Our hearts grieve over stories like this one.
We need care not jail!
Our congregations’ elders and their caregivers struggle to find affordable care, cover their monthly living expenses and live alone without nearby help or care.After several visits with experts in our community we’ve learned that:
Each year the cost of long-term care is 1.5 times more than the average yearly income of those over 65. Long-term care can be in home or in a residential setting. There are many agencies doing great work serving the elderly in Charlottesville. However, there is currently no formal way for the major agencies to work together to address this problem. Therefore, the full scope of the problem and the many needs of the elderly go unmet.
Many have Medicare or Medicaid but still often they have to decide between care or their other monthly expenses. Yet every time we tried to determine how many people are in this chasm for care, agencies affirm it’s a problem but they don’t know how many are down there. How can we say we are a great retirement destination if our lead agencies don’t know who are struggling to make it in their late years? Our community is marketed as a great retirement destination but for whom?!
If these options were made more affordable then our community can truly be a great retirement destination for everyone, not just those well off AND not just the elderly.When we fight for justice for anyone, we are all better off.
But we know that no amount of research can make up for a lack of people power. Which is why we need our justice ministry network members to show up to the Rally on April 12th. We need to build ownership of our research and learn together how we will stand for our elderly who can’t afford to age with dignity and respect!
Our congregations’ elders and their caregivers struggle to find affordable care, cover their monthly living expenses and live alone without nearby help or care. So far, IMPACT’s Elder Care committee has met with five local experts to understand what’s happening in these areas. We’ve learned so far that nearly 1 out of 10 elders make less than $11,000 per year (JABA). Many elders struggle to afford the right care because they make too much for Medicaid but can’t afford to pay out of pocket (City DSS). Nearly 1 out of 4 elders live alone (JABA). The most reported cases of elder abuse are self neglect, which is often a result from living alone (County DSS). IMPACT is continuing to look into transportation, details about reports of abuse, and what’s happening in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. At the February Research Committee Meeting on February 18, we will create a problem statement to focus our efforts so that together, we can turn around the unfairness and suffering faced by our elders!
Over 350 IMPACT members showed up at the 2015 Annual Assembly and voted for Elder Care to be the next problem that we tackle. Our congregations’ elders and their caregivers struggle to find affordable care, cover their monthly living expenses and live alone without nearby help or care. So far, IMPACT’s Elder Care committee has met with five local experts to understand what’s happening in these areas. Check out our Elder Care page for more updates.
On October 12, nearly 50 of our area’s justice ministry leaders and clergy came together to share the results of their sacred conversations and the stories of heartache and struggle. Our collective ministries chose Elder Care, Housing and Education to be voted by the entire justice ministry network at the 10th Annual Assembly on October 26. Doors open at 6pm, the program will be 6:30-8pm with childcare provided.
Let’s make a push to engage our house meeting participants, network members and those closest to us to attend and participate in the voting for what concerns us most! We will welcome a new congregation, Sojourners United Church of Christ, hear from Region Ten, City and County assistant managers and hear powerful testimonies related to the problem categories. We have the potential to have 400 people present and we need show the public officials our community still needs this residential recovery center.
Crime and Drugs Initiative Update
February 19th, 2015
At our January 15th meeting, the research committee narrowed in on a problem statement for our focus:
The Problem: 3,150 inmates struggle with substance abuse in our regional jail each year. A majority of inmates who are women are survivors of sexual assault or domestic violence.
What that means for our initiative: We have the opportunity to address this problem in the jail, during sentencing, and in the community (especially during re-entry). Our question is: what is the most effective place, and what is the most effective method of treatment for this population?
In the past month we have learned:
- Important elements of treatment:
- Treatment that keeps the individual’s support system intact
- Treatment that is holistic- addressing substance abuse and trauma such as sexual assault or abuse
- In Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional jail
- How jail treatment helps reduce the number of individuals (who are in jail) with substance abuse: If programs in the jail are effective, they can provide treatment so that individuals do not return again.
- The jail currently has:
- Some of the opportunities in jail include Therapeutic Community, AA/NA, and Celebrate Recovery
- We have a Therapeutic Community (TC) in our jail, which is a 12-month “value-based behavioral modification treatment. TC focuses on the elimination of antisocial behavior and attitudes and the acquisition of a more prosocial lifestyle”.
- The average length of stay in the jail is 5 months
- Last year the TC served 114 individuals- there are 24 spaces for men, with an approximate waiting list of 20 at a time
- The TC for women is currently suspended and has never had a firm footing. This is due in part to a low census of women and lack of motivation to participate.
- Areas to explore
- Best practices for in-jail treatment
- In sentencing
- How options during sentencing can help reduce the number of individuals (who are in jail) with substance abuse: Changes in sentencing options can divert individuals from jail and give them opportunities for community-based care or treatment. In addition, diversion programs can help reduce recidivism and are often a cheaper alternative to jail.
- During sentencing our community currently has:
- We currently have Adult Drug Court, which served only 113 individuals last year. This program is consistent with the rest of the state- 50% of individuals complete the program.
- Recidivism among drug court graduates is 11%, as compared to the 71% for the greater population.
- Sentencing can be an opportunity for motivation to take part in jail-based programs by shortening sentences if they participate
- Areas to explore
- Effective diversion programs
- In the community (after re-entry)
- How treatment in the community can help reduce the number of individuals (who are in jail) with substance abuse: Re-entry programs in the community can help ex-offenders stay out of prison; they can also provide options for individuals who need help before they come into contact with law enforcement
- Our community currently has the following programs:
- Peer support programs such as Celebrate Recovery Outside and AA/NA: During re-entry former inmates can continue their treatment with Celebrate Recovery, a Christian based program, along with AA/NA
- OAR Re-entry Program: Reduces barriers to successful reintegration into the community. 2014 OAR’s Re-entry program led all Virginia programs
- District #9 Probation and Parole: Can make substance abuse treatment as terms of parole. This treatment is outsourced by a contractor but no real tracking of success
- Region Ten Outpatient care: The bulk of Region Ten’s treatments. Provides individual and group therapy, peer support groups and case management
- Private clinics: out of pocket only, don’t accept Medicaid or insurance
- The Mohr Center: Men’s voluntary inpatient program that is often full and considered inadequate by numerous institutions
- Areas to explore
- Inpatient treatment and transitional housing
During the next month
- Research specifics of best practices- Now that we have narrowed our focus to in the jail, during sentencing, and in the community, we will be asking for more specific information about evidence-based practices and programs.
- Decide on our specific issue cut- When we come together on March 19th at the next research committee meeting, our goal will be to determine what we will recommend to address the problem we have identified.
- UVA Medical Center investing approximately $218,000 to engage and hire 40 un-and underemployed 18-25 year-olds over the next 2 years
- $90,000 is directly from the UVA Medical Center
- Students will get:
- Full tuition for 8-week Certified Nursing Assistant Training (Institution has 95% success rate)
- Classes taught at night, in town, near a bus top
- Day to day stipend
- Work place readiness and other soft skills provided by Piedmont VA Community College
- Peer mentorship provided by Charlottesville Works Initiative through the beginning to 12 months into employment at UVA
- If successful, students can begin work at UVA Medical Center on June 1
- Average salary of $12.99/hr, expecting a 6% raise in 12 months
- Will receive mentorship from current nursing staff
- Do not have to work at UVA Medical Center
- Currently, there are 3 rotations per year
- Next rotations begin in July, and October
- Currently each rotation is 10 people
- UVA Medical Center and Charlottesville Works Initiative are currently in conversations with other stake holders for possible expansion
If you know someone or if you qualify and would benefit from this program please contact:
Charlottesville Works Initiative
209 5th Street N.E.
Charlottesville, VA 22902
First Rung Collaborative Strategy Committee
Mary Preston, Peace Lutheran Church
John Frazee, St. Paul’s Memorial Church