Mill Levy-Funded Resource Provides Services and Supports to Meet Individual Needs of Denver Residents with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Rocky Mountain Human Services (RMHS) will implement a new framework Sept. 1 for the mill levy-funded Client Assistance Program in an effort to improve the program’s consistency, fairness and sustainability. Through the program, Denver residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families can request services and supports to meet their individual needs.
RMHS first launched Client Assistance in September 2016. It quickly became one of the most successful and fastest-growing pieces of the RMHS Denver Mill Levy Program. In the first quarter of 2017, the average number of requests per month was more than 200. During the first half of 2018, the number of requests almost doubled to nearly 375 requests a month, totaling over $1.6 million.
The program has two main goals:
To empower Denver residents with I/DD to directly access mill levy funds to meet their individual needs for services and supports.
To make services and supports funded through the Denver mill levy for I/DD available to as many Denver residents as possible.
Beginning Sept. 1, RMHS will make several changes to the Client Assistance Program for the following reasons.
After two years of fulfilling these requests and listening to the community, RMHS has a better understanding of the community’s needs and how to administer a Client Assistance Program that is consistent, fair and sustainable.
As the number of Client Assistance requests grows, RMHS must look to the future. RMHS faces a $2 million budget reduction in mill levy funding in 2019. The organization is developing plans to reduce mill levy spending to account for this reduction.
These changes do not impact mill levy services outlined in individuals’ service plans, also known as unmet needs.
The new framework outlines items that are available through the program when other resources do not adequately support an individual’s needs. Denver residents and their families can request services and supports through their RMHS service coordinators (or the online request form on the RMHS website if an individual does not receive case management services from RMHS).
Some services and supports that were available through Client Assistance in the past will not be available beginning Sept. 1. RMHS took several factors into consideration when determining what the program will cover, including:
Whether RMHS can monitor the quality of the service or ensure compliance with standards.
Whether the request is a basic need that can directly improve a person’s health and safety, quality of life and community engagement. RMHS is placing more emphasis on these needs to manage funds effectively and make services and supports available to as many people as possible.
Whether the need is ongoing or recurring. Because mill levy funds are limited, many ongoing requests are not possible through the current program model.
The organization will work to find other ways to address these needs, including collaborating with our community partners and funders, seeking other revenue sources, and having service coordinators explore other options with their clients.
The Client Assistance Program will also have a dedicated feedback process. Individuals who have questions or concerns about their requests can contact RMHS at 303-636-5707 or firstname.lastname@example.org. An RMHS representative will be in contact within 48 hours. RMHS will continue to evaluate the program, taking into consideration mill levy funding and community needs.