DRS in Action – “Second Chance”
“Mental illness has rendered me disabled, but it wasn’t hard for me to see that the people from Disabled Resource Services were in my corner when I needed help the most – thank you for the second chance,” says Josh, DRS Transitions Consumer.
Josh entered a skilled nursing facility in order to recover from frostbite on his fingers and toes. During his stay, and with the hopes of returning back into independent living in the community, he had the opportunity to be a part of the Colorado Transitions Services program. The program provides assistance for individuals to transition into community-based living. It also helps them receive assistance in obtaining a housing voucher, explore various housing options that meets the needs of each member (such as wheelchair accessibility), and set them up with home and community-based services post-transition, such as skilled nursing, food and nutrition assistance, and homemaker services.
After successfully receiving a Housing Choice voucher and being approved for his own apartment, Josh was discharged from the skilled nursing facility into his very own one-bedroom apartment. Based on eligibility, Josh was approved for a Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waiver and received assistance purchasing household items to furnish his home.
Transitioning into independent living from a restrictive institutional setting has met Josh with some new challenges. Being in a new environment, new city, and on his own after being in skilled nursing for a year made Josh feel “anxious,” but with the assistance of DRS and other community partners, Josh was able to receive services to assist with his medications and behavioral health needs to ease him through his transition.
“Thank you DRS for your diligence – it has given me a life I though impossible…you are true heroes.”
If you are a Health First Colorado member and are residing in a skilled nursing facility or intermediate care facility and would like to know more about Colorado Transitions Services, please contact Koshya, Transitions Coordinator at 970-482-2700.