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Interim says goodbye to Carolyn Hinds, director of SEES
Interim will soon say goodbye to Carolyn Hinds,director of Supported Education and SEES works with the Monterey County Department of Health Behavioral Health Division and the Department of Rehabilitation Cooperative to support those who have experienced a work disruption resulting from a mental health disability. Employment Services (SEES), who will be retiring at the end of June. Carolyn joined Interim in 1991 as part-time relief counselor at the old Pajaro House in Salinas, and eventually came head up Interim’s vocational program.
“I’m really proud of the way Interim has stepped into hiring our own clients. We started hiring clients in landscaping, and Interim has done everything right, everything they possibly could to make that program successful, said Carolyn. “They start from the point of view that everyone is created equal, and they deal with issues immediately.” (Interim has been named and outstanding employer by the Monterey County Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities (MCCEPD) in 2009 and by the State Department of Rehabilitation in 2010) for its success employing adults with disabilities.)
All the best to Carolyn! Thank you for your years of service to Interim!
Former Interim client presented with award for Outstanding Mental Health Consumer at the Annual Fiesta of Hope
The Annual Fiesta of Hope is a community event that raises awareness of the resources and support available for those touched by mental health issues in Monterey County. During the event, Tommaso Aliotti was presented with the award for Outstanding Mental Health Consumer. Tomasso, formerly and Interim client, currently works as a Community Support Worker for the Shelter Cove Program and also serves as a Peer to Peer Mentor. He has also dedicated time as a Success Over Stigma speaker, sharing his story and educating local students and agencies about mental illness. He has been a key member of the Wellness Conference Committee for the past three years while volunteering to take on the role of Master of Ceremonies and music coordinator this year. He attends the Recovery Task Force and works tirelessly to advocate for the needs of Monterey County Behavioral Health consumers. Congratulations to Tommaso!
Interim’s Volunteer Therapy Dogs recognized for Service to Clients
Also on the list of award recipients at the Fiesta of Hope were Interim’s therapy dog volunteers and their handlers, who were presented with the special recognition award for their service to mental health consumers in Monterey County through Interim. The therapy dogs are certified through Therapy Dogs International and support Interim’s clients in their recovery by serving various programs and residential facilities. This year marks the 10th year of practitioners, clients and their families coming together for the Fiesta of Hope, which is sponsored by The Monterey County Mental Health Commission and Monterey County Department of Health, Behavioral Health Bureau. Congratulations to the all the volunteers! Thank you for your service!
California Mental Health Planning Council presents Award to Executive Director Barbara Mitchell.
The award was presented after Barbara worked tireless on the Council to reinstate important dental benefits for Medi-cal consumers, allowing greater access to total health services and dental care for an estimated 3 million individuals in the state of California. Congratulations to Barbara on the award and the accomplishment!
Entre Nous’ “50 Shades of Fun” Finishes Funding Effort for Rockrose Gardens Affordable Supportive Housing Project for Adults with Mental Illness in Marina
Monterey County, CA-The Entre Nous Society of Salinas has awarded Interim, Inc. a $30,000 grant for Rockrose Gardens, a new project to provide 20 units of affordable housing with support services for adults with mental illness in Marina, proceeds of its February luncheon and silent auction, “50 Shades of Fun.”
That grant will be matched by a $43,293 grant from the Ingram Housing Fund of the ACTION Council of Monterey County, completing the capital campaign for the project, which is currently under construction. Rockrose Gardens is scheduled to open in Fall 2014.
The “50 Shades of Fun” event drew more than 230 attendees. The money raised by the Entre Nous Society will be used to purchase basic furnishings and household items needed by the future residents at Rockrose Gardens.
“The construction of Rockrose Gardens will create significant employment prospects for our area in addition to providing much needed affordable housing for adults with psychiatric disabilities,” said Interim’s Executive Director Barbara Mitchell.
Since 1975, Interim has provided a unique combination of affordable housing, residential treatment and mental health services, and supported education and employment services that offer people with psychiatric disabilities hope for wellness and recovery. Interim’s most recent housing project, Sunflower Gardens in Salinas, was the first supportive affordable housing project in California to win the prestigious LEED for Homes Platinum award for energy conscious design and construction. For more information, visit www.interiminc.org.
The Entre Nous Society started in 1934 as a group of twelve women in Salinas who met weekly and hosted a charity benefit, distributing proceeds to local charities. A fashion show was added in 1935, beginning a long tradition of fundraising projects for their community. In 1998, Entre Nous members expanded their fundraising by presenting the Culinary Classic, which was held once every seven years and provided a venue for foods, wines, and services found in Monterey County. In 2006, members presented an al fresco luncheon where they introduced their latest cookbook, “Entre Nous Celebrates!” Members have since organized a variety of successful charity events and, since the groups inception in 1934, they have contributed over $800,000 to a wide variety of Monterey County organizations. Currently there are 48 members of Entre Nous Society.
The Ingram Housing Fund was created to assist with the housing needs of low- and very low-income residents of the City of Marina. It is administered by the ACTION Council of Monterey County, in consultation with Marina Citizens for Accountability in Government. The ACTION Council of Monterey County, Inc. was created in 1994 to address the reduction in government funding for health and human services for low-income and vulnerable people. Its goals are to create public/private partnerships for economic and social justice; to initiate community dialogue and action on critical issues; to provide a focal point for achieving community transformation; and to develop resources to facilitate needed change. ACTION is Advocacy, Community Transformation, Incubating, Organizing, and Networking.
Interim Inc. Awarded $150,000 matching grant from ACTION Council of Monterey County for Affordable Supportive Housing Project in Marina
Monterey, CA – June 26, 2013 – for immediate release — Interim, Inc., Monterey County’s only provider of affordable housing with support services for adults with psychiatric disabilities, has been awarded a $150,000 matching grant from the Ingram Housing Fund of the ACTION Council of Monterey County for the construction of Rockrose Gardens, a development that will provide 20 new units of permanent housing in Marina, CA, for adults with mental illness.
The Ingram Housing Fund was created to assist with the housing needs of low- and very low-income residents of the City of Marina, where Rockrose Gardens will be built. It is administered by the ACTION Council of Monterey County, in consultation with Marina Citizens for Accountability in Government.
“Interim has raised more than $5.2 million for Rockrose Gardens with a combination of government grants and loans, foundation grants, and private donations. This award will allow us to raise the remaining $350,000 so that low income adults with mental illness can live successful lives in our community,” said Interim’s Executive Director Barbara Mitchell. “The construction of Rockrose Gardens will create significant employment prospects for our area in addition to providing much needed affordable housing for adults with psychiatric disabilities.”
ACTION Council CEO Larry Imwalle says, “We’re very excited about the opportunity to support Interim’s work creating new permanent housing in the City of Marina for people least able to afford it by matching community donations to the Rockrose Gardens project.” He adds, “We encourage everyone concerned about keeping low-income people with mental illness from being homeless to support the Rockrose Gardens project with a financial contribution.”
Marina Mayor Bruce Delgado praised the collaborative effort: “Executive leadership and staff at Interim Inc. have always operated high-caliber affordable housing and support programs so the City of Marina is just as excited as Interim Inc. about this new development. I also want to thank the Action Council of Monterey County and the Ingram Housing Fund for their contributions.”
Delgado also noted, “ I remember fondly how deeply Billy Ingram (for whom the Ingram Housing Fund is named) cared for those of us most in need.”
Monterey County-based Wald, Ruhnke & Dost Architects has designed Rockrose Gardens to include a one-story community building and two 2-story residential buildings surrounding a central courtyard in what is called contemporary Coastal architecture.
Construction is slated to begin in August 2013. >>Donate Now
Since 1975, Interim has provided a unique combination of affordable housing, residential treatment and mental health services, and supported education and employment services that offer people with psychiatric disabilities hope for wellness and recovery. Interim’s most recent housing project, Sunflower Gardens in Salinas, was the first affordable supportive housing project in California to win the prestigious LEED for Homes Platinum award for energy conscious design and construction. For more information, visit www.interiminc.org.
The ACTION Council of Monterey County, Inc. was created in 1994 to address the reduction in government funding for health and human services for low-income and vulnerable people. Its goals are to create public/private partnerships to promote economic and social justice; to initiate community dialogue and action on critical issues; to provide a focal point for achieving community transformation and to develop resources to facilitate needed change. Our name represents our role in the community. ACTION is Advocacy, Community Transformation, Incubating, Organizing, Networking.
Wald, Ruhnke & Dost Architects, LLP is a full-service architecture firm with an extensive portfolio of commercial, healthcare, education, agriculture, public works, nonprofit, residential, construction management and interior design projects developed over the past 49 years. As a leader in green construction and sustainable practices, WR&D creates buildings that are designed to enhance productivity and well-being while making positive impacts on the larger community. For more information, visit www.wrdarch.com.
Barbara Mitchell, Executive Director
831/649-4522 ext. 204
ACTION Council of Monterey County, Inc.
Libby McMahon, Finance Director
831-783-1344 ext. 103
Lack of Dental Care causes isolation, frustration for Interim clients
Click Here to read the Letter to the Governor from the California Mental Health Planning Council regarding this important issue.
In July 2009, the state of California eliminated several “optional” Medi-Cal services, including almost all dental benefits for adults. Since these cuts were made, the only benefits that are available are “limited dental services for the relief of pain, infection or trauma, such as tooth removal.” However, once a tooth is removed, there are no benefits to provide dentures to replace the tooth. Many clients have complained that they can only have their teeth pulled, not repaired due to Medi-Cal.
“I have not been able to get root canals that I need. If I have a toothache, I have to pull it instead of fixing it. If the tooth is pulled it is very embarrassing to have a gap. I am in need of a deep cleaning and have not been able to afford it due to lack of insurance,” says Interim client Stephanie Loomis.
The vast majority of clients served by Interim are reliant upon Medi-Cal for medical services. Without the dental benefits, individuals must either use their limited income to pay for dental services or go without care. This has created enormous problems for the health and well-being of our clients.
One anonymous resident in need of dental care isolates himself to avoid contact with people and struggles to make eye contact and communicate his needs, only speaking when he is engaged in conversation by another person. Interim client David Huey agrees: “When my teeth don’t look good, I don’t want to show them. I don’t talk as much, I don’t smile as much and I interact with people a lot less.”
Generally, lack of proper dental care contributes to a decrease in self-confidence, which increases depression and prohibits clients from seeking employment or engaging in other social activities. “It affects your wellness and causes to lower your self-esteem,” says Interim client Nicole Andersen.
Many of our clients take medications that cause dry mouth, which frequently exacerbates dental problems. According to a study in the British Journal of Psychiatry published in September 2011, as a group, people with mental illness are more than three times as likely as the general population to have lost all of their teeth and more than six times as likely to have decayed, filled or missing teeth.
So how realistic is it for a client whose Social Security income is approximately $840/ month to pay for the cost of dental care? Fairly unlikely, considering that most clients use a minimum of 75% of their income to provide food, shelter and transportation. A low price for a filling would be $125, a set of dentures $3,000, a root canal to save a tooth, $650. .“I just had a filling on a tooth and my approximate total was 200 dollars. I am a student with no dental insurance and forgo any dental care due to lack of income and health insurance,” says Interim client Josh K.
As far as whether the elimination of “optional” Medi-Cal dental benefits actually saves money for California, the jury is still out. What has become apparent is that when people do not have access to dental services, people use the emergency room for dental pain.
A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle reported on this issue. According to data from Highland Hospital in Oakland, the number of ER visits by patients with dental complaints more than quadrupled from 2007 to 2011. The article noted, “According to Beth Mertz — an assistant professor at the UC-San Francisco School of Dentistry — there no longer is a safety net for adults who have lost dental coverage.”
Mertz notes, “Once the tooth starts to go sour, unless they can find the money to pay for it out of pocket, their choice is to wait until it gets bad enough to cover it as an emergency extraction.”
Unfortunately, emergency rooms are limited in their treatment options and either prescribe painkillers and antibiotics for damaged teeth, or refer patients to dentists to have a tooth extracted, a procedure that still is covered by Medi-Cal.
Interim has tried to assist residents in need of dental care. A volunteer dental hygienist provided teeth cleanings for residents for about a year before she had to leave due to health problems. Interim staff have attempted to find lower cost dental services for clients who can access them, but some of the services are limited to people who are homeless. Over the past six months, Interim has provided limited grants for 10 clients in need of dental care, totaling $2300 from our Good Sam Fund, a fund entirely supported by donations.
Interim continues to advocate with our legislators for restoration of the Medi-Cal dental benefits. If you would like to advocate for restoration of this service, please notify state legislature. Barbara Mitchell, Interim’s Executive Director is the co-Chair of the advocacy Committee of the California Mental Health Planning Council.
“Identifying Mental Illness Only Small Part in Gun Debate” (USA Today, March 3, 2013)
Gun-control laws that require mental-health professionals to report mentally ill people who are likely to harm others are unlikely to make a dent in gun violence, health researchers say. >>Read More
Interim, Inc. featured in MC Weekly article on affordable housing (Sara Rubin, July 2013)
“While demand for low-income rentals is up, demand for low-income for-sale units appears to be sputtering, and the city of Monterey is beginning to reduce its affordable housing inventory.” >>Read More
Success Over Stigma article in Monterey County Herald
Click Here for the March 2013 article by Leslie Dunn.
“Social Withdrawal and Violence– Newtown, Connecticut”
Click here for the article discussing mental illness and gun control by John Walkup and David Rubin in the New England Journal of Medicine. (February 2013)
“Psychiatric Hospitals Alter Rules on Patient Smoking”
Click here for the NY Times article regarding cigarette smoking and the mentally ill.
The Effect of Housing on Health Costs for Homeless
A summer 2012 article in Evidence Matters, a publication of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, details the public benefit of providing housing with support services for homeless individuals. According to the article, “Providing shelter or supportive housing costs less and results in savings, compared with other interventions. For example, the typical daily per capita charge for shelter ($28) and affordable supportive housing ($31) are much less than the cost of hospital inpatient treatment ($1,940), an emergency room visit ($905), a psychiatric hospital intervention ($604), or detoxification ($256).” >>Read More
Juno, the Therapy Dog featured in Salinas Californian
Click Here to find out more about our fuzzy friend at Bridge House.
Kathleen Sebelius on Bringing Mental Illness out of the Shadows (February 2013)
Click here for Sebelius’ take on improving access to care.
Kontrena McPheter interviewed on KRXA’s The Michelle
Jackson Show (December 2012)
Click here to hear what our Success Over Stigma coordinator had to say.
Interim, Inc. and NAMI Monterey County featured in Monterey County Weekly
“Monterey County Behavioral Health and the nonprofit group Interim spend almost $40,000 a year on Monterey-Salinas Transit passes for their mental-health clients. Without the bus tickets, many wouldn’t have rides to doctors’ appointments, meetings, school, counseling sessions and…” >>Read More
Interim services showcased on HealthyCal.org
Click here to read the article from Oct. 31st, 2012
Monterey Peninsula Foundation Awards $100,000 Grant to Interim, Inc. in support of Rockrose Gardens Affordable Housing Project (July 2012)
Interim, Inc has been awarded a two-year grant in the amount of $100,000 from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, Host of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. The award will support the construction of Rockrose Gardens, a development that will provide 20 new units of permanent, affordable supportive housing in Marina, CA, for adults with mental illness.
“The construction of Rockrose Gardens will create significant employment prospects for our area in addition to providing much needed affordable housing for adults with psychiatric disabilities,” says Barbara Mitchell, Executive Director of Interim, Inc. Rockrose Gardens is expected to cost approximately $5.6 million. Construction is slated to begin in 2013.
In addition to funding from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, almost $5 million has been secured for the construction of Rockrose Gardens, including a $3 million capital advance with rental subsidies under the federal Housing and Urban Development’s Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program, approximately $1 million under California Mental Health Services Act Housing Program, $325,000 under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program as administered through Monterey County, and a $200,000 direct subsidy to be administered by Rabobank, N.A. under the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco Affordable Housing Program. Private donations for the project have raised nearly $250,000.
In making the award, Monterey Peninsula Foundation CEO Steve John said, “Monterey Peninsula Foundation is committed to funding organizations and programs that demonstrate the greatest positive effect in our community and we are pleased to be a partner in your program.”
Sunflower Gardens Grand Opening Featured on KSBW
Click here to watch the video clip.
Sunflower Gardens Featured in California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability April Newsletter
More exciting coverage of Sunflower Gardens.
Breakthrough H’Art, an art collaborative run by Interim’s MCHOME Homeless Services project, has just put the finishing touches on more than a dozen tile mosaics, which will be installed at Interim’s Sunflower Gardens housing project. This amazing project, a collaborative project with Dorothy’s Place, brought together homeless artists in the Chinatown area of Salinas. Click here for the Monterey Herald and here for the Salinas Californian.