Newsletter – September 2017

September 2017
In This Issue
A home is the foundation for recovery from homelessness, mental illness and substance addiction, which often go hand in hand. Integral Care helps adults living with mental illness and substance use disorder rebuild and maintain their mental and physical health.

National Recovery Month

September is National Recovery Month, a nation-wide observance promoting the benefits of prevention, treatment and recovery for substance use and mental disorders.  It is a time to recognize the power of recovery through treatment and mental health services, and combat the stigmatization and myths surrounding substance use disorder and mental health.  With available treatment and services, it allows a path to recovery and for our community to live healthy and productive lives.
National Recovery Month is not only a time to recognize and celebrate those in recovery, but also the community and providers that support the process.  This year, the theme for National Recovery Month is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities,” which emphasizes the importance of having family and community support to encourage paths to recovery.
Our team is here to help. Integral Care’s 24/7 Helpline provides around the clock support.

 Incredible Teamwork During Harvey Disaster Response 

Hurricane Harvey impacted our neighbors in Houston and along the Texas coast. Austin stepped up to help our fellow Texans by hosting hundreds of evacuees. As Travis County’s behavioral health first responders during this disaster, Integral Care staff worked around the clock to provide mental health support. KVUE covered the developing story of Hurricane Harvey and its traumatic effect on evacuees and first responders. Check out our own Dr. Kathleen Casey, Director of Clinical Innovation and Development, talking about the importance of mental health care during a crisis.
Extreme stress caused by a crisis like Harvey can trigger mental health concerns, such as an episode of psychosis. Individuals may even develop PTSD. Left untreated, these and other conditions may lead to homelessness, and homelessness itself can exacerbate chronic medical conditions or lead to debilitating substance use problems. At the most extreme, a person can become chronically homeless when his or her health condition becomes disabling and stable housing is too difficult to maintain without help. 
There is still work to be done, and Integral Care is here to help, providing much needed support for Harvey evacuees and the recovery effort.

Meet the Staff: Ruth Ahearn

We recently met with Ruth Ahearn, LMFT, at our Dove Springs Clinic.  She is our Community Rehabilitation and Treatment Program Manager with the Healthy Community Collaborative.

Tell us about your role at Integral Care.

I am one of three Program Managers for the Healthy Community Collaborative. I manage the Rehabilitation Specialists on the Community Recovery Team – ten Rehabilitation Specialists, an LPHA Team Lead, and a new site based case manager at the Oak Creek Apartments.

What does the Community Recovery Team do?

We work with people in their homes and in the community, visiting a minimum of once a week. The people served by our team are individuals who were chronically homeless and now live in permanent supportive housing.  In addition to a home, we provide mental health care, supportive employment and training in living skills.

Housing First in the News

Mayor Steve Adler is proposing an innovative new plan that would yield an overall $30 million in capital funding for more housing or shelters for Austin’s homeless population.

From Community Impact Article:
Ellen Richards, Chief Strategy Officer at Integral Care, which provides services to homeless individuals with brain-based disorders, said the city needs more affordable permanent supportive housing to achieve the city’s “housing first” model, which seeks to place a permanent roof over one’s head before addressing issues such as employment or health.
“Probably our most significant barrier is the lack of housing,” she said, adding once Integral Care has declared a client eligible for permanent supportive housing, he or she must wait three to six months before being housed.

Read more about the Mayor’s plan here.


Home Depot Foundation Grant
Integral Care recently received a $200,000 grant from The Home Depot Foundation. Their generous support will help cover hard construction costs for Housing First Oak Springs, our 50-unit permanent supportive housing facility with 25 units reserved for veterans. The 25 veteran units will be supported through HUD/VASH vouchers.

The Home Depot Foundation grants millions of dollars annually to nonprofit partners across the country whose programs focus on ending veteran homelessness, creating housing for our most critically wounded veterans, and ensuring that aging veterans have a safe place to call home. Through Team Depot, their associate-led volunteer force, volunteers devote thousands of hours each year to building and repairing homes for those who have served. They’re dedicated to giving back to those who have already given so much for our country, and with more than 35,000 veteran associates, taking care of veterans is personal.

New website
Integral Care is proud to announce our new website redesign.  We have worked hard to make this site more accessible for the clients we serve.

Backyard Story Night

Join us at Backyard Story Night. Hosted at Cheer Up Charlies, this story-telling event has chosen Housing First Oak Springs as its beneficiary on this special night. We hope to see you there.
Sunday, October 8 at 7-9:30 PM 
Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River Street

Learn more.

We know that housing is more than four walls. It’s the basic foundation for mental health and well-being. I invite you to be a part of the solution at


Ellen Richards
Chief Strategy Officer
Integral Care
Housing First Oak Springs is a project of Integral Care