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Independent Living Resource Center hires new advocate to serve youths with disabilities in Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Independent Living Resource Center, a Santa Barbara organization dedicated to promoting independent living for individuals with disabilities, is expanding its services for youths.

The center is hiring a new advocate that will help dozens of youths in need of their services.
The transition from school to independent adulthood can be challenging for youth with disabilities.

"There’s a huge need in Santa Barbara for youth services and especially when you’re talking about like the disability field," said executive director Jennifer Griffin of ILRC.

The program provides a range of services at no cost to participants, including housing navigation, pre-employment services, peer support, money management and more.

"You know it has been tough. We have a lot of need for services for young adults but it’s really important to have somebody providing services. I can focus on this demographics I need some individuals in transition and shoes are really specific different from those that are 60 and looking for housing … So it really requires somebody with tailored support and we just haven’t had that for the last six years," said program director Alexa Martin of IRLC.

Thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Women's Fund of Santa Barbara the organization will be able to expand its Independent Living Support for Youth with Disabilities program.

"Through the women’s fine we’re able to provide much needed services to Young adults with disabilities to help them to become employed to get a higher education to find housing, build friendships and relationships," said Martin.

With this grant, the agency will be able to serve 45 youths with disabilities for free.

"Thanks to the funds I’m here as a your advocate. Working with youth with disabilities in a variety of services whether that housing navigation cream payment services, an independent living skills and also here, I’ll be able to host a workshops," said youth advocate Anisa Garrett of IRLC.

Directors of the organization hope to give each participant an individualized plan that includes steps to meet their self-identified goals in education, employment, and independent living.

The resource center has been supporting individuals with disabilities for 46 years.

For more information on the Independent Living Resource Center visit:

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
Santa Barbara
The Independent Living Resource Center

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Patricia Martellotti

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