by Kaitlin Jackson
Catholic Charities’ Project HOPE (Helping Older People Excel), a care coordination program for seniors in Erie County who have been diagnosed with a mental health illness, recently relocated from 20 Rich St., Buffalo, to its former location at 128 Wilson St., Buffalo.
Brian O’Herron, director of Catholic Charities’ Department of Older Adult Services, said the move was made to create a stronger alliance between Project HOPE and the agency’s other older adult services, chiefly the Comprehensive Care program, that are housed at Wilson Street.
“Project HOPE and Comprehensive Care are two very similar programs in that they both provide care coordination for adults ages 60 and older in Erie County, with the main difference being Project HOPE requires a mental health diagnosis,” O’Herron said. “So with these two programs operating under one roof, and the lines of communication open and accessible for both clients and Catholic Charities staff, we hope to better facilitate collaboration and referrals.”
Project HOPE aims to keep older adults with a mental health diagnosis and a risk of out-of-home placement living independently in their home environments. Clients work with a care coordinator and nurses to create an individualized action plan. Potential services offered through Project HOPE include engagement, linkage, medication management and insight, assistance in understanding and obtaining entitlements, and support and guidance.
Comprehensive Care offers older adults in-home case management services to keep them empowered and thriving in their home environments. Like Project HOPE, the program seeks to educate clients about entitlements and supports, as well as offer guidance.
At Wilson Street, both programs will be managed by Bruce Fulcher, who has spent the past year supervising Project HOPE at Rich Street.
Moving Project HOPE to generate collaboration between other Catholic Charities’ services has been done once before. O’Herron said Project HOPE relocated to Rich Street to work more closely with the mental health services, like psychiatric therapy, through the Monsignor Carr Institute.
“Since Project HOPE requires a mental health diagnosis, we wanted to forge a strong partnership with Monsignor Carr to better serve our clients, and we were able to do that at Rich Street. We created a strong foundation for making and receiving referrals for both Project HOPE and Monsignor Carr, which is a real benefit for our clients to receive wrap-around care,” O’Herron said. “We leave Rich Street, confident that that partnership will remain strong, and now we can focus on building that same foundation with Comprehensive Care.”
Last year, Project HOPE impacted the lives of 198 people, and Catholic Charities’ Older Adult Services as a whole empowered the lives of nearly 700 clients across Western New York. For more information on Project HOPE, including how to make a referral, please call (716) 362-2388 or visit ccwny.org/projectHOPE.
Catholic Charities has helped individuals and families in need since its founding in 1923. That need is varied and widespread – from emergency assistance to mental health counseling and treatment, and from specialized services for older adults to help with job training and education. Catholic Charities empowers children, families and seniors to achieve meaningful, healthy and productive lives. In all situations, Catholic Charities delivers support to meet immediate needs, and then assesses clients for other needs to ensure long-term success.
An excellent steward of the contributions it receives, Catholic Charities earns highest-possible ratings from Charity Navigator for transparency and sound fiscal management and is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity. Catholic Charities also receives highest ratings from the Council on Accreditation for quality service.
For more information contact Catholic Charities at (716) 218-1400 or go to ccwny.org. Catholic Charities is on Facebook at facebook.com/ccbuffalo, on Twitter at twitter.com/ccbuffalo and on Instagram at Instagram.com/catholiccharitiesbuffalo.