Program Spotlight: Case Management

Jul 15, 2022

For some of our clients, case management is the difference between staying at home and returning to the hospital after a health crisis (it is also the difference between living in their own home versus a congregate living environment). Apart from the financial strain, multiple return visits to the hospital may inhibit a person’s healing process – particularly in the case of mental health issues. With a case manager, a client can easily engage with aides, technology, or other resources that allow them to live more comfortably and independently in their homes.

Case managers are advocates and supporters for clients who live with mental illnesses and other health conditions that limit an otherwise independent life. A case manager looks at the full scope of a client’s condition and connects them to the appropriate resources, whether those resources include a therapist or medical equipment, or house help, all with the goal of finding long-term and cost-effective solutions. Sometimes, case managers will also provide clients with resources received through donation drives, such as winter coats or other basic material needs.

So far in 2022, People Incorporated has served around 850 clients in Minnesota through six case management programs, quickly approaching 2021’s annual total of about 950 clients. Our programs include services for children and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing, those experiencing a myriad of mental illnesses, those struggling with substance abuse, those experiencing intermittent homelessness, and much more.

“A case manager is important because it’s somebody who’s there with an outside perspective to remind clients that somebody’s there for them and not judging them for their choices,” said Ashley Hilbelink, Program Supervisor for the Dual Case Management Program. “They take the time to figure out what’s important to them.”

A case manager acts as a liaison between the client and the multitude of services available through our programs and the larger community. This may include a support plan for housing needs or employment opportunities, daily living, substance use, financial management, and more. Oftentimes, case managers are a welcome alternative to law enforcement involvement or a costly hospital visit.

“We’re advocates, and we want to make sure people have the supports they need,” said Hilbelink. “We have the tough conversations and make connections with folks who don’t want to speak with law enforcement or probation officers.”

“We’re here for the people,” added Andrea Bode, Program Supervisor of the Dakota County Waiver Case Management. “It’s human to human.”

Bode has worked at People Incorporated for two years, and with ten total years of industry experience, she noticed immediately how our approach to case management is different. A mental health focus, she says, is crucial when approaching clients seeking these services, many of whom present complex cases in need of personal and holistic attention. As the community need continues to rise, case management continues to be an integral part of People Incorporated’s community impact.

“Mental health is community health,” said Hilbelink. “We work with folks who are experiencing mental illness daily, and we can do something for them that’s big or small that will change their lives. This work is creating stability in the community.”

When you host a drive to meet some of our clients’ basic needs like coats or holiday toys, you are helping our case management team support critical community needs. To learn more about hosting a drive at your workplace, business, or club – or to see a list of current needs – email us at volunteer@peopleincorporated.org. You can also check out the volunteer page on our website or call Corporate & Foundation Giving Officer Jeff DeSutter at 651-288-3504.