Samantha Steinmetz is a 32-year-old resident of Cumberland, Maryland located in Allegany County. Over the past two years of her life, Samantha has endured many hardships. Samantha was cared for by her mother throughout her entire life. Two years ago, Samantha’s mother passed away suddenly and Samantha found herself alone. This was a very difficult time for Samantha. Following her mother’s death, she was the victim of financial exploitation and became homeless.
In an effort to assist her, Samantha’s Service Coordinator, Patricia Painter, linked Samantha with the Community First Choice (CFC) program and Supports Planner Shonna Livengood was assigned following this referral. Shonna quickly learned of Samantha’s homelessness. The CFC program requires stable community housing in order to be eligible for services. Working as a team, Shonna and Patricia were able to assist Samantha to obtain emergency housing so she would no longer be homeless. Samantha’s community counselor, Lori, was also involved in this process. It was a temporary solution, but Samantha moved into her emergency housing where she could stay until permanent housing could be obtained. Samantha would be safer in this environment. This was the first time in Samantha’s life that she was going to live on her own. Following emergency housing placement, Shonna helped support Samantha in finding a representative payee through the Human Resources Development Commission (HRDC) of Allegany County, which would further help Samantha to be independent. Samantha now has support to manage her money and is assisted by someone with her best interest in mind.
The team faced many challenges as they continued to assist Samantha. Samantha received support with the obtaining a Social Security card, birth certificate, and the other documentation needed to complete applications for permanent housing. Throughout this time, Shonna maintained contact with the CFC program liaisons about housing. It was through this collaboration that Samantha was able to receive services in her temporary housing. They allowed personal care to start at that time. Since this was the first time Samantha lived alone, she needed extra support to assist her through this major life transition.
After a period of waiting, Samantha was finally selected for permanent housing. Shonna and Samantha’s team acted quickly to move Samantha. Samantha had saved some money for household items, which she proudly purchased. Money was also obtained to locate assistance for rent and security deposit to secure her housing. Shonna located large furniture items such as a television, table, DVD player, kitchen supplies, and other household items that would help Samantha be comfortable in her new place. Shonna was able to borrow a truck to deliver items to Samantha’s home and, with the help of Patricia and Lori, they personally moved the items into Samantha’s new apartment.
As soon as Samantha was in her home, Shonna was able to help her obtain additional CFC services. Samantha receives personal care services, home delivered meals, and Supports Planning services through the CFC program. Samantha now attends medical daycare during the day and in the afternoon, receives services from the CFC program. Samantha’s CFC caregiver has taught her how to set up and maintain her own home, do laundry, and maintain her health and safety at times when she is alone. These are valuable skills which will assist Samantha for the rest of her life. Samantha stated, “I love my caregiver.” When Samantha was asked what she likes best about working with her caregiver, she said, “My caregiver has taught me how to make homemade meatloaf and now I can make dinner for my brother and have him over.”
Through the teamwork and coordination between Shonna and Patricia, Samantha is living as independently as possible. She is now able to have a home to call her own and services to meet her health and safety needs.