Program needs help to help people stay in homes

(Fremont County, WY) – The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is seeking new partners for a program designed to help older and disabled adults remain in their homes as long as possible, while also describing the program for residents who may be eligible for services.

The primary federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) grant was awarded to the Department of Family Services (DFS) last year to help cover rent, utility and broadband bills in Wyoming. WDH is involved with Housing Stability Services, part of ERAP.

Housing Stability Services funding is aimed at helping eligible older adults and adults of any age with disabilities through services such as:

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  • Home modifications that increase accessibility and safety ($5,000 limit)
  • Trailer/mobile home repairs on rented lots ($5,000 limit)
  • Homemaking services such as chores and cleaning
  • Personal care – skilled nursing services (RN, LPN, and CNA)
  • Non-medical transportation
  • Information technology hardware grants up to $400 for a video- and audio-enabled device
  • Services such as cleaning and mental health counseling to address hoarding

“Home modifications and trailer/mobile home repair are included to help enable people to age in place and feel supported,” said Mark Kelly, ERAP-HSS program manager with WDH. “There are some disabled adults connected with the program who had to move because their housing no longer suited their level of need.”

“Adding bathroom hand rails, improving flooring, and adding wheelchair ramps are examples of relatively simple steps that can help Wyoming residents continue to rent their properties and avoid homelessness or premature nursing home placement,” Kelly said.

Kelly said the WDH Aging Division has seen a large demand for services across the state. “Unfortunately, we don’t currently have enough providers to meet demand, which can delay the services clients need.”

Provider applications are sought from across the state to help cover service gaps and to increase the variety of available services. Kelly noted the need for providers is especially high in Albany, Big Horn, Campbell, Fremont, Johnson, Sweetwater, Teton and Uinta counties and for some services in Laramie and Sheridan counties.

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Active business organizations and nonprofits across the state that offer medical or community-based care are encouraged to apply. Recommendations from the general public are also encouraged.

To be eligible for ERAP-HSS services as a client, an application for the primary ERAP program must first be approved through DFS. More information about the primary ERAP program can be found here.

Applicants interested in the Housing Stability Services offered through WDH who are aged 55 and older, or who are adults with a disability may apply specifically for ERAP-HSS through the WDH website. Details and applications for providers are also available.

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For more information about ERAP-HSS, email [email protected] or call (307) 777-7988.

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