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.
LifeSTEPS provides supportive services to these special populations:
Intensive Case Management Services for Homeless
LifeSTEPS currently partners with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency to provide supportive housing services to chronically homeless and homeless individuals. 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. In addition, LifeSTEPS is the lead service provider for Special Needs and Veterans housing throughout California. LifeSTEPS is also currently working on a two-year pilot Hospital Health Pilot Program in Redding, California, to provide case management to over-utilizers of the emergency department. These individuals are often homeless and facing significant health challenges.
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Thriving (Aging) In Place
Aging in place is the ability to continue to live and age in one’s own apartment home and community safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level.
We provide a full complement of social, educational and case management services to accomplish this goal. See our Thriving in Place Fact Sheet for more information. Within this overall population is a special vulnerable cohort of residents who are considered “Trapped in the Gap”. These are individuals with a monthly income that is slightly too high to qualify for all Medi-Cal benefits without a share of cost (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.
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RN Case Management Program
“A growing body of evidence is showing that more tightly linking senior health and housing has the potential to improve health outcomes for older adults, reduce medical costs, and enable millions of Americans to “age in place” in their homes and communities,” Affordable Housing Finance, July 2016. Rather than operating in isolation, those working in the housing and health care fields must move out of their separate silos and find ways to foster greater collaboration. This collaborative approach must become the rule rather than the exception it is today. After all, housing is widely recognized as a leading determinant of physical and mental health, while the home can serve as a vital platform for the delivery of health care and other critical services. Based on this premise, LifeSTEPS and USA Properties came together to create our new RN Case Management pilot program in 2016.
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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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