Laguna Honda Settlement Creates Community Services

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:Barbara Duncan
Director of Communications
Protection & Advocacy, Inc. (CA) c/o NDR
Phone: (510) 267-1256
E-Mail: Barbara.Duncan@pai-ca.org

November 28, 2007
Settlement of San Francisco lawsuit to create new community services for
seniors and adults with disabilities

SAN FRANCISCO, CA-Mitch Katz, San Francisco's director of public health,
announced today that a preliminary settlement has been reached in the civil
rights class action regarding expanded community-based living options for
seniors and people with disabilities in San Francisco (Chambers et al. v.
the City and County of San Francisco). The results will be improved
coordination of care and greatly increased housing options and other
services.
The new program, called "Success at Home" will provide people with "a single
door to independent living," said Katz. "We are very pleased to be taking
this innovative next step."
Mark Chambers, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, who has lived in Laguna Honda
Hospital and Rehabilitation Center since receiving a head injury in 1999,
was delighted to hear that he is about to be given the opportunity "to live
in the world." He hopes to be first in line to qualify for one of the 500
units of accessible housing to be found or modified in San Francisco over
the next five years and made affordable by subsidy from the new program.
Elissa Gershon, lead attorney from the Oakland office of Protection &
Advocacy, Inc., counsel in the lawsuit, said that "San Francisco now stands
to regain its progressive edge in disability rights implementation."

Success at Home
Anne Hinton, director of San Francisco's Department of Aging and Adult
Services, which will jointly manage the program with the San Francisco
Department of Public Health said that "Success at Home puts San Francisco in
the forefront of independent living services." The program enables San
Franciscans with disabilities to receive community-based housing and
services to live in the most integrated setting appropriate instead of in an
institution. Eligible individuals will be assessed for, referred to, and
provided with federally subsidized medical services, subsidized housing,
attendant and nursing care, case management, vocational rehabilitation,
substance abuse treatment, mental health services and assistance with meals.
Hinton said "This new single point of entry will also mean community
transition services will be tailored to individual needs and preferences."
Transition services will be coordinated by an individualized Community
Living Plan. Medi-Cal qualified residents of Laguna Honda Hospital and
Rehabilitation Center, those who have been discharged in the last two years
or are on a waiting list for the facility, and patients at San Francisco
General Hospital will be assessed for services.
Herb Levine, director of the San Francisco Independent Living Resource
Center, the organizational plaintiff in the case, commented that he is
"looking forward to the new collaboration between the City and community
service organizations to achieve independence and community living for
hundreds of seniors and people with disabilities." The settlement sets out a
five year timeline for implementation of the new services.

New directions
Paralleling the introduction of new community services, the Laguna Honda
facility will begin to emphasize short-term rehabilitation as one of its
goals. In addition, several hundred Medi-Cal Home and Community-Based waiver
slots, which will allow people to receive long-term health care in their
homes, will be made available to those who qualify, which should bring
millions of dollars in federal and state Medicaid funding to San Francisco.

Summary
The preliminary settlement of the case is awaiting approval by the Board of
Supervisors, the Health Commission, and the Court. Individual plaintiffs are
six residents of Laguna Honda; organizational plaintiff is the Independent
Living Resource Center of San Francisco. Co-counsel on the case are
Protection & Advocacy, Inc., Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund,
AARP Foundation Litigation, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, and
the law firm of Howrey LLP, pro bono.
###

NATIONAL ADAPT MAILING LIST - Adapt Community Choice Act List
http://www.adapt.org

Upstairs Solutions

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Report (.pdf)

http://www.stickershockmusic.com/2007/11/27/startups-hoping-to-reach-maturity/

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