60 Temple Place
Boston, MA 02111
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A woman living with family in eastern Massachusetts was paralyzed in a domestic violence incident in Haiti. She worked with BCIL, fearful because she believed her abuser was now in the area. She received expert mentoring from a staff member fluent in Haitian Creole and was referred to an accessible shelter, where she can live safely in anonymity and with connections to a variety of critical services.
A high school student with muscular dystrophy wanting to move out and go to college struggled greatly with the challenges she’d face living on her own. Her parents were equally nervous. For two years she was mentored by a staff member at BCIL who herself had faced similar questions. Now, with the assistance of PCAs set up by BCIL, the young woman is going to school and living in a dorm at a college in Boston.
A 53-year old man who was stuck in a local Veterans Administration hospital for over three years contacted BCIL. Through the work of our direct services department and PCA program, he found housing, got PCAs, and is now living in his own home.
An 83-year old woman was denied nighttime PCA coverage by MassHealth. BCIL staff assisted her to appeal the decision. The woman was at high risk for going into a nursing home. The appeal was won and she continues to reside in her own home.
A 54 year-old former school teacher who had a debilitating stroke contacted BCIL. She and her teenage daughter were living in a family member’s inaccessible apartment. BCIL interceded with a local housing authority to press her need for housing, an affordable and accessible family unit was obtained, and now the woman is completing a computer course in a vocational rehabilitation training program as a step toward reentering the work force.
A BCIL staff member met a young woman from South America who had been burned and became blind in an accident. She had come to America for medical treatment through the Healing the Children foundation. Her treatment ended and she was unable to obtain help from the Commission for the Blind because she is not a citizen. Our staff member called the Commission and they directed her to a UMASS program that trains instructors for blind people. UMass developed a program with the Healing the Children foundation using students as instructors. The woman received badly needed mobility lessons and was then able to go to the Carroll Centre for training in Braille and computer use. She conveyed that without the BCIL staff member's effort to find and link services, she never would have gotten the training to move about the community independently.
During a recent evaluation of an elderly consumer with a disability by our PCA department, we learned that the person's approved PCA hours by MassHealth were cut back 15 hours a week, forcing her to face the prospect of moving out of her home into an institutional setting. A BCIL advocate appealed MassHealth’s decision as inappropriate. At a hearing the presiding officer agreed with the BCIL advocate and reinstated the woman's PCA services, enabling her to remain in control of her own care-- and in her own home.
A man who was at a nursing home south of Boston for a year wanted to move out. He'd been working closely with a BCIL advocate, getting peer support and assistance to find an apartment. But he didn't have the resources for first and last month's rent, as required by the lease. We worked with him to get funding through the Mass Rehab Nursing Home Transition Project so he could meet his initial housing expenses and get fully back to living on his own.
A woman injured in an industrial accident was denied Social Security Disability Income. She went through the appeals process at the local level and continued to be denied. She finally contacted BCIL, we assisted with another appeal of the decision by the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, and the ruling was reversed. Now she is able to go back to work part-time and because of the combination of wages and SSDI benefits, plus Medicare, she is not destitute and instead is effectively supporting herself.
A student was having great difficulty in high school, in part because of her disability. She was very stressed, having a hard time with personal relationships, and was gaining weight. A BCIL Youth Specialist worked with her and the school on an Individual Transition Plan and she has now graduated, is living on her own in an apartment and lost the weight she gained by going on a special diet. Our Youth Specialist meets with her weekly to keep her on track and help address any issues she confronts in her daily life.