Update: Troy recently moved into his new home.
Troy is a 47 year old man who will be moving into his own apartment in Pittsfield with the help of a Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program voucher prioritized to Money Follows the Person Demonstration enrollees. Troy is moving to the community after many years of rehabilitation and housing search. Years ago, Troy suffered a gunshot wound outside of a nightclub in Boston and as a result became paralyzed from the chest down.
While in the nursing facility, Troy connected with Elder Services of Berkshire County, an Aging Services Access Point (ASAP), who spoke with Troy about his options in the community and signed him up for Money Follows the Person (MFP) Demonstration. Troy was referred to Ad Lib Center for Independent Living, an agency that provides housing search services for Money Follows the Person enrollees in Berkshire County. Housing was a challenge because Troy uses a wheelchair and needs an accessible apartment.
When the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program vouchers were released to MFP Demonstration Enrollees, Ad Lib helped Troy apply. He received his voucher early in 2015 and Ad Lib worked to find an apartment where he could use the voucher. They found the perfect place in downtown Pittsfield, and the MFP Coordinator for Adaptive Services, Martha Quirk worked to add the necessary features that Troy would need. The apartment is close to services and activities that are important to Troy. Troy says of his new home, “The location is convenient, I have a washer and dryer in the unit, and lots of space.”
Troy is very excited to have his own place and get back into cooking and managing his day-to-day life. He will be utilizing the State Plan PCA program for support services. Troy will hire his own personal care workers, who will assist Troy to get ready in the morning and perform activities of daily living. They will also assist with shopping and homemaking as needed. Troy will also be receiving waiver services through the Moving Forward Plan Community Living waiver (MFP-CL). Through the waiver, an Individual Support Worker will assist Troy with organizing his schedule, and coordinating the many appointments he needs.
Troy grew up in the Boston area and remains in contact with his family. While living at a nursing facility in the Berkshires, Troy has found rewarding ways to spend his time. Volunteering to assist in recreational activities and taking on the job as resident council president, he spends time in the community and wants to find way to continue to serve those in need.
Sonia started working with the Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL) in 2011. She has moved through several nursing facilities and started working with Rob Park, a Transition Coordinator at BCIL, to help her in her housing search. Rob worked with Sonia, filling out dozens of housing applications. Sonia was denied several times because she did not respond in a timely manner, due to the fact that she did not get her mail on a regular basis because of her frequent discharges from different nursing facilities. Her Transition Coordinator, Rob, says, “She did not let this get her down. She used to say to, "alright, what do we do now?" I would explain what the next steps were and we would move forward.”
When the Housing Choice Vouchers were offered for individuals in the Money Follows the Person Demonstration, Rob worked with Sonia to submit an application. Sonia received the voucher issued by Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership in October of 2014. Rob remembers when the voucher was received,” I was so pleased when I went with Wil (from Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership) and was able to give Sonia her voucher in person. She was so happy that she started to cry.”
Sonia had a difficult time finding a unit due to her mobility impairments. She started working with AIDS Action Committee, a qualified housing search entity, who started helping her search for a unit to use her voucher in. After searching for a long time, Sonia reached out to her church community, and through this connection was offered a unit in Milton.
Money Follows the Person Coordinator of Adaptive Services, Martha Quirk immediately worked to identify what needed to happen to get a ramp added to the home. Together Rob and Sonia worked to pick out furnishings, ensure grab bars inside the home were in place, and finalize the services of the Home Health and companion program, to ensure Sonia’s smooth transition into the community.
As Sonia’s move was finalized, her Housing Search Specialist at AIDS Action Committee and the MFP Regional Housing Coordinator worked to ensure that all required paperwork was submitted by Sonia, worked with the property owner to ensure a smooth inspection process, and made sure that the lease and contract for the unit was signed.
Sonia moved into her apartment in July, 2015. When asked what she likes about her new home, she said, “Everything. My independence.” Sonia would absolutely recommend the Money Follows the Person Demonstration to other people in nursing homes looking to move back into the community. Her Transition Coordinator said of her transition, “There are days in this job when I feel like I do nothing but spin my wheels. However, it's for people who are in Sonia's situation that I continue to do this work. She is a powerful example of why MFP works.”