RURAL ENTERPRISE FOR ACCEPTABLE LIVING INC

Southwestern Center for Independent Living

The Southwestern Center for Independent Living (SWCIL) is a private, non-profit, consumer controlled, community-based, cross-disability, non-residential organization whose direction is determined by and for people with disabilites consistent with the Independent Living philosophy.

Independent Living is based on the concept that persons with disabilites have the right to choose and live a lifestyle free from discrimination and segregation. It is this belief that directs SWCIL's philosophy of personal control, consumer responsibility, individual choice, societal inclusion and equal access.

Mission Statement: SWCIL is dedicated to working with and responding to the ever changing needs of persons with disabilities in Southwestern Minnesota to promote societal acceptance, inclusion, and equal access for all persons with disabilities.

SWCIL offers a wide array of services for individuals, businesses, and communities. Some of these services include:

-Consumer Services (independent living skills training, advocacy, peer counseling, and information referral, and assistance services)

-Youth Transition Services

-Community Group Services & Workshops

-Relocation to Community-Based Living

-Accessibility Assessments (home and community)

-Ramp Program (residential)

CONSUMER SUCCESS STORIES

* A veteran was successful in consolidating his financial debt.  SWCIL assisted in writing to creditors and accompanied him to a debt counseling appointment.  With the debt counselor, SWCIL assisted in negotiating with creditors to pay off his debt in feasible monthly payments.

* A young man has met the requirements to graduate from high school which were also a requirement to qualify for post-secondary education.  His goal was to gain knowledge of post-secondary requirements and degree options.  He worked hard to keep his grades up.  He applied to MN West Technical and Community College in Worthington, MN and was accepted.  He plans to begin classes in the spring semester.  In addition, he has made huge strides in independently searching for jobs in the community and following through with the application process.  He currently has had an interview and is looking into work-study for spring through MN West College.  He has an apartment and wants to remain living independently.  

* A veteran was referred for assistance in filing for social security disability benefits.  The application was successful and benefits were approved.  SWCIL staff advised the veteran on social security work rules and referred the veteran to the Small Business Development Center for possible assistance in opening a small business.

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