September 15, 2022
By Samantha Leader, LCSW
The Partnership Comprehensive Care Practice strives to be a comprehensive clinic where patients can get multiple medical needs met in a one-stop-shop format, but did you know that there are many other services offered by our team of case managers? From specialist appointment scheduling to rental and utility assistance, our case managers work with each patient on an individual basis to meet their unique social and emotional needs.
Among the many exciting services offered, we would like to highlight our newest initiative, which began in early March. Thanks to a generous contribution to the clinic by Philly AIDS Thrift, the Partnership can now help patients get highly requested household appliances and furniture delivered directly to their homes. Especially during the pandemic, our staff have seen the need for basic household supplies go up significantly, while the supply for these items has gone down, resulting in greatly inflated pricing. And while prices for many things have increased, most of our patients who live on a limited, fixed income have not seen a comparable increase in their monthly take-home, leaving people to choose only the most important expenses to take care of. Many social service agencies providing relief funding do not offer money for household items, and the clinic ran out of previous funding very early in 2021 due to the increased demand.
The Partnership serves a vulnerable population with a wide range of medical issues who have complex needs spanning well beyond HIV care. Many things that a healthy person may take for granted, such as beds or refrigerators, can be life-changing for patients with chronic pain, or those who are prescribed medications that need to be taken with food. The Partnership staff supports the harm reduction model, which includes the belief that housing is a basic human right. This includes having basic comforts and much-needed supports to keep patients’ health intact. Why spend the majority of your income on rent if you are just returning to a home that can’t meet your needs? According to the Housing First model, the average person should be paying only 30% of their income on rent, but our patients often pay close to 75%, due to the city’s lack of available subsidized housing, as well as high rental costs.
The grant provided to the clinic allows case managers, providers and patients to identify needs that could be solved with something as simple as an air conditioner, refrigerator or bed. Since the grant’s onset in early March, case managers have assisted seven patients with obtaining beds, refrigerators and even air purifiers. One patient, Kelly, who has been coming to the clinic for many years, has been having to frequently call out of work due to severe allergy attacks upon waking in the morning. With the help of her provider, Kelly was able to request an air purifier and humidifier, with the goal of being able to wake up feeling refreshed and able to continue to provide for her family. We at the Partnership hope this grant will continue to help people live happy, healthy lives outside of our clinic walls. If you would like to make a request, speak to any on-call case manager to start the process!