Services to Help at Risk Elders (SHARE)
SHARE works with public and private subsidized housing providers in several Boston, MA neighborhoods to house and support formerly homeless older adults so that they are able to remain in their homes. Compared to other older adults, this population tends to have higher rates of chronic illnesses, mental illness, cognitive impairment, and alcohol and other substance abuse. They are also likely to have minimal independent living skills, and inadequate financial and social support systems.
In the SHARE project, approximately 40 low-income, formerly homeless older adults, who were at risk of recurring homelessness, were helped by the SHARE team to remain in their homes and live as independently as possible. The SHARE team provided these older adults with comprehensive, individualized, ongoing case management and nursing services, as well as links to other essential services and resources. SHARE services included:
- Management of health conditions, including the provision of health education and medication management;
- Assessment of needed medical and supportive services;
- Nutrition assessment and education;
- Money management, banking, and bill payment;
- Accessing food; and
- Social support.
Specific accomplishments of the SHARE project for its clients include:
- Increased housing stability;
- Improved management of chronic conditions, access to health information, communication with physicians, and utilization of appropriate medical services;
- Improved nutrition and food security (including access to fresh fruits and vegetables); development of a food access program which involves partnerships with local organizations and business and includes nutritional needs assessments, food â€œprescriptionsâ€ and shopping lists, home delivery, nutritional education, and repeated biometric and nutritional assessments;
- Reductions in binge drinking;
- Improved hygiene; and
- Better social integration.
In 2012, SHARE was awarded a 225,000 grant from the AARP Foundation to support and expand its food access program.
The 2012 film â€œBeing Flynn,â€ starring Robert De Niro, Paul Dano, and Julianne Moore, involved CIAIP grantee ELAHP. The film is based on the real-life story of the writer, Nick Flynn, who, as a younger man, worked at the Pine St. Inn, a homeless shelter in Boston that ELAHP works with. Flynn discovered that his estranged father was a resident of the very same homeless shelter.
Kip Langello, Program Manager
Click here for a detailed case study of the CIAIP Services to Help at Risk Elders (SHARE) project, including accomplishments, challenges, and lessons learned.