Early in the year, local hospitals referred several recently incarcerated, homeless individuals to the program. The program started working with the Kansas City Community Release Center (KCCRC) to provide the basic BE THE CHANGE services to their residents and thus improve access to services in order to improve the success of their discharge plans.
The program assisted 114 individuals with:
Rides to Parole Offices, Courts, Classes, Medical Services, Social Security Offices, VA and Other Agencies.
Rides to new residences (in at least two cases, out of town)
Assistance getting medicine
KCCRC was also experiencing a high incidence of ambulance calls to take residents to area ED’s for routine medical issues. The program worked with KC Cares to establish an appointment for KCCRC on Thursday mornings. When residents learned they would be driven to KC Cares for an appointment, the frequency of ambulance calls decreased and as Primary Care
As in other cases, both the residents and the agencies that serve them benefitted. One medical provider attributed a 90% decrease in KCCRC no-shows to the program providing rides.
With the goal of a new start and safe transition, Kansas City Community Release Center (KCCRC) is a fixture among rehabilitation services in Kansas City. Artists Helping the Homeless (AHH) is a natural fit as a partner in reducing recidivism and helping ease the transition from incarceration into independence. This new initiative has a collective benefit on the city of Kansas City, the state of Missouri, KCCRC, and Artists Helping the Homeless.
We saw 58 distinct clients and provided 152 separate case management services and rides. These rides help our clients get ready for the transition through mental health services, job placement services, and housing placement. Truman Behavioral reported that their outpatient behavioral programs have seen a 90% increase in accessed services as a direct result of our transportation route between the agencies. We know that our mutual clients benefit greatly from treating their mental health challenges on a regular and ongoing basis. We also help arrange medication on top of the mental health counseling. A combination of approved medication and regular counseling improve our clients chances of an easygoing transition and a reduction in recidivism.
Discharge planning is a paramount fixture in our programmatic cache. A customized discharge plan on top of an established relationship, wherein the clients receive regular mental health treatment, and occupational support will lead to a successful changeover into autonomous living. Discharge planning is another strong suit of our agency, and so far we have successfully housed 6 clients upon discharge and have 2 clients ready, pending discharge approval. We use any approved means that we can, and three of the six were discharged into nursing homes, which are notoriously hard to broker without proof of income, work history, or a criminal record. We take pride in our stellar community relationship in order to help successfully place our co-client base.
How it Works
Housing/Discharge Plan: A prerequisite for release is having a viable, sustainable housing plan. AHH sets up and transports clients to social security offices, rapid rehousing agencies, long-term transitional housing programs, and nursing homes when appropriate. When arrange for occupational help and future education placement as well. This accelerates the release process, and gets our clients closer to leaving institutional living. When we can also arrange long distance transportation for clients returning to family in other cities.
Physical Health: AHH and KC Care reached an agreement for our clients to receive free healthcare as a means of diverting non-emergency related hospital visits. KC Care graciously endorsed AHH’s idea to have three standing appointments every Thursday for KCCRC clients. This means clients can see a doctor without going to the ER, saving time and money, and reduce the cycle of crisis-based decision-making.
Mental Health: We believe the foundational basis of our client’s challenges are a result of poor mental health management. We are very proud of our relationship with Truman Behavioral and our regular transportation to their outpatient services. We then help coordinate and manage transportation to their weekly counseling sessions, as well as the medication they are prescribed. A combination of consistent therapy and medication assists our clients to reconcile the past, rationalize their behaviors, and allows them to focus on the future.