RSSI’s Executive Director was featured on a panel called “Taking Action to End Homelessness” on March 16 at the Weinberg-Newton Gallery in Chicago. He spoke alongside several noted homelessness advocates in the City, including Nonni Brennan of All Chicago and Ronald Smith of the Speak Up program at Corporation for Supportive Housing.
The panel focused on exploring ways that CHicago agencies are actively working to address homelessness, independently and collaboratively. The panel also focused on ways community members could take action to promote more affordable housing and homelessness services for Chicagoans.
You can watch the full discussion below.
Renaissance Social Services is excited to announce that on May 8th we received certification from the State of Illinois to provide Medicaid-funded mental health services to the men and women participating in our supportive housing programs. With Medicaid certification, Renaissance will now be able to bill and collect payment from the state for the mental health services we provide daily – a critical component of the work we do to stabilize people’s lives and keep them securely housed.
Most of the people we serve have serious mental health needs and providing them with quality care is how we assist them on their path to stability and independence. It is how we help to break the cycle of homelessness among those who are most vulnerable to housing instability. This certification not only recognizes the quality of our services, but represents an important way for us to sustain and grow programs that have too often been underfunded in Illinois. We expect to begin billing for Medicaid-eligible services later this year. For more information, please contact me at (773) 645-8900 extension 108.
NBC 5’s Rob Stafford comes out to visit Renaissance Social Services in this Making A Difference segment from August 1, 2014. He met with Tommy who had been living in homelessness for years near RSSI’s West Side office before agreeing to accept our housing services and getting an apartment. http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/making-a-difference/269639151.html
Recently there have been some new laws proposed that would force people with mental illness into involuntary treatment if they are deemed a “threat”. The problem with trying to legislate the problem away of mass shootings is that it is going about solving the problem in the wrong direction and it is a knee jerk reaction to an ongoing issue. The problem may be one of public perception, that people with mental illness are violent, when the reality is that studies show that people with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. Anyone who has worked with people with mental illness for a significant period of time understands that mental illness itself is diagnosed through the lense of poor social functioning. Most people with mental illness would prefer to avoid other people, not hurt them, so the television reports and newspaper articles that show people who have mental illness are most likely to be when something bad happens. It would be like saying that men with the middle name Wayne are more likely to be serial killers (google it).
One solution that works is not being discussed as much as it should is voluntary treatment. Funding voluntary treatment will increase access and decrease problems with people being untreated. More outreach mental health and tele-health is dramatically needed in order to reach out to those whose geography may prohibit their ability to receive treatment.