BY DEBBIE PAGE
debbiepage.iredellfreenews@gmail.com

At the organization’s bimonthly September meeting, Drug-Alcohol Coalition of Iredell (DACI) Director Jill McLelland announced an upcoming outreach event about the dangers of vaping. 

On November 17-18, DACI will offer two virtual morning forums to educate the community. The forum will feature speakers from the state and local level, local tobacco control specialists, and Michelle Wigley, Iredell-Statesville Schools substance abuse coordinator.

“We are excited to offer this event,” said McLelland.

The event was postponed from the spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Registration ($20) will open in early October, and eight continuing education units will be available to virtual attendees.

For more information, visit http://daciredell.org or follow DACI on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Drug-Alcohol-Coalition-of-Iredell-557415357723605/

Organization Update

McLelland reported a brisk response to DACI’s first syringe take-back event on September 9 at the Statesville Civic Center. The Statesville Police Department collected a large number of syringes and medications, and the organization also gave away medication lockboxes away.

She reported positive feedback from attendees, especially diabetics and others who use injectables regularly. “It’s a struggle for them to find disposal locations,” McLelland said.

She also reported that sharps collection boxes have been added at the Mooresville and Statesville police departments and Iredell Memorial Hospital.

Easter Seals Services

Guest speaker Charles Dixon of Easter Seals said his organization is accepting referrals to its Critical Time Intervention service. CTI is a nine-month program that follows the Housing First model for individuals with a primary mental health diagnosis and who are homeless or facing eviction.

The goal of the program is to help homeless or potentially homeless people get to permanent, long-term housing, and self-sufficiency. Families or individuals are eligible.

If applicants are in active substance use disorder in addition to their primary mental health diagnosis, they are not eligible for the program. However, if they are following through with a treatment program and are compliant with treatment, they will be considered for the program.

Applicants must have a mental health diagnosis or evidence of a psychiatric disorder with impairments in functioning and need for case management. They must be residents of Catawba, Iredell, Surry, or Yadkin counties and have Partners Medicaid.

The client must be experiencing a critical transition, such as homelessness or be at high risk of homelessness, discharge from a psychiatric hospitalization, release from jail or prison, transition out of foster care settings into adult services, or transition from residential setting into independent housing.

In addition to housing, clients can get help obtaining disability or other benefits, federal subsidies for housing, mental health or substance abuse treatment, money management, legal services, outpatient therapy, and medical care.

The program also helps equip clients with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) skills as needed, including managing personal finances, such as paying bills and managing financial assets, arranging transportation, managing medications, and developing job skills.

Clients meet with a case manager to connect with resources for three hours per week in the first three months, then “share the load” with the case manager and meet two hours per week during the second three months, and then one hour per week for consultations in the last three months as clients function more independently.

Dixon said Housing First, which originated in Harlem, N.Y., now has seven teams operating in North Carolina. Through Easter Seals, the team, which is made up of a peer support specialist, a qualified professional, and a licensed mental health counselor, is now serving 35 clients but has capacity for 50. They hope to hire another case manager and eventually serve 70 people.

Dixon said they get referrals from homeless shelters and law enforcement. They also are starting to work with those near parole or those aging out of foster care so that they have a stable living situation upon re-entry.

DACI PARTNERS UPDATE

I-SS Community Resource Guide: If an organization would like to be included in the Iredell-Statesville Schools Community Resource Guide, please complete the form: https://forms.gle/h69k2aFZdyuPbnos6.

For any questions, please reach out to Stacy Williams at swilliams@iss.k12.nc.us or call 704-500-7868.

The current resource guide is available at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Z98gYi7JA069YtN4bQg8jYNVOoEe3U5QFBP9gXkzRYw/edit.

I-CARE: I-CARE is providing relief to individuals affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Services include emergency assistance (rent/utility), vocational training tuition assistance, and employment services.

For more information, please contact Nerissa Morrison (Ext. 137) or Shelton Moore (Ext. 142) at 704-872-8141.

Eligibility
♦ Evidence effected by COVID-19 Pandemic (Health, Loss of Wages, or Unemployed)
♦  County residency
♦  Income below 200% of HHS Poverty Guideline
♦  Age 18 and older

How to apply
♦ Applications may be emailed or accessed at www.icare-inc.org or picked up at I-CARE, 1415 Shelton Avenue, Statesville, 28677
A copy of bill, invoice, or lease/rental agreement must be provided.
Allowable Amount: $750 per household.

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