For several months before COVID hit, multiple city and county agencies met regularly to work out how to expand IHSS to serve participants in interim housing settings. After COVID hit and PRK sites were beginning to populate, we, at LAHSA, recognized that there was a real need for some of our participants to receive additional support to thrive in the PRK setting. After a few meetings and working out the process flow, we were able to make that happen.
LAHSA, DPSS, and DMH are coordinating with an expedited IHSS application process for PRK participants who need IHSS services, in collaboration with the Personal Services Assistance Council (PASC) Homecare Registry. In this project, PRK participants can choose a family or friend to be their IHSS provider. When the participant does not have a care provider, PASC matches PRK participants in need of assistance with IHSS providers in need of employment. Ordinarily, IHSS consumers must find, hire, train and supervise their IHSS providers; these requirements can be barriers for older adults in obtaining an IHSS service provider. This project, launched on April 29, 2020, reduces barriers by matching consumers with available providers and the consumer hires the provider. It is the goal of this project to ensure participants have their IHSS provider support them into their future housing. As of October 20, 2020, DPSS has received 122 referrals for IHSS for PRK participants; 33 applications have been approved and 24 are pending.
Expansion of the expedited IHSS process to two interim housing settings—The Foley Housing and The Hawkes Residence—began in October 2020. To date, nine applications are being processed from both sites.