Employed and Empowered
Bill is 24-years old and recently graduated with a degree in finance. He is on the autism spectrum and was feeling extremely anxious in social situations. He was particularly nervous about the job interview process as he pursued employment opportunities. MCIL Independent Living Specialist Melody, worked with Bill on developing his résumé, and coached him through numerous practice interviews and guided him through real-life questions and answers. Bill gained confidence and new coping strategies. After just a few interviews with potential employer he successfully landed a position in finance at a well-known bank. Bill has reported that he’s learning a great deal and is happy in his new job.
There’s No Place Like Home
John was living in a nursing home when he reached out to the Transitional & Relocation Service. He wanted to move into the community and live closer to his family and friends, but due to a brain injury needed support with his daily living activities. The Nursing Home Relocation staff helped John realize his aspirations by helping him in find a new home, and sourcing support services. He chose a small home in a residential neighborhood; drawn to its proximity to family and friends, a big back yard with a place to garden, and the comfort of being in a familiar community. MCIL staff assisted with the discharge process, the intake process for his new home, acquired oxygen, purchased needed items for his new home, moved him in and got him settled. Three weeks after moving John into his new home, the staff took him to out lunch at his favorite restaurant. John reported he was doing well, had made some new friends with similar interests, and was quite content in his new home.
Case Management brings life-changing outcomes
Success Story #1
In 2019, Tom (actual name withheld for privacy) experienced a massive stroke and multiple seizures and was found in his apartment by his brother. He entered the hospital and had several Brian surgeries. After a short TCU recovery, he entered back into the community and utilized a CADI waiver to help him remain independent and safe in his home.
He obtained a lifeline, Personal Care Assistant, Home Making and Independent Living Services support as well as medical equipment to help him remain steady while walking and a medication dispenser to help him remember his meds. He was able to safely return to his independent apartment with the supports of the CADI waiver, where he would otherwise have been in a nursing facility.
Success Story #2
After being homeless for most of their life, this individual (actual name withheld for privacy) found stable housing in a customized living. They are able to be independent and also have support when they need it. Without a waiver this individual would not have been able to find housing that was affordable and supportive and most likely would have remained living on the streets.
Success Story #3
Kevin (actual name withheld for privacy) loved his apartment. A few years ago, Kevin lost his leg, and started dialysis. Kevin’s apartment building had an elevator, but it was an old building and the elevator sometimes broke. If the elevator was broken, he wasn’t able to go to dialysis. This happened too many times, and at one point the paramedics had to come in through Kevin’s balcony window to help him. Kevin and his MCIL Case Manager discussed that, no matter how wonderful his apartment, it wasn’t safe for him to be living there with an unreliable elevator and that he depended on dialysis to stay healthy. So, Kevin decided to move into a Customized Living apartment, with services paid for with his CADI waiver. The move was difficult, and emotional, but once he settled into his new apartment, his Case Manager noticed that he sounded lighter, more relaxed and more cheerful.
He has a bright, beautiful apartment of his own. There are multiple elevators and plenty of staff, so he’ll never miss dialysis again. He has nurses to check on him regularly and remind him to take his medications on time. His food is included in his rent, so he doesn’t need to pay for grocery delivery anymore. He can ask staff to take out his trash and help him with his laundry. There are people around to chat with when he’s feeling social, but he can stay in his apartment when he’s not. He can ask for help when he needs it, and he can refuse it when he doesn’t. Best of all, Kevin is happy and focuses on the things that are important to him, like connecting with his family, conversations with friends, listening to music, and keeping up on current events.
A pet project
Cindy, Director of ADA Minnesota, recently helped Sue, who was concerned her landlord had charged her a large pet deposit for her emotional support animal. Cindy helped Sue understand the difference between a service animal, companion animal, and emotional support animal, along with rights and responsibilities pertaining to these animals as it related to the ADA and the Fair Housing Act.
As a result of Cindy’s work, Sue gained the awareness, information, and referrals needed to address her landlord about her the legal right to have a support animal without the burden of an onerous pet deposit.
My name is Nate Wandersee. Thank you for the opportunity to speak about the impact of the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living has on my life. I am 48 years old and I’ve been a resident of Downtown, Saint Paul since 2003. I have cerebral palsy. It affects my walking. I’m thankful to have a job in the Mail Center at Securian Financial. The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living has helped me in may ways. Programs and services at the center help to remove barriers and promote choices. The Center has helped me become more independent while reinforcing the importance of working as a team in order to accomplish goals for myself, others, and the community as a whole.
I’ve learned skills at the center that helped me in my job and life outside work. Programs at the Center help people find jobs, learn computer skills, cooking, et cetera. Support from the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living can help clients to find important resources from other organizations. The support and encouragement I received from the staff and clients at the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living has helped me to reach goals that allow me to live life to the fullest. It is so important to have a community of friends that work together to help others reach goals and realize dreams. The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living helps to do that for me and many others. Thank you.