In addition to the core social services we provide in each affordable community we serve, there are a number of properties that may have what is considered a “special population”.
The special populations we serve are homeless, physically disabled, and mentally ill individuals, seniors, families and veterans. We also work regularly with individuals who are homeless and/or chronically homeless, and with individuals who have co-occurring substance use disorders, and/or chronic primary health conditions.
We undertake a client-centered, “whatever it takes” approach to delivering a high standard of service to these populations. The supportive services we provide are classified as Intensive Case Management Services (ICMS) – which is a social service process that details a higher level of direct assistance.
The intensive case management is targeted toward the type of challenges an individual and/or population must overcome.
Also contributing to producing better outcomes for residents is our emphasis on maintaining collaborative and complimentary relationships with property managers. We routinely have ongoing meetings with property owners and property management companies to ensure that residents are receiving the highest level of care possible. Deepening these relationships is important because the connection between health and housing is so vital – and these populations have special needs that must be met. Secure housing is vital to their overall health and well being.
LifeSTEPS first experience in working with special populations and providing supportive services was in 2007, when we helped found the first Transitional Homeless Shelter in El Dorado County. The shelter partnered with the County Medical Services Program (“CMSP”), in an early innovation in integrated services to avoid unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalization. In addition, LifeSTEPS provided clinical consulting and administrative services.
This program is focused on supporting older adults to remain in their housing for as long as possible. We provide a full complement of services to accomplish this goal. Within this overall population is a special population that is considered “trapped in the gap”. These are individuals who make too much money to qualify for all Medi-Cal benefits (especially in-home health services), but do not make enough to pay for the out-of-pocket expenses associated with the appropriate care they will need. This population is vulnerable to entering skilled nursing facilities prematurely.
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Intensive Case Management Services for Homeless
Currently LifeSTEPS provides ICMS services through a partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Working with other community partners, case managers identify and work with individuals living in homeless shelters who also suffer from significant health challenges. These individuals are transitioned from a homeless shelter into permanent housing, and are provided with intensive case management that addresses the psycho/bio/social issues they need to overcome to live independently in permanent housing.
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Family Self Sufficiency
A HUD funded program, LifeSTEPS provides services to eligible individuals/ families in acquiring the skills, education and experience necessary to obtaining work that pays a living wage. The program also offers a unique savings opportunity – money is placed in an escrow account. When the individual graduates from the program the money saved can be used as a down payment on the purchase of a home.
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