Recently, an article was published in the Columbus Dispatch touting the success of Ohio’s Home Choice Program. According to the Ohio Department of Medicaid, 5,000 low-income elderly and disabled Ohioans have moved out of nursing homes and other institutions into their own homes since 2008. That number surpasses the program’s goal of 2,000 and dispels the belief that once a person moves into a nursing home, he will be there the rest of his life.
In just six years, the program has become one of the leading programs among the 44 states that participate in the Money Follows the Person federal program. In 2013, Ohio ranked first among those states for transitioning people with mental illness from long-term facilities, and ranked second for the total number of residents moved into home and community-based accommodations.
The Home Choice program has three parts: Pre-Transition Case Management, Transitions Coordination and Case Management. National Church Residences is one agency in the state that performs Transitions Coordination, in 68 counties across Ohio.
“As transition coordinators, we assist home choice consumers locate housing,” said Linda Lund, manager of the Home Choice program for National Church Residences. “We use their goods and service funds of $2,000 to purchase furniture and household items, and help coordinate benefits, entitlements and services needed to help them remain in an independent living environment.”
National Church Residences began transitioning consumers in March 2011. Out of the 384 referrals received, 243 consumers have been moved out of institutional settings and into homes.
“Once a consumer is relocated we follow them for a 90 day period overlapping with a case manager who is assigned to follow the consumer for a 365 day period,” Linda added. “Home Choice consumers have extremely limited incomes, on average $726 per month, and many face other housing barriers such as poor credit, evictions and criminal histories so each placement is a huge success.”
To participate in Home Choice, a person must express interest and be enrolled in Medicaid. For information on how National Church Residences can assist with your transition needs, contact Linda Lund at 614-457-6950 or email@example.com.