Discrimination on the basis of disability is still woven into the fabric of community life. The gulf today between what is promised by systems, laws and services, and the reality of what is actually delivered is sobering.
Our founders gravitated together around a commitment to stand up against this reality and find a way to keep people safe. Conversations circled back again and again to one truth: that ultimately what keeps any of us safe is the people who care about us and are there for us – our relationships.
They wanted to bring that safety net of relationship to people with disabilities who had typically been segregated and oppressed. They wanted to build on a vision in which every life is valued, protected and celebrated.
So they began, sometimes by quite literally passing the hat at board meetings, to fund the program that grew into Citizen Advocacy of Chester County.
For 40 years, our purpose has been to bring people who would not ordinarily meet into relationship with one another. We ask them to spend time together and build trust so that protection, opportunity and action can grow.
The impact? A person once isolated now has friends, community life, or even family. An advocate finds her partner a new job. Another fights for his partner‘s education. A woman intervenes with medical staff to save her partner’s life. Another becomes Power of Attorney to ensure his partner’s interests. Another provides rides to appointments and errands. Yet another turns eviction into the finding of a new affordable apartment. The stories are all as unique as the two people in them – and as life changing for both.
Into the Future
We’ve reached the 40 year mark because of your unwavering and wholehearted support, and it’s with deepest thanks for that steadfast generosity that we now look to the future.
We offer an opportunity to take action to ensure a better quality of life and an enrichment of opportunity for a person who may, because they have a disability, be suffering from isolation and segregation, rejection and danger, poverty and injustice.
What is Citizen Advocacy?
Citizen Advocacy’s mission is to initiate and support a variety of intentional relationships that provide advocacy for opportunity, protection from harm, sponsorship into community life, friendship, and justice for isolated people living with a disability.
Citizen Advocacy is built upon the belief in the power and competence of the ordinary citizen to care and connect to others and to make a lifelong commitment to stand by, for and with another person, through good times and through challenging ones.
Discover Advocate Stories
We are built upon the belief in the power and competence of the ordinary citizen to care and connect to others and to make a lifelong commitment through the good times and through the challenging ones.
Advocates choose one or several of many ways to understand, respond to, and represent that person’s interests as if they were the advocate’s own, thus bringing their partner’s gifts and concerns into the circles of ordinary community life. Many of these commitments last a lifetime.