Bridgeway eliminates rent subsidy for mental health consumers

(Plain Press, November 2006) In a cost cutting move by mental health services provider Bridgeway, 19 mental health consumers in Bridgeway’s Community Living Program are losing a $100 per month rent subsidy. Nancy Peppler, a spokesperson for Community Care Network, which oversees budgetary matters for Bridgeway, says the subsidy will be reduced by $20 per month over a five-month period that began in October.

Peppler says the subsidy was something that Bridgeway subsidized out of its general operating budget. “I like to say we could continue to do this. But we can’t at this time, “ said Peppler. The rent subsidy, Peppler believes, was started 12 to 15 years ago.  She said providing the subsidy “was not an expectation of the Cuyahoga County Mental Health Board in its contract with Bridgeway.”

Participants in the Community Living Program live in their own apartments and receive case management services from Bridgeway, says Peppler. She said the case managers would explore other potential rent subsidy programs that might help these individuals.

Peppler said all of Cuyahoga County’s mental health service providers are struggling. She said Bridgeway was attempting to streamline some programs. She stressed the importance of passing the Health and Human Services Levy Issue 19.

Asked if the rent subsidy would be restored if Issue 19 passed, Peppler said she couldn’t commit to that but said, “Philosophically it would be something Bridgeway would be for.”

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