In FY2023, Coastline is supporting the following legislative bills to improve mental health, housing and nutritional support for older adults. Links to the Legislative bills are provided below, where applicable.
Intensive Case Management for Clinically Complex Older Adults
2023-2024 Docket Numbers (HD.834 and SD.402)
Individuals dealing with mental illness, substance abuse, hoarding, dysfunctional family dynamics, and dementia, are in need of more specialized care than what they currently receive. Often times, case managers are not able to provide enough time and attention, resulting in a lack of stability and repeated filings with Elder Protective Services. It is estimated that 1,800-3,600 of those enrolled in the State Home Care program would benefit from enhanced case management each month. Through this legislation, the Commonwealth’s network of ASAPs will be able to provide the necessary, intensive care to these individuals and increase their chances to maintain healthy relationships, stabilized housing, and overall improved well-being.
Massachusetts Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool
2023-2024 Docket Numbers (HD.216 and SD.674)
The Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool would weave together existing budgetary line items for housing and healthcare and allow public and private resources to access the funding for more comprehensive, wraparound services for the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable residents.
The Covid-19 Pandemic brought to light the lack of support in place for individuals experiencing homelessness, especially the elderly. Several metropolitan areas, including Chicago and Los Angeles have had great success implementing similar models. By pooling the funding sources together, not only will these marginalized groups have access to housing and supportive services, there will also be a reduction in the use of emergency responses, hospital stays, and jail time. By housing the chronically homeless through this model, it is estimated that the state will save over $6000 annually per homeless individual. Passing this bill is an investment in housing stability and meeting the complex health needs of our at-risk population.
Increased Funding for Senior Farm Share/ Meals on Wheels Programs
FY23 Line Item 9110-1900 Section 2, Ch 24; 2021
The Elder Nutrition Program provides daily, nutritionally balanced meals to seniors. Due to the elderly living on a fixed income, especially with inflation of grocery prices, these meals are often the only food of sustenance these elders have on a regular basis. The current budget states that not less than $750,000 shall be expended for the Meals on Wheels program. With a current cost of over $12 million a year, it is morally imperative that there is a significant increase in funding to this critically needed program.