Touchstone Expands Housing Services

Touchstone is offering two new housing services to meet our client needs.  Housing Innovation (formerly Home and Community Based Services) is designed to assist people with a mental illness move from adult foster care, homelessness and institutions into their own apartment.  The program will serve people with a mental illness who require intensive in home supports which includes nursing and homemaker services, activities to increase community integration, and mental health supports.  The program also works with landlords to increase housing options for program participants. The program expansion is funded by the MN Department of Humans Services Disability Division.

Project Community Success offers housing transition and tenancy supports for people with a mental illness in Hennepin and Anoka Counties.  Transition services will target people leaving residential treatment services and are designed to assist people find and move into housing.  Tenancy support services will provide education on how to be a successful tenant, connects participants with community resources and works with landlords and tenants to resolve housing issues.  Tenancy support services will be available to everyone who receives transition services and people who are at risk of losing their housing. Project Community Success is funded by the MN Department of Human Services Mental Health Division.  If you are interested in making a referral to either program contact 612-843-3340.

Finding Hope and Looking to My Future

Hayleigh has a new apartment, a part time job and is excited to start college, like many in their early twenties.  However, just a year ago, she was experiencing anxiety, depression, using drugs and sleeping on a couch.  Hayleigh was busy working, but she was having difficulty coping each day. She was overwhelmed and her anxiety kept her from making changes in her life.

Hayleigh says her life started to change when she was referred to Touchstone’s Care Coordination Program. Her Care Coordinator, Taylor, helped her to set goals and to take one step at a time, instead of trying to tackle everything at once. “I needed a road map for my life and a plan for where I was going,” says Hayleigh.  She got help for her substance abuse, and learned skills to manage her anxiety so she could work on one goal at a time. Hayleigh’s Care Coordinator helped her find an apartment and helped her with her with her college and financial aid applications.

Hayleigh says, “I was able to move past a lot of life’s speedbumps with Touchstone’s help. I think about things in a different way and I know how to approach my goals.” Hayleigh is now excited about life – she has a home, a car, has held a job for 1 ½ years and will be starting school at Inver Grove Heights Community College.  She continues to receive mental health support and attend Narcotics Anonymous.  Hayleigh gives Touchstone “two thumbs up.”  She says, “I went from no hope in my life to looking forward to my future, thanks to the services I received.”

Please join us in helping more people, like Hayleigh, to reach their dreams.

Stepping Stones to Recovery

Cheri was used to not sleeping well. Her mattress was so old and worn, springs poked her every time she moved. Touchstone was able to purchase a new mattress for her with Project Community Success Basic Needs Funds. Cheri was excited to hear she could get a new mattress. Cheri says, “I feel so much better – I can sleep through the night now.”

Thanks to the Otto Bremer Trust, Richard Schulze Foundation, WCA Foundation and our donors, we have $50,000 in funding to meet our client’s basic needs. The funds are available to all Touchstone clients with no financial means or community resources to meet their basic everyday needs. Thirty five clients received assistance in the last two months, receiving beds, boots, shoes, clothing, medications or medical supplies not covered by insurance, and personal items. Many of our clients come to us from homeless shelters, hospitals, and foster care and have few, if any, items needed to live in the community. We know people have greater success living independently when their needs are met.

Recently staff found an apartment for Alan, who had been living in a homeless shelter for several months. Due to the Basic Need Fund, staff were able to provide Alan with a bed, bedding, towels and food when he moved into his apartment on a Friday afternoon. He was able to start the weekend with everything he needed for his new place.

“Basic necessities, which most of us take for granted, are critical to helping our clients start over in the community. Your support has made such a difference for our clients,” said Ellie Skelton, Executive Director.

Improving Lives through Art

Touchstone completed a 30-month partnership with Aroha Philanthropies and Articulture with a community art show, highlighting 18 artists in December. The program served over 100 clients agency wide, providing art classes at our residential programs and in the community. Program evaluation, conducted by Wilder Research, showed over 90% of our clients felt less stress and had new ways to cope as a result of the program. Also, 98% felt the art program was helpful to their mental health recovery and improved their well-being.

“Participating in the art program has been the highlight of my week. Making art has changed how I feel about myself and improved my self-confidence.”  Peter, Art Student