It all began in 2015, The Cleveland Clergy Alliance in partnership with the Cuyahoga County Division of Senior and Adult Services conducted a study to better understand the current needs and/or concerns of seniors and adults with disabilities within a broad range of faith-based organizations.
The purpose was to assist the organizations to identify service gaps whereas the information can be used to plan, collaborate and advocate to address and meet the unmet needs of seniors and adults with disabilities in Cuyahoga County. The CCDSAS and the CCA team learned that a surprising number of seniors were unaware of the major services and programs available in the County. The primary problem was not that the programs and services did not exist, but too many of them were not aware of these resources. Furthermore, even with knowledge of availability, they seem unaware of eligibility requirements and who to call for assistance.
The Cleveland Clergy Alliance in partnership with the Cuyahoga County Division of Senior and Adult Services, are working collaboratively to Connect Seniors to Services, a coordinated programming initiative funded through the Health and Human Services Levy. Community Navigators will assist seniors by removing barriers, inclusive of: medical, insurance, transportation, dental, mental health, financial literacy, housing, food deprivation, and any unidentified unmet needs that will delineate in accessing available programs and services; breaking the cycle of social isolation; and preparing pre-retires to navigate the systems that will support them age safely in their communities with dignity and respect. Navigators will also observe each individual for any signs of neglect, self-neglect, or abuse for referral to the Cuyahoga County Division of Senior and Adult Services (DSAS) and Senior Adult Protective Services (APS).