Annual Reports 2017: Opening Doors - Page 14

Expanding Services and Access through Grant Awards StreetReach Receiving Funding to Reduce Homelessness The StreetReach program provides outreach, engagement, case management and treatment services to homeless adults with mental illness or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. The program uniquely targets those who are distrustful of “the system” and need a low-key, come-as-you-are approach to receiving services. In 2017, the Heart of West Michigan United Way awarded StreetReach a $70,000 grant to provide the extra staffing hours needed to help more individuals complete the SOAR (Supplemental Security Income/Social Security Disability Insurance Outreach, Access, and Recovery) application process, and hopefully be placed in a stable living situation. Nationally, only 26 percent of individuals who apply are approved upon initial application. For people who are homeless and have no one to assist them, that percentage is cut by more than half. When applications are denied, appeals can take an average of one year to complete, and in that time, applicants often give up hope. States using the SOAR model report average approval rates of 65 percent in an average of 94 days on initial applications. “ My job is to be a peddler of hope, ” says StreetReach Case Manager Bryan Holt, BBA, MS. He helps Kent County residents living in extreme poverty who are homeless, face drug or alcohol addictions and have a mental health diagnosis complete the SOAR. And when clients won’t come to the office, he offers hospitality and inclusiveness by going to where they are. He does everything from helping people acquire tents to rounding up food from local pantries. Expanding Services for Teen Mothers and Children at Pella Clinic Vermeer Charitable Foundation provided funds to allow Pine Rest therapists to collaborate with and train more area educators, helping them better understand mental illness and how they can provide the best learning environment possible for their students affected by mental illness. The grant also provides additional training for therapists in providing services to children. The Marion County Foundation provided a gift to help start up a new group within the county to educate and support the increasing number of pregnant teenaged mothers at area schools. The Pella Community Foundation awarded a grant to enhance the play therapy services at the clinic. Preventing Falls and Injuries in the Older Adult Unit Each year, one in every three adults over the age of 65 fall­—the long-term consequences of fall injuries can be devastating. Staff members on the Older Adult Unit have found that if a patient is restless and paces, the person is more likely to fall. However, these falls can be prevented by offering items that distract patients, and injuries can be reduced or prevented by providing safety equipment. Through a $12,500 Pine Rest Casey Wondergem Grant, the unit was able to purchase recumbent exercise bikes, TheraGlide chairs, floor mats, pocket talkers, large-print books, puzzles and crafts. Exercise improves strength and balance, which decrease risk of falls. Two new recumbent bikes placed side by side allow more people to exercise and to talk with each other while exercising, thus allowing them to interact with others and give one another motivation to exercise. Two TheraGlide chairs were also purchased to help restless patients move safely. Bryan Holt, BBA, MS, StreetReach Outreach Case Manager and Victoria Sluga, LMSW, CAADC, StreetReach Team Lead. Bryan Holt’s position is funded by network180 via a grant it subcontracted to StreetReach. “Most appreciated being treated with dignity and respect. A + in that category! Very helpful, indeed!” Mental exercising is also important in the overall health of our patients. Because the unit specializes in the geriatric population, additional large print-books and puzzles were purchased. New pocket talkers—a device that helps the wearer hear better in a group setting—increase participation in group therapy programs. When falls do occur, fall prevention products can provide a safety net in situations where patients are susceptible to falling, such as getting into and out of bed. The floor mats are used i