Washtenaw FUSE (Washtenaw Frequent Users System Engagement) is one of four pilot programs selected by the Corporation for Supportive Housing to lead in a nationwide effort integrating housing, care management and health services to improve health outcomes for high risk adults caught in a revolving door of crisis services. The goal of this initiative is to address one of the most pressing policy problems currently facing states and the nation as a whole: rising public health care costs associated with fragmented and uncoordinated care.
John was referred to the FUSE program from a local homeless shelter. John grew up in foster care after being taken from his home due to a physically abusive mother; then spent much of his adult life with no home at all. He was incarcerated for fifteen years and spent a considerable amount of that time in isolation due to severe behavioral issues. Upon his release, John had no resources and nowhere to go. A community homeless outreach program began working with him to find housing in the area, however prison had taken its toll on his mental health. John developed trauma-induced psychoses and defense mechanisms during incarceration that would not allow for him to stay at any one place for an extended period of time.
John also suffers from diabetes, HIV/AIDS, a severe mental illness and substance abuse. Without the means to address his health condition, in a single year he was in the emergency room 21 times and admitted to the hospital six, typically for lack of insulin or acute detox.
Through FUSE, John receives access to preventative health care and stable housing. He has followed through with all of his doctor appointments, has taken his medications regularly and has yet to visit the emergency room. With a stable place to live, access to critical entitlements, health care coordination and an array of support services, he is successfully becoming more involved in the community. While there may be hiccups in John’s path, FUSE offers a plan and concrete support to get him back on his feet and to again live with dignity.
This is just the beginning of the difference FUSE is making in Washtenaw County. Through CSSW leadership and dedicated partners, FUSE is lowering healthcare costs in the best possible way—helping those in our community who are the most vulnerable get their lives back on track.
Click here for more information on the FUSE program.