Our Aftercare Program is a critical part of allowing us to achieve our mission of “Ending Homelessness in the Fox Valley.” Once residents move out of our residential program, the true test of independent living begins. Our Aftercare Program continues to support former COTS residents for 3 years after they have moved out of COTS. We recently expanded Aftercare by an additional year, in line with best practice research by the University of Cincinnati.
Aftercare is COTS’ way of ensuring our residents remain successful in their newly independent lives. Aftercare eases residents’ transition from being in an environment of daily support and into a life of independence and light touch support. COTS’ Aftercare Coordinator meets with former residents to discuss a variety of issues, including budgeting, relapse prevention, employment and community involvement. COTS has partnerships with many local agencies, schools and businesses to assist clients.
“Joe,” a former resident in Aftercare, stopped taking his medication as prescribed after losing his health insurance. Joe confessed that he had not been taking his medication regularly in an effort to get it to last. Aftercare staff immediately connected Joe with our on-site clinic. Joe re-enrolled in health insurance and now is back on his medication. By preventing Joe’s declining mental health, we were able to prevent a future incident of homelessness – the overall mission of COTS.