HUD Funded Columbia, SC Resident Service Coordinator Program Meeting with Success
Senior Tenants Receive Much Needed and Appreciated Services
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded nationwide $31.3 million for Multifamily Housing Service Coordinator Program Funding in Fiscal Year 2012, and the Finlay House, an elderly subsidized apartment community located in Columbia, South Carolina was one of 137 national award recipients. HUD funding in the amount of $691,036, ensured the successful launch at the Finley House of the Resident Service Coordinator Program in January 2013.
Today, the Service Coordinator Program is in full swing and gaining momentum as expressed by Ms. Jacqueline Baskin, one of three Service Coordinators hired for the purpose of linking residents with supportive services within the local community while simultaneously coordinating extracurricular activities. For example, in March 2013 program staff published their first monthly newsletter (Finlay Skyscraper) in addition to instituting a newly established crime watch group spearheaded by residents. Future plans include establishing an on-site book club and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) group. Basically, program staff has made significant strides in gaining residents' trust and the development of positive relationships.
According to Ms. Baskin the 203 unit high-rise building has been home for elderly residents since 1973, and there were very few specialized services available to support the aging residential population. Subsequently, management recognized there was a demand for service coordination to adequately address issues that are unique to an aging population such as health care, social services, reduced mobility, insufficient income, loneliness, and lack of family involvement/support.
Recently, an elderly resident received a certified letter from the local Postmaster in early 2013 and was surprised to learn that the letter's sender wrote to tell her that she was her daughter who had been placed up for adoption approximately 48 years ago. Ms. Baskin met with the resident several times and assisted her with reconnecting with her daughter via email. A personal reunion is tentatively planned for September 2013.
Finlay House is a Columbia landmark that consistently offers elderly residents an opportunity to live independently in a decent, safe and healthy environment. The property is owned and operated by The Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina, a faith-based non-profit organization, and N & H Enterprises, Inc. performs oversight of the Multifamily Service Coordinator Program.