May 08Home Not Hospitals
There’s been a decline in self-reported ER visits, hospitalizations, and medical-related 911 calls at Aromor Apartments, a 61-home permanent supportive housing property located in Denver.
Many of these residents have chronic and behavioral health issues from years of homelessness and housing instability. At Aromor Apartments, they receive stable, subsidized housing, and onsite case management and service coordination. In 2015, Mercy Housing made a rich variety of changes to our resident services approach. Onsite staff launched CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Program, held weekly walking clubs, and nurses began making monthly visits for health screenings while discussing and checking for risk factors like high blood pressure.
Residents were assisted with obtaining health insurance and finding primary care physicians. Seventy-one residents participated in a health-education program, 56 in health navigation, 44 participated in onsite health screenings, and 41 in the walking club.
Staff adopted the “Bridges out of Poverty” approach to service delivery which provides tools and strategies for communities to alleviate poverty. This approach has strengthened relationships between Mercy Housing staff and residents, and between residents themselves. Anecdotal evidence suggests that residents are now seeking support from each other instead of immediately calling 911.
Many factors impact health and wellness, yet it’s plausible to suggest that expansion and reorientation of Mercy Housing’s resident services platform at the Aromor Apartments may contribute to an overall decline in preventable visits to the ER and hospitalizations. Mercy Housing will continue monitoring this to help us better understand our residents, services’ impact, and learn how to transfer these findings to other properties.
For further reading on this subject, explore Innovative Models in Health and Housing
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