May 2023 Director’s Corner: Programs support not detract from core services

LIFTT's Executive Director Carlos Ramalho.  A bald white hispanic male with a beard wearing a light blue polo shirt sitting at a desk. to his right is a computer monitor displaying the main page of LIFTT's website.

As you know, Living Independently for Today and Tomorrow (LIFTT), a Montana nonprofit organization based in Billings & Glendive, has been striving to grow. Organized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Center for Independent Living (CIL) and serving 18 Counties, LIFTT is consistently seeking new ways to serve the disabled population of Southeastern and South Central Montana and help you live proudly and independently.

LIFTT has always

  • pointed its consumers in the right direction by providing information & referral,
  • advocated on their behalf,
  • helped the youth transition into adulthood, finding employment or attending higher education,
  • assisted institutionalized adults regain their independence,
  • offered peer support, and provided Medicaid Self Direct Personal Care Assistance (PCA) services.


While we continue to offer these core services We are continually making an effort to expand our offerings.

In 2021, in association with RiverStone Health here in Yellowstone County, LIFTT began to hire Community Health Workers (CHW) to serve the population further. Later in the same year, we began to promote the COVID-19 vaccines in a person-centered way empowering our consumers to decide whether to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

We did this because we felt that consumers needed to be better equipped to make this important decision instead of relying on inaccurate information made available elsewhere.

Promoting vaccines, however, can be expensive and additional funding is necessary. Therefore, when the Administration for Community Living (ACL) USAging launched the Aging and Disability Vaccine Collaborative (ADVC) grant to CILs, LIFTT applied and qualified. (Click here to learn about LIFTT’s ADVC services.)

We have received enough funding to double our budget and staff to offer more services to more people throughout the region and promote the COVID-19 and Influenza vaccines. That also means LIFTT is becoming more visible, and as it grows, so does the demand.

LIFTT has been in operation since 1987 and has provided independent living services to thousands of citizens. Without LIFTT’s services, it would be nearly impossible for them to receive government benefits and services, find housing, employment, assistive technology, and home modifications, considering that 100% of LIFTT’s consumers have a significant disability.

While independent living services will always be LIFTT’s primary focus, along with peer support to all, we will strive to work at the intersection between aging and disability to build healthier communities.

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings and Glendive, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and southcentral Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Stillwater, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit or download our mobile app on Apple or Google Play.

You can donate to LIFTT by clicking here.