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Whole Person Care program expands with addition of medical respite, housing facilities

The Placer County Board of Supervisors recently approved two new components of the Whole Person Care pilot program: a medical respite unit that will provide interim care for at-risk clients leaving the hospital, along with a new agreement to purchase housing units.

Whole Person Care is a five-year program that works to better coordinate physical health, behavioral health and social services for at-risk clients who are high users of multiple services, including emergency departments, probation, mental health and substance use programs and social services. So far, the county has enrolled nearly 90 people in the program.

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The medical respite unit at 11084 B Avenue in Auburn, the site of the former Children’s Receiving Home that closed its doors last year, will have five beds to start. The facility will provide support for individuals who are too ill or frail to recover from a physical illness or injury on the streets, but are not ill enough to be in a hospital.

“These are people who were falling through the cracks. They’d end up going back to the emergency room again and again,” said county Health Officer Dr. Rob Oldham. “Now we can make sure they’re able to fully recover as we simultaneously work to help stabilize their living situations.”

Under the agreement approved by the Board of Supervisors today, The Gathering Inn – a local nonprofit organization known for operating a shelter program in Roseville – will run the medical respite unit through the end of 2018. The Gathering Inn currently operates a five-bed interim care program that serves a similar clientele and is largely funded by Sutter Health and Kaiser Permanente. The medical respite unit will serve patients not currently eligible for that program, and will be the first of its kind in Placer County.

The board also approved a $1.7 million agreement with Advocates for Mentally Ill Housing Inc. to purchase housing units for Whole Person Care, funded primarily through a grant from Sutter Health. Placer County properties purchased by AMIH under this agreement would be subject to a 45-year deed restriction limiting their use.

These units will be added to a growing portfolio of housing purchased by the county for at-risk clients, including some with mental illness. The county currently supports permanent housing for more than 130 individuals with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funding. The new units through AMIH will be dedicated specifically to Whole Person Care clientele.
“We’re excited to see Whole Person Care expanding, especially with community partners like AMIH and The Gathering Inn invested in its mission,” said Health and Human Services Director Jeff Brown.

“This is a classic example of what we do here in Placer County. We’re able to work with local nonprofits to give us as much bang for the buck as we can,” said District 1 Supervisor Jack Duran.

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