ICW began when a small group of Ann Arbor residents recognized the need to create alternative housing options and services for their children and other individuals with developmental disabilities. The group knew that it would take a group of committed parents to make those options a reality.

ICW officially began in 2005 when 25 families met to make these housing options a reality. The group surveyed families who had children with disabilities to assess the needs and desires of these families. In short order, a mission statement and a steering committee was formed.

Members of ICW attended a workshop at the Center for Independent Futures® (CIF) in Evanston, Illinois that assists families interested in starting their own Community Living Option™ residences in their communities of choice. CIF’s mission is to form innovative partnerships to create product and service models that give adults with disabilities and their families the skills and opportunities to realize a full life. CIF’s Full Life Model™ matches the vision the ICW steering committee had with the launch of ICW.

With the support of many individuals and organizations including Catholic Social Services and Washtenaw County Community Mental Health, ICW moved forward to launch this model in Ann Arbor. Today, ICW has over 200 connected family members.

ICW is creating, through the commitment of family and community members, housing clusters and support services to allow individuals with disabilities to live independently, be productive citizens, and have an opportunity to enjoy a high quality of life.