Past Success Stories
A FRESH START
Issue: In early January 2018, a female consumer, 35 years old, came into the Pottstown regional office after having recently moved into the area, not knowing where to turn for assistance. She was referred by the Cluster Outreach Center across the street. She was seeking resources including employment opportunities, subsidized housing, furniture, and community service locales. She is in recovery and recently charged with a misdemeanor requiring community service. She shared she is also a patient at Creative Health. She described her small apartment with appreciation though had been unsuccessful in securing a bed and coffee maker.
Intervention: Throughout the conversation, Darrell Lewis, Pottstown navigate, was able to provide information and referrals to PDIDA (Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority) for community service, the public defender’s office, Mitzvah Circle, and HopeWorx, along with a subsidized housing list and a few local employers.
Impact: The consumer had a few contacts with Darrell throughout January to keep him in the loop of her progress with the referrals. During the most recent contact, she called to thank him profusely for the referral to Mitzvah Circle who delivered her a new bed and a coffee maker! She was so appreciative and thanked him for all of the work he provided to her during her state of transition to Pottstown.
Contact: Darrell Lewis, Pottstown Navicate, 610-970-2979
FINDING AN ALLY
Issue: In April, a female consumer reached out to Annette Widney, Navicate, of the Lansdale office. She initially called for financial assistance for heating assistance after learning her oil tank had a hole and was not retaining oil. The consumer shared with Annette she was experiencing domestic violence with an ex-boyfriend and unsure what to do. The consumer has a friend who is a lawyer and family/friends have been encouraging her to file a PFA for her protection.
Intervention: During the conversation, Annette learned of other needs she was experiencing and referred her to Luis Rodriguez, CADCOM, for assistance in completing an application for SNAP, MA, and LIHEAP. She shared her feelings of fear and shame with Annette. Annette listened to her and provided her with information and support to make an informed decision for herself.
Impact: During the time Annette and the consumer have connected, the consumer calls Annette occasionally for moral support. She has called Annette prior to court appearances to share how she is feeling. She also learned her oil tank did not have a leak, as initially diagnosed. Annette has been an invaluable resource to her during a time of trauma and uncertainty. Knowing she is able to contact Annette when needed, has provided stability, support, and reassurance through information, referrals, and having someone to talk with. Her voicemail to Annette recently was filled with appreciation and for many consumers in the county, Community Connections provides hope in their time of need.
Contact: Annette Widney, Lansdale Navicate, 610-278-1286
HOMELESS AND ENROLLING FOR SCHOOL
Issue: Resident came into the Community Connections office with EARN Program Case Manager. She stated that she tried to enroll her 5 year old in a local school district yesterday and was refused access because of “not having a permanent address.” Resident spoke with superintendent. She is homeless and doubled up with a friend. Resident stated she couldn't give her friend's address because she doesn't want to jeopardize friend's housing. Navicate and Resident talked about how the school has a right to make sure that they are only educating those children who are within their boundaries, however, her son has rights as a homeless child to free education under the McKinney-Vento Act.
Intervention: Navicate took Resident’s information and had her sign a release so that phone calls could be made on her behalf. Research was done. Navicate sent message to a social worker at the school district to ask what can be done to most efficiently get the child in school with his classmates. The social worker contacted Resident the same day to let her know what documentation to bring to the school the next day so the child could start school.
Impact: Follow up call was made to see how Resident and her son are getting along with school, job search, apartment search, etc. Resident said she is very pleased with the school. Once she was in touch with the social worker, things moved along quickly and easily. She had to get her host to sign something with the school as proof of residency, but it has not had any impact on friend's housing security. Resident has started a new job, which is going well and she is saving for an apartment. Navicate and Resident talked about 2 resources she can contact for partial assistance with security deposit.
HOMELESS WITH SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND PLAN
Issue: Navicate has had numerous encounters with a Resident in Pottstown who had a history of homelessness and was temporarily living with her daughter. Over the course of 1 ½ to 2 months in working with the Navicate, Resident expressed her daughter was being evicted for back rent and she would not be able to go with her as she would be on her own. The Resident has no income as she has issues with severe back pain, poor ambulation, depression and has been denied 3 times for SSD. Resident also expressed suicidal thoughts with a viable plan while in the Navicate office. She also had been using her daughter’s phone, but no longer has access.
Intervention: The Navicate over the course of 1 ½ months gave numbers to Rubin & Badame Associates for SSD claim and also attempted to connect Resident to The Personal Navigator SOAR Program (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery) for SSD fast tracking, but she did not qualify as she already had an open case with the Social Security Office. The Navicate also attempted linking Resident to a Safe Link phone but was unsuccessful because her address could not be verified by Safe Link. Navicate referred to the Personal Navigator to connect Consumer to an Assurance phone through the County Assistance Office, also known as the Department of Public Welfare; Resident just needed to go to the CAO to sign her signature and pick up the phone. In the process of working with Resident, she expressed suicidal thoughts with a plan. Navicate made a warm transfer to both Adult Mobile Crisis and Creative Health Services. The Resident was assigned a Case Manager with Creative Health who provided transport to a SSD physical exam. While in the exam, the Resident expressed further suicidal thoughts and was immediately hospitalized. Upon telephone contact with a behavioral health clinic social worker, the Resident was later transferred for further inpatient psych treatment. While in treatment, the Resident was connected to Critical Time Intervention and transferred to proper safe shelter placement within the Your Way Home system.
Impact: Another life was saved. While the Resident still has issues and is homeless without income, she is connected properly to those supports required to sustain her while she goes through the SSD / SSI process. She has shelter and mental health services that will monitor her ongoing situation and assist her back to self-sustainability as much as possible.