A community-based group home center named Watson’s Healthcare will be established in Montgomery, Alabama. Watson’s Healthcare will focus on providing educational, recreational, vocational, and therapeutic services to people with intellectual disabilities, mental illness, and other disabling conditions, especially those from extremely low-income areas. These services will ensure that each person can succeed at their optimal potential and have access to all rights afforded to them as full citizens. It is expected that through providing these resources to these individuals, it will be possible to have a direct and positive effect on the well-being of the community. Furthermore, Watson’s Healthcare will create additional jobs, provide opportunities for the youth, and host seasonal community events.
Watson’s Healthcare will utilize volunteers who are students at Alabama State University. Each student will be expected to successfully participate in a 4-week training program at the beginning of their work with Watson’s Healthcare. This training program will provide basic education information on caring for individuals with varied disabilities. Each student volunteer will be expected to contribute 3-5 hours each week and will continue working with Watson’s Healthcare for a period of not less than six months. Watson’s Healthcare will operate with six full-time and two part-time staff members. In addition, a Governing Board made up of community leaders and staff from State Mental Health organizations will operate to provide overall sanctioning of the center’s operation. Periodic evaluations will be conducted to assess the value of Watson’s Healthcare on:
- Helping student volunteers to become effective nurses, therapists, and social workers
- Improvement of the well-being of disabled persons from disadvantaged communities in Montgomery, Alabama
Statement of Problem
A severe problem exists in the community of Montgomery, AL of people with mental illness, intellectual, and developmental disabilities not being properly cared for. Some families are unable to provide adequate care due to varied reasons and some people have been abandoned by their families. Alabama has 16.9% of the United States’ disability population (Statista, 2019). Although there are several organizations providing care and resources, the increase of people experiencing issues far outweighs the capacity of available care. There is a high unmet need for care among people with disabilities due to unavailability of services, especially in extremely low-income areas. The number of people living with disabilities is increasing, partly due to aging populations and increased chronic conditions. Research has shown that people with mental illness and intellectual/developmental disabilities can experience an improved quality of life with access to inclusive and adequate care.
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