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HELEN SAWYER PLAZA. Helen Sawyer Plaza 1150 N.W. 11 th Street Miami, FL 33136. * The Nation’s First Licensed Assisted Living Facility Within Public Housing (1999). - 104 Units -. Partners :. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Miami-Dade Housing Agency (Florida)

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slide1

HELEN SAWYER PLAZA

Helen Sawyer Plaza

1150 N.W. 11th Street

Miami, FL 33136

* The Nation’s First Licensed Assisted Living Facility Within Public Housing (1999)

- 104 Units -

Partners:

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Miami-Dade Housing Agency (Florida)

State of Florida Department of Elderly Affairs

slide2

BACKGROUND

Public sector funding along with private sector expertise provide the structure for

Helen Sawyer Plaza

Service Providers:

Miami Dade Housing Agency (MDHA) retains ownership and operational control of Helen Sawyer Plaza

Provides day-to-day management of the facility and hands-on care for the residents – annual contract cost of $100,000 per year

HELEN SAWYER PLAZA

MIAMI, FL

slide3

BACKGROUND (Continued)

  • PHAs - turning to Assisted Living Facility (ALF) models as a vehicle to enable seniors to age in place
  • Avoid premature transfers to more intrusive and costly housing and service options such as nursing home facilities
    • 1976 - Provided elderly public housing - Group meals only
    •  1995 - No longer provided congregate meal service = Hardship
    • 1995 - No meal service combined with poor transportation, no services, and a declining neighborhood = 30% occupancy rate

HELEN SAWYER PLAZA

MIAMI, FL

slide4

BACKGROUND (Continued)

Envisioned by MDHA - Meet physical and emotional needs of elderly public housing residents

Evolved from a lack of affordable housing alternatives to meet the demand for senior housing

Need for new funding sources to satisfy the problem of long-term care 

MDHA - converted an underutilized independent living facility into a multi-service center for elderly residents

1999 - MDHA opened the “Helen Sawyer Plaza Assisted Living Facility”

HELEN SAWYER PLAZA

MIAMI, FL

slide5

BACKGROUND (Continued)

Conversion to a Public Housing Assisted Living Facility:

Step 1:Contracted with a consultant who is an expert in the Assisted Living Facility field

Step 2: HUD funding to rehabilitate the building according to Housing Quality Standards

Step 3: Obtained an Assisted Living Facility license from the state of Florida

Step 4: Coordinated work efforts with Miami and Dade Counties to revitalize abandoned buildings in HSP neighborhood - expanded transportation

Step 5: Petitioned the State of Florida Department of Elderly Affairs - grant a Medicaid waiver -Helen Sawyer Plaza elderly services eligible for Medicaid funding reimbursement

HELEN SAWYER PLAZA

MIAMI, FL

slide6

DESIGN / STAFFING

Amenities:

Lobby, public restrooms, full kitchen with resident dining room, community room, administrative offices and maintenance staff areas

Additional Building Features:

Electronic security system with 24-Hour security guards

Staffing Needs:

Staffing includes an Administrator, Receptionist, Accountant, Maintenance Staff, Cook and Cook Assistants, Housekeepers, Certified Nursing Assistants, Activity Coordinator and a Social Worker

HELEN SAWYER PLAZA

MIAMI, FL

slide7

DESIGN / STAFFING (Continued)

ACCOUNTING

ADMINISTRATOR

MAINTENANCE

ACTIVITIES DIRECTOR

NURSE

RESIDENT CARE

FOOD SERVICE

CONSULTANT

AR/AP

HELEN SAWYER PLAZA

MIAMI, FL

slide8

PROCESS

Resident Eligibility Requirements:

Must be low-income individuals

Able to perform activities of daily living with supervision or assistance

Be at risk of placement in a nursing home

Medicaid eligible

Must be at least 62 years old

Do not require 24-hour nursing supervision

Do not require licensed, professional mental health treatment 

Program Demographics: (104 residents)

Average age is 85

Average length of stay is 35 months

40% of residents are former residents of nursing homes

HELEN SAWYER PLAZA

MIAMI, FL

slide9

PROCESS (Continued)

Benefits and Features:

  • Married couples can continue to live together
  • Helen Sawyer Plaza provides:
    • Services including bathing, grooming and feeding
    • 30 hours of activities per week - dancing, exercise, shopping and cultural events
    • 24-hour supervision by trained staff
    • Assistance with Medications
    • Physical Therapy
    • Transportation services
    • Cafeteria Meals (three hot meals - two snacks per day)

HELEN SAWYER PLAZA

MIAMI, FL

slide10

PROCESS (Continued)

$4,808

per unit

- Miami Dade Housing Agency subsidizes rent for all units

- 65 residents receive Medicaid waivers that reimburse up to $28 per day for services

$22,000 per unit subsidy

vs. Nursing Home subsidy rate that is 5-6 times higher!

HELEN SAWYER PLAZA

MIAMI, FL

slide11

PROCESS (Continued)

Assessment of Service Fees:

Residents are assessed $685 per month for services. The cost is subsidized through the Optional State Supplement (OSS), which is a State supplement to Social Security Income

Cost Comparison:

Nursing home facility vs. Assisted Living Facility - nursing home facility will cost 68% more

Nursing Home = $38,000 per year

Assisted Living Facility = $12,000 per year

HELEN SAWYER PLAZA

MIAMI, FL

slide12

PROCESS (Continued)

Helen Sawyer Plaza has an Extended Congregate Care License - required to access the Medicaid Waiver

Result of petitioning - State legislature enacted a demonstration project Medicaid Waiver for $1.3 million

First time a Medicaid Waiver and case management was allocated to public housing

100% of the units are affordable to 50% of area median income

Residents pay rent set at 30% of adjusted gross income

HELEN SAWYER PLAZA

MIAMI, FL

slide13

MANAGEMENT / MARKETING

Management:

Participatory management

Constant training and communication among staff

Residents are treated with respect, care and devotion

Monthly training for social service staff

Marketing:

Outreach through resident services

Sells concept that MDHA is a Medicaid provider and case management agency

Clients come through word of mouth from publicity, newspaper articles, radio, T.V. and Community Groups

30% of residents come from Community Group referrals

The residential waiting list averages 20-30 persons

On average, MDHA loses 20 elder residents per month to death/nursing home/private assisted living facilities

HELEN SAWYER PLAZA

MIAMI, FL

slide14

CHALLENGES/FAILURES/LESSONS LEARNED

  • State and Federal Government requires excessive documentation
  • Government Catch 22:
    • Obtaining an ALF license –- Cannot be obtained until development is complete
    • Lender Loans are difficult to obtain without a guarantee of Medicaid Funding
    • Impossible to underwrite the Medicaid Waiver as a source of revenue because waivers cannot be committed before the facility is operational
  • Petition the State of Florida Department of Elder Affairs to grant a Medicaid waiver is a hit and miss process

What Helen Sawyer Plaza may have done differently:

  • Opened the facility 6 months earlier
  • Admitted more residents into the Medicaid Waiver Program
  • Spent more time talking to key staff and residents for support

HELEN SAWYER PLAZA

MIAMI, FL

slide15

ACCOMPLISHMENTS/SUCCESSES/HIGHLIGHTS

Resident Successes:

  • Based on Florida International University Center of Aging study:
    • Health and mental condition of residents have significantly improved
    • Residents have a high level of satisfaction with services
    • Residents have a renewed desire to engage in life

Helen Sawyer Plaza Successes:

  • Achieved 100% lease-up within one year
  • Achieved the lowest attrition rate among residents and staff
  • Has saved the Florida Medicaid budget over $8 million
  • Received recognition from legislatures and policy makers

Awards:

  • HUD Best Practices Award
  • NAHRO Human Services Award
  • National Association of Counties Achievement Award
  • Florida Housing Coalition Success Stories Award

HELEN SAWYER PLAZA

MIAMI, FL