Our History

  • Resources for Independent Living - Exterior Cape May Office Image
    Resources for Independent Living - Exterior Cape May Office Image

Resources for Independent Living Corporate History

A group of 26 people with significant disabilities, committed to changing service options in Burlington County, incorporated as “Resources for Independent Living” (RIL) in 1993 and received their not-for-profit IRS status in 1994. Their collective dream was to create a center where people with disabilities would have a place meet socially, receive personal support and learn how to live independently in the community.

Knowing that many of their needs could be met through the services of such an organization the founding members applied for federal funding to open a new Independent Living Center in New Jersey. In 1994, RIL was awarded a U.S. Department of Education grant in the amount of $149,000.

RIL has grown in scope of services offered as well as the number of clients served. The organization continues to serve people with disabilities, who live throughout Burlington County and its neighboring communities. Currently, there is an on-site computer lab and a recreational center. Consumers are provided opportunities to volunteer and participate in activities. RIL is now a Case Management site for both the Traumatic Brain Injury Fund and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

In 2008 RIL provided almost 10,000 service hours and over 6,500 individual services to residents of Southern New Jersey. Today’s clients are provided support and services in the following areas; independent living skills training, peer support, recreation, information and referral, youth services, nursing facility transition/deferment and advocacy. Based in Burlington City, RIL is a training and support facility staffed by three full time and four part-time employees and several volunteer support staff.

In 2008, Resources for Independent Living was awarded the prestigious Award for Continuing Excellence (ACE Award) from the Inglis Foundation in Philadelphia. The awards program honors the performance of non-profit organizations in the Philadelphia region that enhance the quality of life for people with physical disabilities.

Sources of funding have included support from Cornell University, New Jersey Department of Education, New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Rutgers University, Burlington County, Burlington City, Beverly City, New Jersey Fund for the Blind, Inglis Foundation, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, New Jersey Division of Disability Services, Federal Department of Education, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare, Girl Scouts, and donations from the public.