Independent Living House’s mission is to meet unmet needs. Those being the following: Detroit Public Schools, Detroit Wayne County Mental Health Authority, and the community at large: to provide independent living programs for youth and young adults with learning disabilities who are socially and economically disadvantaged.


Ruth founded this organization because her son Clifton was an unfortunate victim of the unmet needs of the Detroit community. At just eighteen months old, he was diagnosed with: attention deficit disorder with Hyperactivity and Dyslexia, and because of this, focusing on as well as following instructions, is harder for him compared to someone who does not have this learning disability.


Unfortunately, the school that Clifton attended claimed that he did not have Dyslexia and was unable to help him as they did not have the money to do so. This upset Ruth tremendously—she wanted to give her son the proper education that he needed. This event led her to join workshops, parenting classes, and support groups to help her son.


Later in the boy’s life, he ended up getting arrested. This unfortunate event happened because a child had been shot, and though Clifton was not at the location at the time, nor did he have a gun, he paid the price for the actions of another child. He had recently gotten out of prison and upon arrest, he was given a paper that he was told to sign. Clifton—who is only able to read at a first-grade level—was not able to read what was on it.


Due to these circumstances, Clifton served five years in prison simply because he couldn’t read.


Ruth knew that there was something that needed to be done about this problem. She felt helpless, scared for her son, and scared for others in Detroit who are also struggling with learning disabilities. With the information she has learned as well as the events she’s experienced, ‘Independent Living Housing, Inc,’ was founded.


Ruth’s neighbors have formed together to work against her and Clifton out of both envy jealousy for the love she has for her son. Her neighbors have stole her business plan as well; the business plan was to have Clifton arrested because of his inability to understand.


In November 2015, Nic overdosed on heroin after previously being prescribed narcotics and becoming addicted. After surviving the incident and giving a second chance, he decided to detox. Shortly after, a friend recommended he join the Youth challenge. 


This is what ILH plans to do, although this is a different scenario and a different center, Nic still had the same feeling of hope that we would like to bring to those with learning disabilities. We will bring them away from any downfalls they might encounter on their journey for education and housing, just as the Hope foundation did for Nic. 


ILH participants are mostly from single-parent homes or sleeping in abandoned houses. There have been times when students have passed dead bodies, haven’t received any therapy for it, and they’re still expected to learn in an academic environment.


All these factors affect how these children learn, along with what they retain. As they grow up, they carry around the weight of their learning disabilities. Maintaining employment is harder for them since they’re unable to read, which can put them at a higher rate of being a victim to the prison system. These students deserve more.


Most participants in ILH are reading below a third-grade level, and with the help of ILH’s tools and support, we’re able to bring the adults up to six levels beyond their recommended level.

This organization has helped them improve greatly as well as become more confident in their ability to learn.


Independent Living House’s services work to supply educational services plus life skill development to youth, young adults, and adults in metro Detroit that suffer from learning obstacles and disabilities. ILH’s goal is to be a ‘Prevention and Intervention’ program for the learning-disabled population. We are requesting your financial contribution to preventing another learning-disabled person from having to experience a similar situation to what Clifton had gone through.