City View and Overdene
Stepping Stones has two community apartment complexes which are considered “supervised” settings. Supervised apartment living is available for 15 men at “City View” and for 14 women at “Overdene.” As is true in the supervised group homes, staff is on site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Clients transition from the group home level of care to these one-bedroom supervised apartments once they’ve demonstrated ability to receive mental health services in a less restrictive environment.
City View and Overdene each have a Rehabilitation Supervisor, a Program Manager, several Mental Health Professionals and two Rehabilitative Services Associates. Individualized mental health treatment includes psychiatric services, mental health case management, community support services, counseling, crisis intervention, linkage and referral services. Not only is congregate cooking now a thing of the past, those who have transitioned from a group home to a supervised apartment complex soon learn that grocery shopping for one is a lot different than grocery shopping for eight! Having your own bathroom as well as your own living room brings much motivation to keep up the hard work in the recovery process.
Residents at City View and Overdene complete weekly chores, cook for themselves, maintain an apartment, attend community activities and continue efforts to build independence while addressing symptoms of mental illness. Staff and clients work together to ensure entitlements are in place, medical needs are met and opportunities of choice are sought. Supervised apartment clients are encouraged to attend psychosocial and community support groups, schedule their own appointments, seek employment, go to school or volunteer in the community. They are responsible for the creation of a weekly calendar, menu and grocery list. Use of public transportation is encouraged as part of building independence. In time, clients begin to keep their own med box as opposed to using medication cards. The length of stay in a supervised apartment depends on individual need and on progress during recovery efforts.
Visitors to the site must be pre-arranged with the site’s program manager. With approval, clients may have cars at this level of care. All Stepping Stones apartments are non-smoking, as the agency follows the Illinois Smoke Free law. The use of e-cigarettes or vapor cigarettes is not allowed in the apartment setting; clients and staff use the designated smoking areas outside of the building.
As wonderful as the supervised apartment environment is, the goal of living in the least restrictive environment remains in place. The next stop: supported apartment living!