Individuals call, write or stop in to the Community Advocates office asking for help to resolve a situation. Advocates provide support with all issues of community living, including problems with service providers, landlords, roommates, utility companies, etc. The advocates also provide resources to help individuals self-advocate to resolve issues.
Community Advocates will also assist families in resolving issues relevant to an individual family member.
Community Advocates promote self-advocacy, choice and self-determination in all interactions with individuals and family members. By working together, advocates help individuals gain the skills to be successful self-advocates.
The following are stories about individuals who received support from Community Advocates:
Finding a new home: A man was in a dilemma when his longtime roommate died. The man was upset at losing his friend and could not afford the rent of the two bedroom apartment on his own. He needed an affordable place to live or he would be homeless. An advocate who had lived in Hedwig House Apartments suggested this supported housing program to him. The advocate contacted Hedwig House about tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA). That assistance wasn’t available but they did have an opening in their program. The customer chose the apartment he wanted to live in and lived there successfully for several months until he moved into his own subsidized apartment for seniors.
Speaking up during hospitalization: A woman was hospitalized after losing her job and then her home as a result of a fire. She contacted Community Advocates from the hospital, saying she felt like she was going to have a breakdown because they wouldn’t give her Ativan, an anxiety medication, that she had been on for years. She couldn’t sleep. With the support of an advocate, the woman was able to get a sleep medication that stopped the insomnia. The woman transferred to another hospital and needed advice on finding a place to live. Community Advocates talked with her about options. The woman found a supported transitional living program in which to live.
Navigating the Medical Assistance system: A woman who was told by her family doctor that she no longer had Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD) contacted Community Advocates after she could not reach her MAWD case worker. With the help of an advocate, the woman was able to communicate with the MAWD office. She learned that she still had MAWD insurance but her case worker no longer worked there. Her new case worker gave her a letter for her family doctor to confirm she still had coverage.
Connecting to resources: A man needed assistance with paperwork and he didn’t know where to call for help. An advocate contacted the case management office of a mental health provider in his neighborhood and several days later, the man was connected with a recovery coach for support.