Latisha Millard

Successful Supportive Reentry Housing: Two Success Stories

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Fortune Society’s two housing programs play an important role in helping to reduce homelessness, recidivism, and chronic hospitalization.

One program — the Scatter-Site Housing Program (SSHP) — provides housing and supportive case management for 137 formerly incarcerated men and women. Our newly awarded OASAS contract provides 15 apartments to families where the head of household suffers from a history of substance abuse and homelessness.

In 2014, Fortune was one of five agency’s awarded a new state DOHMH housing pilot to serve people who are targeted as high-end users of Medicaid services with co-occurring disorders who are street homeless or living in shelters, and are connected to Care Coordination/Health Home services. Additionally, Fortune’s HOPWA housing program locates and matches 42 formally incarcerated individuals with chronic conditions/ HIV with permanent supportive housing and linkages to HASA benefits, healthcare, and mental health and treatment providers to support their stay in housing.

A second program — Castle Gardens — is a mixed-use building that provides affordable housing, subsidies, and specialized on-site case management for those with histories of mental health and substance abuse. The supportive environment is open to all in need.

The Castle Gardens Family Support Specialist provides intense advocacy and support to 13 families where, in some cases, the head of household may be newly reunited with their children due to mental health issues, homelessness, or incarceration. Some of our families are still in the process of working the family court system to reunite with their children. The Family Support Specialist attends family court appearances with clients to provide counseling, and support.

In addition to supportive case management, both Castle Gardens and Scattered Site Housing provide monthly groups, 24-hour on-call support to address crisis situations, fun family-oriented activities and advocacy.

While there are dozens to choose from, here are my two favorite success stories that illustrate how Fortune Housing and supportive services work together:

Success Story #1: B.W.
B.W. was the first client admitted to the scattered site housing MRT Program in late 2013. He suffers from a long history of anxiety and substance abuse as well as medical conditions that were unaddressed during his incarceration. In the year prior to his admission, B.W. had over a dozen hospitalizations and ER visits to various hospitals in the area. Once B.W. was admitted to the scattered site housing program, he was connected to care coordination to assist in streamlining his services from various hospitals and connected to Fortune’s Better Living Center (BLC) program to address his mental health issues. Intensive case management was provided to support him in his first apartment. This combination of support and services has led to B.W.’s remaining in housing over the past year. In addition, B.W. demonstrates coping techniques to deal with his anxiety as his support services from BLC, case management, and care coordination respond quickly and demonstrate that everyone is on the same page regarding his service needs.

Success Story #2: T.Z.
T.Z. is a 35-year-old female who moved into Castle Gardens on September, 2010. Unfortunately, in 2012, T.Z. lost custody of her children. With a limited education, T.Z. was unable to navigate the family court system and often erupted in violent episodes. The court filed to terminate T.Z.’s parental rights in 2014. With the assistance of the Family Support Specialist who attended all mandated court appointments with T.Z., it was explained to T.Z. the outcome of each appointment as well as the follow-up needed. The Family Support Specialist also connected T.Z. to Fortune’s BLC program to better coordinate her mental health services and demonstrate T.Z.’s progress to regain custody.  Currently, T.Z. has supervised visits with her children with a goal to move towards unsupervised visitation.

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