The year 2017 has been an extraordinary one for I-PLUS—marked by both significant transition and renewed purpose to help our clients achieve the goal of independent and positive living.
Our year started with a search for new leadership as the organization began thinking about how best to focus our resources in the midst of budget cuts. Even with tightened budgets, we also desired to step up our outreach to the community while continuing to serve our diverse client base. We knew I-PLUS needed a dynamic and committed Executive Director to achieve these ambitious goals and we began our search for an exceptional individual.
After brainstorming, the Board of Directors realized we had the right person already on staff and decided to promote Felicia Holland to the position of Executive Director.
Ms. Holland started her career at I-PLUS as a client advisor 2010 and has held many a stylish hat since she started. In addition to her skill, personal strength and determination, Ms. Holland has deep compassion for those with mental health challenges. Yet she also exercises a remarkable combination of discernment, patience and tough mindedness when dealing with individuals who need clear direction and guidance to remain on the path to independent living.
We are so glad she’s on the I-PLUS team and has taken on this new leadership role. In fact, our champion Pat Lynch was the one who recommended Ms. Holland for the Executive Director role.
Sadly our beloved Pat Lynch transitioned on September 27, 2017 after a brave fight with cancer. And anyone who knew Pat Lynch knows full well that she put up a tremendous fight! She will always be an example and inspiration, demonstrating how much difference a little moxy and a big heart can make.
Pat Lynch was the heart and soul of this organization, and on behalf of everyone on the Board of Directors, our staff and all our clients, we want to thank Pat for her tough love, kindness, support and passion for the homeless. We miss you Pat every day and we miss you very, very much.
Many great things are in store for I-PLUS in 2018. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. We ask that you stay involved and stay connected with I-PLUS. Together we are making a POSITIVE difference.
Kind regards, Lee Frantz
President, I-PLUS Board of Directors
I-PLUS provided fiduciary agent (veteran beneficiaries) and / or representative payee (Social Security beneficiary) services to 179 low income, formerly homeless individuals, who were referred to I-PLUS through various social service agencies based on their past history of chronic homelessness in 2017.
I-PLUS directly manages our clients government benefits with 53% of clients consisting of veterans and 43% consisting of disabled Social Security clients. Our veteran clients are served at Lovell Federal Medical Center (67 clients) and at Hines Veterans Administration Hospital (28 clients).
About 99.5 % of I-PLUS clients are considered disabled through the Veterans Administration or Social Security and 89% struggle with mental health diagnoses and/or a history of substance abuse, making this population one of the hardest to assist with maintaining stable housing.
Depending on their level of disability, the vast majority of our clients are mandated by the Veterans Administration, Social Security or the court system to work with an organization like I-PLUS to ensure that their benefits are appropriately managed.
As with homeless trends nationally, the majority of I-PLUS clients are male. About one-fifth of our clients are female, while the remainder identify as male. This category may change next year as we have clients in 2018 with different gender classifications.