Alpha Supported Living Services Programs
24 hours a day/7 days a week staffing excellence in Alpha's 30 homes
In a field plagued by challenges to recruit and retain qualified staff, ASLS is proud of an exceptionally low turnover rate: 16.8% compared to the state average of 36%. The award-winning staff who work with our clients demonstrate caring, respect, and skill, providing the highest quality support, empowering choices, and encouraging individuality. Nothing is better for Alpha's 95 clients than consistent interaction with people and professionals they know and trust. Says mother/guardian Anne, "To walk into an organization that really understands best practices and implements best practice as a manner of life, that's incredible. I felt really, really good the first time I walked into Fountain House. I have looked at many other homes and agencies, and I did not get the same feeling. I watched the interactions between staff and my son, between staff and other residents. I knew when I came here this is where I wanted Mitchell to be. Alpha Supported Living Services made my dreams come true for Mitch."
Focus on clients' personal and professional development
Every client has a person-centered plan reflecting personal growth benchmarks. Support to achieve such benchmarks spans health services; teaching of daily living, workplace, and personal care skills; financial management; counseling for maintaining healthy relationships; and transportation to employment, appts. etc. In the past two years documentation of clients' goal progress has increased by over 250%. With an emphasis on community integration and inclusion, Alpha is the conduit for every kind of client activity. At the end of 2011, we added a position, Community Projects Specialist, to stay ahead of the curve and address the decrease in government-funded services that promote client commmunity activities. This full-time position focuses on forging sustainable community partnerships to foster client community integration. As a result of this focus, neighbors, colleagues, and friends respect these individuals as active, contributing community members and purveyors of intangible gifts of optimism and unwavering inspiration.
Comprehensive health services
The ASLS clinical team now includes a full-time nurse for even greater quality assurance in holistic client care. Clients attend over 1,000 appointments annually for medical, dental, and various hygiene related needs. Medical and dental appointments have seen a 43% leap due to Alpha's growth. 98% of Alpha's clients require daily medications. Also, ASLS is among few agencies equipped to care for clients in their homes through end of life while dealing with aging issues and/or terminal illnesses, a vital support service for clients and their loved ones.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
ASLS completed 2 successful mergers (2006-2009) resulting in unprecedented growth (from a $2.5 million budget in 2006 serving 30 clients, to a 2011 budget of $9.5 million serving 95 clients) while becoming the largest non-profit agency of its kind in Washington State.
Three Alpha Management Team staff members, including the CEO, earned statewide awards in 2008 and 2009 for leadership excellence.
Alpha was one of two agencies chosen to create a complementary installation in early 2011 for the national touring exhibition, The Willard Suitcases: The Lives They Left Behind featured at the University of Washington Jan.-Mar. 2011. With 40% of Alpha's clients having once lived in an institutional setting, our display explored contrasts between institutional living and community-based homes. Such a moment allowed Alpha to spotlight The Supreme Court's 1999 Olmstead decision affirming the right of all individuals with disabilities to live in the community and point out discrepancies between states in enforcing such a decision. Washington lags behind with a rank of 15th in the nation for the highest number of individuals with developmental disabilities being institutionalized. Alpha will continue to promote the benefits of community-based residential support for people with developmental disabilities.
Alpha continues to grow its earned income streams. In one year, at the urging of Social Security personnel, the agency has built a representative payee program that now serves over 30 clients outside our regular client base.
ASLS strives to continue its industry leadership and be the first agency of its kind in Washington to implement CareTracker, a groundbreaking, innovative, home-based documentation system designed to deepen the quality of client care, increase client time out in the community, and achieve the highest standards in staff compliance and accountability into all 30 Alpha homes. The system's wall-mounted touch screens are a bold solution to a critical industry challenge of developing a more proactive, performance-based approach for managing client care and daily activities. Alpha is currently fundraising for this $200K project, having already received a $40,000 Seed Grant from the Employees Community Fund of Boeing to provide vital leverage for the project. Alpha intends to help replicate the system once it is fully implemented and tested within Alpha's operations.