December 5, 2012
Hope Springs Apartments Provides Better Living for Disabled
Patients with mental illness who are clients of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine’s Community Support Network (CSN) now have better living opportunities at Hope Springs Apartments at 1135 N. Ninth St. in Springfield.
Hope Springs Apartments is a new residential facility for disabled individuals, including some clients of CSN. The two-story apartment complex has been developed in partnership with Bluestem Housing Partners, NFP of Downers Grove. The complex is located within the Mid-Illinois Medical District.
Some CSN clients live in dilapidated housing in dangerous sections of the city. Many live on about $600 a month, according to Trisha Malott, executive director of SIU’s Community Support Network.
“Hope Springs Apartments will provide an opportunity to live in clean, safe, affordable rental housing, which is difficult for CSN clients to find,” Malott said. “The clients have better access to city resources, including grocery stores, pharmacies, and transportation. They can live independently, which is the goal of the CSN program.”
The dual two-story buildings contain 36 units. Most units are 550 square feet, with one bedroom, one bathroom, a living room and kitchen facilities. The grounds include gardens and a resource center that includes a central space for entertainment, classes and group therapy. The CSN staff will move its offices to the complex, working on site to assist clients.
Security features include closed-circuit television cameras, locked facilities, access to SIU Security and the Springfield Crisis Intervention Team that is trained to assist people with mental disabilities. “The complex is a safe and supportive environment for residents to maintain independence,” said Malott.
CSN clients are some of the area’s most vulnerable citizens. Currently, 80 adults with severe and persistent psychiatric disabilities are clients of the program, which helps them live independently. “Studies have shown that permanent supportive housing improves symptoms of mental illness,” Malott said.
The CSN program combines clinical and case management services. A multidisciplinary team of social workers, counselors and medical professionals directly assist clients with daily symptom management and help them meet their basic needs. Along with evidence-based treatment, CSN has a supportive employment program. The goal of CSN is to prevent the clients from relapsing into hospital and help them live independently. CSN serves up to 100 people.
Established in 1970, the mission of SIU School of Medicine is to assist the people of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health needs through education, patient care, research and community service. Its website is www.siumed.edu and its main number is 217-545-8000.