Client came to the office for resources and received a sleeping bag and blanket
Advocates for the Disabled (AFD) directly assists a population of individuals, and their families, challenged by a wide range of developmental, physical, and psychological disabilities.
AFD's social workers help clients negotiate the confusing and difficult public benefits system. They educate them on what interventions or programs are available to help and how to access them. They offer effective support(s) to help them avoid or overcome homelessness and poverty. They also make the necessary referrals, service linkage, and arrange for direct assistance to help clients meet their daily living needs until their benefits are received, as needed. AFD achieves those accomplishments through quality, ongoing case management in the context of our Disability Claims program. Both short-term and long-term housing goals are directly supported by this program.
Client just received a new warm blanket
900 Phoenix residents were served last year through AFD's Disability Claims program. Of those, 98.2% of the clients who completed case management and followed their case plans achieved successful claims outcomes. Short-term housing needs are addressed by helping individuals who are homeless or at high risk of becoming homeless. This is done by providing direct assistance, referrals, linkage to community resources, and housing advocacy. Long-term housing needs are addressed by providing individualized assistance to people with disabilities until their claims for ongoing public benefits are determined. They also assist clients in identifying appropriate housing options. Once receiving their benefits, clients have the opportunity to maintain long-term housing. They would otherwise be very unlikely to obtain on their own.
To further illustrate the critical and effective nature of the direct aid this program delivers to people with disabilities in Phoenix, the following success story serves as typical examples of AFD's client outcomes. (Names have been changed to preserve confidentiality.)
"Luis" is a man in his early '30s with a history of homelessness. His challenges are many, including not only multiple disabilities (mental illness and the inability to use his right arm as the result of an accident.) He also deals with a low IQ, illiteracy, and a lack of any vocational skills. Luis' Social Worker coordinated with his CASS (Central Arizona Shelter Services) Case Manager, in providing a coordinated case management effort for this disadvantaged man. Luis' Worker helped him obtain General Assistance and a bus pass for disabled riders. In the process of his disability claims case, AFD obtained a psychological evaluation of Luis. They arranged for the services of an attorney. Luis was awarded his benefits claim from the Social Security Administration, and his AFD Social Worker was then able to get him out of the homeless shelter and into appropriate long-term housing. Every step of the way was a tremendous challenge with Luis, owing to his mental impairment and illiteracy. His Social Worker's dedication led to a real victory. This client is now housed and stable with an ongoing source of income.
For individual clients, benefits are realized through the activities of this program. Their greater income security leads to stable decent housing. Their quality of life is enhanced and the increased ability to care for any dependents, stabilization of disabling conditions and overall improved health outcomes results from their access to public medical benefits. Assistance in overcoming homelessness is good both short-term and long-term.
During outreach, blankets were provided for warmth
Through the City of Phoenix Community Development Block Public Service Grant of $22,352, the Disability Claims Program was able to utilize these HUD funds to support all of the above goals. Complementing state and local government contracts/grants and private funding sources complete the funding picture for all of the quality case-managed services described above. The expenses involved in providing those services include: the salaries of dedicated and qualified staff, transportation costs for direct client services, accessible office space where clients meet with their Social Workers, insurance, equipment, and supplies, medical/psychiatric client evaluations. It also provides direct assistance for vital client needs such as temporary housing, food, and transportation.
For individual clients, benefits are realized through the activities of this program like: greater income security which leads to stable decent housing, enhanced quality of life, and the increased ability to care for any dependents, stabilization of disabling conditions and overall improved health outcomes which result from access to public medical benefits, and assistance in overcoming homelessness both short-term and long-term. Individual outcomes help strengthen the entire Phoenix community by a reduction in the rate of homelessness, especially chronic homelessness. There are decreased healthcare costs as disabled individuals are better able to manage their health consistently and proactively, rather than relying on the emergency system on a crisis basis. Increased understanding, acceptance, and positive community integration of individuals with a range of disabilities and impairments is good for everyone.
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