Friedman Place

Supporting the Independence of Adults who are Blind

aka Friedman Place   |   Chicago, IL   |  www.friedmanplace.org

Mission

Friedman Place’s mission is to provide housing and supportive services to adults who are blind. Friedman Place emphasizes self-determination, independence, and interaction within the community. Friedman Place is a primary force among professional organizations serving adults who are blind. Each year Friedman Place provides a Supportive Living Program to 95-100 adults. The Navigator Program provides case-management and connections to resources to over 95 community-based clients, and the Rent Assistance Program provided rent subsidies to 25 clients. The agency has an annual operating budget of 5.2 million dollars, 60 staff, and benefits from the services of dedicated volunteers who enjoy working directly with residents.

Ruling year info

2004

Executive Director

Dr. Alexander S. Brown

Main address

5527 North Maplewood

Chicago, IL 60625 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Maplewood Housing for the Visually Impaired

EIN

30-0246731

NTEE code info

Blind/Visually Impaired Centers, Services (P86)

Eye Diseases, Blindness and Vision Impairments (G41)

Jewish (X30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We continue to seek ways to fulfill our mission by fostering the independence of all adults living in Illinois who are blind.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Supportive Living Program

The Supportive Living Program allows adults who are blind to become more independent, self-determined, engaged in the broader world and lead healthier, more enriched lives. There are very few organizations in the country that provide housing and services for adults who are blind.
While some residents are physically frail, the vast majority are eager and physically able to engage with the world if only given the chance. Barriers to independence are poorly managed chronic health conditions, low income, and even family members who through kindness and lack of awareness care so well for a their loved one that they did not learn the skills needed to be a person who is blind living in a world designed for the sighted.

Overall Outcomes:
Optimal health and wellness
Opportunity for learning and increased independence

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people
People with disabilities
People with diseases and illnesses
Unemployed people

Social Workers provide a wide range of clinical and case management services. Primary services include: Case management (e.g., assistance with obtaining and maintaining public entitlements, finding social/recreational/educational, vocational resources in the community, etc.); Individual and group counseling (e.g., issues related to relationships, adjustment to blindness, goal-setting, emotional issues, etc.); Managing the admission process from responding to inquiries, providing tours, completing assessments, etc.



Overall Outcomes:
Decrease in symptoms from mental health and/or emotional challenges
Opportunity for learning and increased independence
Increased participation in counseling and psychiatric services when needed
Engagement with the broader community, including educational, social, vocational, and recreational activities
Obtain and maintain public entitlements
Process comprehensive applications in a timely manner and maintain a Waiting List

Population(s) Served

The David Herman Learning Center (DHLC) is based at Friedman Place but its activities extend to multiple locations, and formats, both inside and outside of the Agency. The three DHLC areas of focus include: Technology and Adaptive Devices; Education and the Therapeutic Arts; and Entrepreneurial and Vocational Accomplishments.

Overall Outcomes:

empower residents and others who are blind or visually impaired to develop their learning and technology skills to their greatest desire and capacity

Population(s) Served

The Activities Department provides a range of activities both within and outside of the building. Friedman Place provides much more activities than are required by the State regulations and nearly all residents take part in some activities over the course of a year. Primary services include: In -building activities like exercise classes, music events, arts & crafts, crosswords, reading of the newspaper, poetry, computer training, adaptive technology, etc.; Out-of –building activities like bowling, concerts, plays, etc.; Recruiting, orienting, and managing volunteers; Managing the “independent outing” activities which allow residents to go on activities outside the building on their own, with $25 of the cost paid by the agency; Weaving activities; Coordination of Braille and large-print menus and activity calendars and the phone “activities hotline”

Population(s) Served

The kitchen serves three meals per day plus an evening snack. Menus are posted in advance and orders are taken a day in advance. Last year the kitchen served over 75,000 individual meals. State regulations require that the meals be prepared on-site by agency employees. Primary services include: 3 meals per day plus evening snack; Meals & snacks for special events (e.g., board meetings, resident dinners/parties with family, various in-building activities, etc.).

Population(s) Served

Housekeepers and maintenance staff work very closely with one another, including maintenance staff doing cleaning when needed or a Housekeeper is on vacation. Primary services include: Cleaning each apartment weekly; Cleaning common areas several times per week; General maintenance and repairs (including preparing apartments prior to move-in)

Population(s) Served

The Navigator staff informs, educates, supports and empowers clients who are blind or visually impaired along with their families and friends in many areas, including (but not limited to) obtaining and maintaining: Public Entitlement Programs like PACE Para transit, Chicago’s Taxi Access Program (TAP), Medicaid, Social Security, and getting State Identification Card. Social, vocational, educational, and housing services, especially those geared for people who are blind through referral and linkage to local agencies and government departments. Advocating for legally-required accommodations in healthcare settings.

Population(s) Served

We also offer the Rent Assistance Program, which financially supports Illinois
residents eighteen years and older who are blind and have low incomes so that
they may remain and succeed in the community in their own rented apartments,
houses, or rooms. Ongoing rent subsidies are 50% of the individual’s rent up to
$300 each month.
Main Eligibility Requirements

Legal blindness
Annual Income at 200% or less of the Federal Poverty Level
$25,760 for a one person household (2022)
$34,840 for a two person household (2022)
$43,920 for a three person household (2022)
Living and renting in Illinois for at least three months
Not receiving other housing subsidies such as a Housing Voucher or living in a low-income housing program, long-term care program, or any other residential program.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of homeowners/tenants rating their feeling of safety in and around their homes as satisfactory

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Supportive Living Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

These are percentages. The 2020 and 2019 reflect the feeling of safety during the global pandemic.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our mission is to provide housing and supportive services to people who are blind or visually impaired so that their lives can be healthy, dignified, and stimulating. In 2019 we expanded programming and offer community based programs for adult who are blind and living in Illinois. The Friedman Place Navigator Program provides a broad range of case management and social services to people who are blind in order for them to achieve the greatest level of self-determination, independence, and interaction within the community. The Rent Assistance Program, financially supports Illinois residents eighteen years and older who are blind and have low incomes so that
they may remain and succeed in the community in their own rented apartments, houses, or rooms.

The Supportive Living Program accept residents regardless of their economic, racial, ethnic, or religious background. Friedman Place emphasizes a rehabilitation model based on resident independence, self-determination, and interaction with the community. We ensure basic needs are met with nutritious food, a secure environment and a supportive community. We provide activities that are responsive to residents' expressed interests and designed to engage visually impaired individuals, foster their independence, and prevent isolation. Some on-site services include housekeeping, medical case management, low-vision clinics, psychological services and mobility training. All of our services, from occupational therapy to computer classes, foster integrated health – physical, mental and social.

The Navigator staff inform, educate, support and empower clients who are blind or visually impaired along with their families and friends in many areas, including (but not limited to) obtaining and maintaining:
Public Programs like PACE Paratransit, Chicago’s Taxi Access Program (TAP), Medicaid, Social Security, and getting a State Identification Card. The Navigator also provides connections to social, vocational, educational, and housing services, especially those geared for people who are blind through referral and linkage to local agencies and government departments. The educates participants on how to obtain healthcare like a local clinic or hospital services and understanding how to advocate for legally-required accomodations.

The Rent Assistance program provides permanent, ongoing rent subsidies of 50% of the individual’s rent up to
$300 each month. Main Eligibility Requirements:
Legal blindness
Annual Income at 200% or less of the Federal Poverty Level
$25,760 for a one person household (2022)
$34,840 for a two person household (2022)
$43,920 for a three person household (2022)
Living and renting in Illinois for at least three months
Not receiving other housing subsidies such as a Housing Voucher or living in a low-income housing program, long-term care program, or any other residential program.

Friedman Place takes an individualized, holistic approach towards care. Once individuals are admitted, our staff begins working with them to: maximize the benefits for which they are eligible by obtaining sufficient health care coverage; secure a primary care provider; schedule intake consultations with an in-house nurse, social worker, dietitian, and mobility specialist; help them develop goals for themselves so we can create an individualized service plan; and coordinate in-house care and outside services on an ongoing basis for the residents' optimal physical, mental, and social health.

The Navigator first asks a participant what it is they need or want to accomplish and determines if their needs will be met in a call or two, or if a participant would benefit from case management. All services are provided following the Friedman Place Credo: "Staff are eager to do almost anything for residents that they cannot do themselves. Staff are eager to teach residents to do almost anything that they cannot do themselves today, but may learn tomorrow. Staff are not eager to do things for residents that they can do themselves.

Rent assistance clients remain living independently in the community and often benefit from other services that Friedman Place offers.

There is a comprehensive fundraising plan that remains in place year after year including an annual fundraising appeals to individuals, corporations, and grant making organizations for programmatic and general operating support.
In 2020, over 80,000 hours of service was provided by 60 staff. Friedman Place provided over 30,000 days and nights of affordable supportive housing. This includes round-the-clock integrated and individualized assistance and care provided by nurses and certified nurse’s assistants, and food service staff provide approximately 80,000 individual balanced, nutritious meals in the last year, prepared in Friedman Place’s professional commercial kitchen. Monitoring chronic health conditions and having access to healthy food is integral to resident well-being.

Nursing staff provided over 5,700 hours of nursing care in the last year by both Registered and Licensed Practical Nurses to one-hundred percent of residents and direct medication administration daily to approximately one-third of them. Key activities of the Nursing Department are initial and ongoing health assessments, service planning, coordination of care with other providers, medication administration and management, wound care, and health education. Residents are mostly unable to do things that sighted patients do, such as reading discharge summaries, written instructions, dosages, or indications and contraindications, determining prescribed amounts of liquid medications, or looking up information on the Internet.

Certified Nursing Aides (CNA) staff provided 18,600 hours of services in the last year. These services include assistance with and training on bathing, grooming, dressing, health and wellness activities, medication reminders, supervision, and coordination of healthcare services. The CNAs are the “front line” staff and have the most contact with most residents. In addition to their direct professional hands-on services, the CNAs provide social and emotional support and socialization.

Given the very high incidence of diabetes among residents – which can result in significant and even life-threatening problems in the extremities – regular podiatric care is extremely important. Friedman Place provided over 55 hours of direct podiatric care in the last year, mostly to residents with diabetes. Services provided include nail trimming, minor surgery, addressing foot infections, and therapeutic shoes prescriptions.

Last year, residents received over 25 hours of ophthalmologic services, 50 hours of dental services, 40 hours of direct psychiatric care and services which included exams, assessments, treatments, prescription of medications, and medication monitoring.

Friedman Place provided 4,500 hours of services in the last year by services are provided by licensed clinical social workers and between two and three Social Work Interns. Services include a wide range of mental health assessments; individual therapy and counseling sessions; case management; and cr

These programs allow adults who are blind to become more independent, self-determined, engaged in the broader world and lead healthier, more enriched lives. There are very few organizations in the country that provide housing and services for adults who are blind.
While some residents are physically frail, the vast majority are eager and physically able to engage with the world if only given the chance. Barriers to independence are poorly managed chronic health conditions, low income, and even family members who through kindness and lack of awareness care so well for a their loved one that they did not learn daily living skills.
In Q421 to Friedman Place returned to 100% with all apartments spoken for. According to the National Investment Center for the Senior Housing & Care Industry, the Q421 occupancy rate for independent living properties and assisted living properties averaged 83.6% and 78.3% respectively. Friedman Place’s higher occupancy rate is a sign of the tremendous need that exists for affordable housing with specialized supportive services included.

Approximately six people apply for housing each month and several more request information without actually applying. People are put on the waiting list only when their applications are carefully processed and they are deemed eligible. Between 10-15 residents move in and out of Friedman Place per year. While some residents learn sufficient independent living skills and their physical health allows them to move into a more independent setting in the community, most residents who leave Friedman Place go to nursing homes because their need for care has increased.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Case management notes, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to collect feedback of constituents are blind and have low technology skills. ,

Financials

Friedman Place
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Friedman Place

Board of directors
as of 07/27/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs. Mary Haley

Consumers Bank

Paul Rink

Richard Goldberg

Mary Haley

Ian Kay

Jeff Flodin

William Green

Lily Diego-Johnson

Richard Goldberg

Christophe Quanqard

Jill Strong

Aaron Thompson

Beverly Shapiro

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/27/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability