Lionel’s story began when he moved to Rockville. Living on his own was his goal, but his eyesight made it tough, and that’s where Independence Now came into the picture. He was connected with me through his social worker. As a Public Health Specialist, I was ready to help him as much as I could to fulfill his goal.
At first, Lionel needed to see a doctor. But his health insurance was a bit tricky, and many doctors didn’t accept it. I did some research and started making calls to find a doctor who would work with Lionel’s insurance. It took some time, but I was able to do it. Lionel now had a Primary Care Physician.
But there was more to do. Lionel needed to see some special doctors for his eyes and other health issues. Finding them was hard, but Lionel and I didn’t give up. We had a meeting in person, and during this meeting, we called Lionel’s insurance company together. We asked for a list of doctors who would take Lionel’s insurance. Success! The insurance representative and I found the right doctors and set up appointments.
As we spent time together, Lionel told me about his transportation troubles. So, I helped Lionel apply for Metro Access. He is still waiting for the approval of his application. Upon approval, it will be much easier for him to get around. I also found information about bus routes that Lionel could use to get to his doctor’s appointments, which gave Lionel more freedom.
Lionel informed me that he had a device that could help him read, but he didn’t know how to use it. So, I connected him with our Assistive Technology Specialist, who can teach him how to use it.
But the story didn’t stop at doctors and reading. I helped Lionel get important papers, like his social security benefit letter, which he needed for extra help from another organization. I even found a lawyer to help Lionel with his immigration issues. He once told me he was having trouble with his tax file, so I gave him the phone number of the IRS, as I am not an expert in this area.
Finding a stable and affordable place to live was also important. I guided Lionel on how to get on the HOC list for housing. And to stay connected, I told him about the Affordable Connectivity Program, where he could get the internet at a good price. I also gave Lionel a phone number to call a local agent who could help him sign up for Medicaid.
Then again, it wasn’t just about health and housing. I also encouraged Lionel to join an online event called “Lighting your Path.” This will help him become more social and connect with his community.
As Lionel’s story continued, he felt more independent and confident. With each step, we found new opportunities, made Lionel more independent, and helped him feel supported. Lionel’s journey with Independence Now is a lesson in what public health is all about—helping people in every way, giving them tools not just to take care of their health but their well-being as well.