Foundational Community Supports Team Shares Client Highlights

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Our Foundational Community Supports (FCS) team is proud to share a few stories that show the importance of their work in helping Medicaid-eligible individuals with their transition back into the community after incarceration, residential treatment, and homelessness by addressing their housing, employment and support needs across the state of Washington. 


Louis had extreme barriers in finding a safe and stable home. He wanted to build a new life of recovery after living almost nine years in homelessness, battling substance use and having an extensive criminal record. Louis received withdrawal management two times at Whatcom Community Detox and then transitioned into the former Pioneer Center North’s (PCN) residential treatment program. 

At PCN, he connected with our FCS supportive housing team. His extensive criminal background was preventing any landlord from giving him a chance. Finally, after a record 18 housing applications with 17 denials, Louis was able to secure housing at a beautiful, brand-new apartment complex in Bellingham. It took the consistent support and advocacy from Deb Thompson, an FCS supportive housing specialist. Now, Louis can finally sleep in his own bed - within his own home - without worrying about where the next night will take him.
Louis shared, “I am forever grateful to Pioneer and never have to worry again about going back to my old life.”
Deb Thompson said, “It was a privilege to be involved in this chapter of Louis’s life. I will forever remember the smile on his face when we first entered his new home.” 

After completing inpatient residential treatment at Pioneer Center East (PCE) and a USPO Spokane Residential Reentry Center placement, Sam was able to transition to Oxford Housing with help of FCS’s supportive housing specialist, Michelle McIntosh. After housing was secured, Sam worked with Kathleen Singleton-Apel, an FCS supportive employment specialist, on finding employment. He had been incarcerated on and off for the past 15 years and had no previous work history. Kathleen helped Sam prepare for the workforce and apply for local positions. 

Sam was hired at the Goodwill and is working towards his goal of earning a CDL Class A certification to move into a transport position with the Goodwill. He has been working with a Pioneer Human Services wraparound team of supporters to include: supportive housing, supportive employment and a peer bridger.

Sam recently shared, “I have never had this level of support. I don’t know that I could have succeeded so well without all of them. They are a Dream Team!”

Ross has criminal history barriers and limited positive work history, but received assistance from the FCS team and was able to build-up his self-confidence. He shared, “I really appreciate the support, and finally feel like I’m on the right path - I got this!” 

Ross got help to reinstate his application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and is currently enrolled at college to complete his AA degree. Additionally, he secured employment as a treatment specialist at a recovery center after getting help from Kathleen Singleton-Apel, FCS supportive employment specialist. 

Kathleen shared, “It’s an honor to be able to see the sparkle in Ross’s eyes as he shares about his future goals of giving back and helping others” 

Josh has a severe hearing impairment (93% deaf) and was found living in his broken down and totaled car on the side of the road. He was in an extreme depression and using fentanyl after his last release from jail. FCS supportive housing specialist, Shelly Miller, was able to get him into immediate detox at Skagit Community Detox, and then to the Snohomish County Diversion Center (SCDC). 

Josh had extreme barriers to acclimating to the programing and struggled with communication, so the SCDC was not the best fit. Shelly was able to secure him a bed at a shelter while he awaited his treatment bed date in residential treatment for fentanyl. In that time, FCS staff were able to help him to coordinate and stabilize on medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and purchased a transcribing device through the Jail Transitions Grant that he can use to participate in treatment and utilize for his ongoing communication needs. 

After a few weeks, a bed opened at the North Sound Behavioral Health Treatment Center that Pioneer operates and Josh started the residential treatment program. Josh again struggled with understanding what was expected of him and had some behavioral issues related to this communication breakdown. He desired to live a life of recovery but was unable to complete the program as designed. It was mutually decided that inpatient treatment was not the best fit for him. Shelly stayed consistent with her support and secured Josh a space at the Pioneer Transition House.  She also connected him to outpatient services in the community. Pioneer Transition House was just what he needed and he is settled in and thriving there. Despite all of these setbacks, changes and barriers, Josh has stayed clean and sober, and focused on a future without the shackles of substances, incarceration or homelessness. 

Josh is very grateful to our staff for his success of being able to get into treatment, advocating for his disability needs and the opportunity to find a new way to live. He thanks the staff at Skagit Community Detox, North Sound Behavioral Health Treatment Center, Pioneer Transition House and FCS’s supportive housing. Josh shared, “I was a broken man when I got here, and no one has ever helped me, or stuck around long enough to really see what I needed, in the way you all have at Pioneer. You are showing me the way back to myself.”

After multiple arrests for drug-related offenses, Don, and his then-girlfriend, had a Child Protective Services (CPS) case opened and they lost custody of their son. Don began his recovery journey and was admitted into the Spokane Regional Stabilization Center and then transferred to Pioneer Center East (PCE) for residential treatment. After he finished his treatment at PCE, we was enrolled in outpatient treatment at Pioneer Counseling-Emerson Clinic. 

Don stayed the course and did everything he needed for the courts and CPS to get custody of his child. Unfortunately, the mother did not follow Don’s recovery path. However, even with Don’s efforts to stay in recovery, without a home of his own, he faced additional barriers to getting his son back. 

Our FCS supportive housing specialist, Kaylin Martin, worked with Don and was able to assist him in obtaining a housing voucher to secure a safe, affordable and stable home. Once Don had secured the voucher for housing, he was able to work on getting custody of his son again. As of 8/21/23, Don he was reunified with son! He is now working towards full-time employment to be able to provide for his son. Don stated, “I am so happy, my son is happy, life is good." 

 Kaylin Martin said, “I am so proud to say that because of Don’s determination and focus on his future, paired with the ongoing support of his care team, there is no doubt that his recovery and life with his son will continue on the road to a productive and healthy life.” 

Wednesday, October 4, 2023