabilities and their families participate in and contribute to their neighborhoods and communities.

Through person-centered planning, family, friends, and professionals support a person in developing visions of a better life and action plans to move towards that vision. People of the neighborhood and family are asked to participate in circles of support for a person where they meet in homes, churches, or places in the neighborhood to plan with the person, have fun together, report on actions to date, and celebrate.

Some people with disabilities and families in the neighborhood may serve as peer mentors. Neighbors also may serve as mentors or community advocates or just friends. In these one on one relationships neighbors assist neighbors in solving problems and dealing with important issues in their lives and in just having fun together.

Neighborhood organizations and community leaders are approached to identify ways that members of their neighborhoods who are not participating members of the organizations may be welcomed and their gifts and interests matched with organizations and people.


A Program Coordinator works with three part-time Neighborhood Support Facilitators who assist people with disabilities and their families in organizing circles, facilitating person-centered planning, and approaching neighborhood organizations and community leaders.


The program worked in 3 areas in or near the Empowerment Zone:

The Virginia Park Citizens Service Corporation houses one office of the program. Other staff presently work out of the Great Lakes Center for Independent Living.