1. By Providing Inclusive Living Opportunities
Located at 50 Monroe Street in Rockville, Maryland, the Main Street building has 70 apartments, 75% of which are affordable and 25% of which are specifically designated for individuals with varying special needs. Details about the apartments and the application process are available from Main Street’s property management company, Hercules Living, at LivingAtMainStreet.com.
2. By Inviting Everyone into Our Community
Main Street provides much more than housing. Through our membership program that is open to residents and non-residents, we provide community connection and enrichment through social, educational and wellness events. Everyone – regardless of age, stage, ability or socioeconomic status – is invited to join the inclusion movement and be a part of our spectacular and growing community. We welcome and offer opportunities to adults of all abilities, family members and professionals. See below our timeline of key milestones in the development of our community including the expansion of our membership opportunities.
3. By Changing Mindsets
By being a part of the Main Street, our community learns together how inclusion looks and feels. We create opportunities for people of all abilities – including residents, members, parents, siblings, donors, volunteers and professional partners – to learn and grow together and to support one another. This is not charity – this is a genuine community in which all have an opportunity to contribute and all have a place to belong. We believe that people without disabilities have as much to gain from being a part of an inclusive community as do those with disabilities.
4. By Promoting “Bring Your Own Independence”
Main Street’s philosophy of inclusion and social integration is based on the fundamental precept of “Bring Your Own Independence”. Residents living at Main Street and members participating in Main Street programming are responsible for doing so independently, either using their own natural abilities and independence skills or by bringing the supports they need (staff, friends, family) with them. Residents have the option to hire Main Street Community Coaches who assist them with planning, organization and fully engaging with the many opportunities available at Main Street. By breaking the link between housing and services, Main Street residents have choice regarding their service providers and are not required to move if they wish to change service providers as is the case in group homes.
5. By Evaluating and Sharing Our Vision with Others
Main Street is partnering with the University of Maryland’s College of Education to measure the impact of our model on the quality of life of Main Street residents with and without disabilities and on family members of Main Street residents with disabilities. In addition, Main Street is working with Sharp Insight, a local evaluation firm, to design data collection tools and systems that will support Main Street in monitoring and evaluating the quality and impact of our membership program. Main Street’s research and evaluation efforts will help us improve our model, guide our replication efforts and enable us to help others create solutions for their communities.
We invite those who are interested in creating a community like Main Street to view our May 2019 webinar on “The Development of Main Street: Ideas for Those Who Want to Start an Inclusive Housing Community”. In the webinar, Main Street founder Jillian Copeland and Scott Copeland of RST Development discuss the steps taken to create Main Street and ideas for replication in other areas.
6. By Creating a Committed Team
Main Street has brought together a dedicated and creative team – including staff, board and volunteers – who are committed to changing the landscape of housing and community engagement for people with disabilities. Get to know our board below and meet our staff here.