Family Eldercare [FEC] is briefly sharing the story of one woman who has benefited from the collaboration between the agency and Best Single Source Plus (BSS Plus) Program. Her name has been changed to respect her privacy.
Josephine, a kind and reserved woman, was still on the streets, as she has been for the past ten years, when doctors told her she has cancer. Josephine needed to be placed in a motel after chemotherapy and radiation because the hospital refused to let her return to the streets. At this point, Josephine’s only connection to social services was a community volunteer willing to pay for her motel stay. The volunteer referred Josephine to Family Eldercare for deeper intervention. BSS Plus is the program Family Eldercare turned to for quick access to direct client assistance. Funds were used to pay for vital records, to apply for housing, for initial move-in costs, and to ensure housing stability.
Josephine’s housing stability was tied, in part, to her dog going wherever she would go. Property managers’ were concerned about the dog’s temperament, so the FEC team connected Josephine to pet training. The advocacy and coordination of services relaxed some of their concerns.
Today Josephine is in remission, and with Family Eldercare’s help she has found housing for her and her dog. She is excited about hosting neighbors for dinner, and her only challenge is figuring out the right temperature setting for the refrigerator. In addition to housing and pet training, Family Eldercare has helped Josephine open a bank account, apply for SNAP, increase her Social Security benefits, and budget her finances.
The FEC program delivers comprehensive case management centered on consumer respect and the absence of exploitation. BSS Plus has made it possible for Family Eldercare to grow its capacity and to serve people like Josephine who have urgent needs. In fiscal year 2017, FEC provided case management for 254 BSS Plus clients, which included providing financial assistance of $201,590.74 for homelessness prevention and housing crisis intervention—expenditures FEC consider a net savings for the City of Austin.
FEC staff members are committed to the BSS Plus collaborative, because they understand the vulnerability seniors and adults with disabilities face, and they appreciate working side-by-side with all other agencies in the collaborative as they serve on the frontline to end homelessness in Austin and Travis County.