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St Paul, MN 55101  
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PCA

  • We need YOU to help today!

    Call Your Senator and Representative NOW - Support Emergency PCA Funding!

    Minnesota legislators are at the Capitol today and have an opportunity to vote for House File
    11.    This bill includes an emergency rate increase for our Personal Care Assistance (PCA) program, which is critical in helping make sure that older adults and Minnesotans with disabilities stay healthy and in their homes during COVID-19.

    We need YOU to email your State Representative and Senator TODAY with this message:

    Dear     ,
    Please support the emergency funding for Minnesota’s Personal Care Assistance (PCA) program that is included in House File 11.

    More than 40,000 people with disabilities and older adults depend on this service to stay safe and healthy in their homes. Without support from PCAs, many people are facing the real threat of moving into nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospitals, where they are at even greater risk of contracting COVID-19.

    This funding is more urgent now than ever and must be the priority for any investments in disability services and supports during the special session.

    Please don’t let another opportunity pass before funding the crucial PCA services that support our grandparents, as well as our friends, family members, and neighbors with disabilities, to stay safe and healthy during this pandemic. Your support will truly save lives.

    Here are the 3 action steps YOU can take to help:

    1.    Go to this link to find out who represents you: gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts. Make sure you find your State legislators - not your U.S. Senators and Representatives.
    2.    Copy and paste the message above into an email. Add a personal story about the importance of the PCA program and how it impacts your life.
    3.    Send the email NOW, with the subject line “Support Emergency PCA Funding”.
     

  • Metropolitan Center for Independent Living

    Receives Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant

    Funds will enable organization to shed light, bring solutions to severe PCA workforce shortage statewide

     

    SAINT PAUL, Minn., (November 26, 2019) — Daring to “think big” to address factors behind a critical statewide shortage of Personal Care Assistants (PCA), the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL) applied for and received, a significant Community Innovation Grant from the Bush Foundation. The $208,000 award enables MCIL to deeply explore issues confronting the direct care workforce shortage and to build upon Minnesota’s work thus far in advancing solutions to solve the PCA worker shortage crisis.

     

    “MCIL is committed to removing barriers and promoting choices to help people with disabilities live their most independent lives,” said MCIL Executive Director Bethke Gomez, MMA. “We are at the forefront of engagement with the PCA workforce. Throughout Minnesota, those of us concerned about this issue witness daily the impact of the shortage on consumers and are mindful of the broader long-term implications on an aging statewide population. Our efforts will examine the importance of a third tier for Minnesota’s PCAs, a PCA Certification built on a credit-based curriculum that leads to a livable wage and a way forward that not only addresses the PCA worker shortage crisis, but also creates a pathway to prosperity for people who are PCAs. With the population of Minnesotans age 65 or above doubling to 1,262,000 by 2030, we must take this opportunity to work together toward a statewide solution that will address the increasing need and provide more Minnesotans a living wage in providing that vital support.” Bethke Gomez continued, “Answers will be found through engaging constituents, identifying needed changes in public policy, advocacy, education, partnerships, innovation and building upon work already underway. The Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant encourages testing new solutions in addressing community challenges, devising thoughtful, realistic plans and making a significant, sustainable difference. It encourages participants to ‘Think bigger. Think differently.’ We embrace the challenge and are immensely grateful for the Bush Foundation’s trust in our work.”

     

    In March 2018, the Cross-Agency Direct Care and Support Workforce Working Group hosted jointly by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development submitted to the Olmstead Subcabinet a report that laid out a strategic vision for tackling the crisis in the direct care support workforce. A member of the Working Group, and a technical writer for the 2018 Report, Bethke Gomez provided insight into crucial issues, considerations behind the direct care workforce shortage, and the impact on individuals with disabilities.

     

    With support from the Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant, MCIL will provide leadership in addressing two key recommendations from the report: 1) assess credit-based education and the value of additional credentialing as part of the program that would enrich basic skills for direct care and support professionals and lead to improved pay or career advancement, 2) provide tiered credential options and career ladders for direct care and support professionals.

     

    MCIL Board Chair, Jeff Bangsberg, who also served as a member of the Working Group, shared: “The Working Group’s report to the Olmstead Subcabinet brought a much-needed spotlight to the direct care crisis across our state. From rural communities to urban settings, the need is great, and the barriers to success are high. With the generous grant from the Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant, as well as MCIL’s leadership and collaboration with our partners and policymakers, we’re determined to bring credible solutions.” Bangsberg continued, “Addressing wage disparity, along with education, enticement to join the direct care workforce, and retention efforts are paramount. We look forward to working on these difficult matters over the next two years and creating a more promising future for members of the disability community and those who provide direct care services.”

     

    “Now more than ever there is a sense of urgency to address Minnesota's PCA crisis and MCIL’s efforts to specifically solve this problem with its community and partners appears creative and forward-thinking,” said Awale Osman, Bush Foundation Community Innovation Associate.  

     

    About MCIL: The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL) is a Twin Cities metro-based, nonprofit 501.c.3 consumer-directed organization founded in 1981. MCIL is dedicated to the full promotion of the Independent Living (IL) philosophy by supporting individuals with disabilities in their personal efforts to pursue self-directed lives. Being “consumer-directed” means that the majority of decision-making employees and members of our board of directors are individuals with disabilities. MCIL is committed to promoting this IL philosophy through innovative projects and direct services that meet the needs of MCIL consumers. MCIL is also one of eight Centers for Independent Living in Minnesota and is a member agency of the Minnesota Association of Centers for Independent Living. Visit mcil—mn.org