Community Development Feature: Service Connection
Our Service Connection program area is designed to address the whole range of an individual’s or family’s needs by connecting people with the necessary support and by helping build their capacity to improve their own lives and move toward self-sufficiency. In 2017-18, we funded 28 projects for a total of $2,951,594. Our grantees connected 3,677 clients to appropriate resources and services. They also provided case management to 1,445 individuals, including development of an Individual Service Plan (ISP). More than 1,000 of these clients achieved at least 75% of the goals they set in their plan.
Success Story: Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California’s Project Homeless Connect Pilot Program
Through their Service Connection project, the Hearing and Speech Center has been providing hearing screenings at Project Homeless Connect since 2005. Through this partnership, they have seen a great need for hearing and communication healthcare services for those who are experiencing homelessness. They recently designed a Hearing Healthcare Pilot Program to ensure that each individual receives follow up services and hearing aids when needed. For low-income or homeless individuals there can be many hurdles to accessing hearing healthcare, and this program effectively eliminates many of these barriers.
Each participant is assigned a Project Homeless Connect case manager who schedules appointments, follows up with participants, helps fill out forms and provides transportation to and from appointments. The Hearing and Speech Center then manages MediCal eligibility; provides hearing aids and hearing aid supplies at no cost; and works with the case manager to schedule appointments for hearing tests, hearing aid fittings, and follow up services.
In the past four months, the project has conducted 55 hearing screenings, fitted 7 individuals with hearing aids, and scheduled follow-up testing for 23 more participants with some degree of hearing loss. Once participants receive hearing aids and are connected to hearing and communication healthcare services, they will be safer while living on the streets and better able to achieve their long term goals of employment and permanent housing. Learn more at www.hearingspeech.org