Through shared interest with a local property management company, ILS has developed a relationship whereby it has an entire 8 unit apartment building that is exclusively rented to the clients of Improved Living Services, LLC. This has several advantages and allows us to operate a separate Supported Apartment Program where we can provide more support to those that require it. Typically, individuals residing in this building receive between 4 - 12 hours of service each day with additional overnight support available from the awake staff that is based in one of the apartments. Having this relationship with the local landlord also allows us to ensure a safe place to live for those clients that might not otherwise be approved to rent in another community apartment building. The building has 4 one-bedroom, and 4 two-bedroom apartments. Currently, ILS occupies one of the units and utilizes it as an on-site staff office. Having our mobile staff supporting local apartments use this location as their "home base" of operations naturally creates more support for the residents without adding to the cost of services. All heating and water utilities expense is included when renting one of these apartments. Each unit comes with a refrigerator, oven/stove, and air conditioner. In addition, tenants can utilize coin-operated laundry machines located in the basement. There are locked entrances in the front and back of the building with an intercom/buzzer system in place to communicate with visitors. Two carports with 4 stalls each are available for visitor and/or tenant parking and the building has a city bus stop located within 100 yards of the front door for easy community access. The building is located close to restaurants, shopping, parks, and the downtown entertainment district(s) of Green Bay.
As in our Supported Apartment Program, all individuals are assessed in a variety of ways to determine how to best meet their needs. During the first 30 days of participation (for individuals who start with ILS in an apartment), full supervision is suggested, with staff attending any scheduled outings. During this period, overnight outings are not typically scheduled. After these 30 days, levels of independence are determined, with development of the program plan and individual goals. Each resident has an agency Case Manager assigned. This person works as part of a team in developing program plans, curriculum, and assisting with individual tasks such as budgeting and planning activities. The Program Director (agency) supervises the Case Manager activities, hires and trains new staff, and provides overall management to programs. This person, in addition to the President, may meet with residents and staff, on a regular basis, to assure that individual rights are maintained, encouraged and to maintain quality programs. Direct staff are trained in behavioral and crisis interventions, communication skills, any special medical needs (diabetes, seizures), and participate in an ongoing training program administered both internally and outside of ILS. Staff are expected to work both with individuals and in small groups for activities. In every aspect, preparation for and active participation in community living is emphasized throughout programming. Positive choices, using good judgment and development of support services and systems are primary to successful transition to the community. The County Case Manager or an individual's Managed Care IDT Team plays an integral role in program development and preparing for movement to less restrictive environments or changes in level of staff involvement.