Last month, Rebuilding Together Twin Cities staff and our friends from St. Catherine University traveled to Duluth for the 2015 Age and Disabilities Odyssey. Through our partnership with the Occupational Therapy Program at St. Kate’s, we collaborate on service-learning projects that involve graduate occupational therapy (OT) students evaluating the homes of low-income older adults and individuals living with a disability for safety. Students then make recommendations for modifications designed to reduce the risk of falls and other injuries. Our volunteers make the modifications that are within the scope of our programs. This partnership provides students with a hands-on learning experience that enables them to directly work with low-income clients and provides the homeowners we help with more comprehensive accessibility modification services that are truly tailored to their individual needs. With the support of a grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, we recently expanded our partnership with St. Kate’s to create and implement an assessment tool in order to measure the effectiveness of our services and adjust them, as needed, to better align with the needs of our clients. The Age and Disabilities Odyssey gave us an opportunity to share some of the findings of our collaborative efforts with a broader audience.
Our Development Officer Brent Suski, who has been instrumental in expanding this partnership, said, “The Odyssey was a great opportunity for Rebuilding Together Twin Cities and St. Catherine University to celebrate and share the great work that we have been doing throughout the Twin Cities to keep homeowners safe and independent in their homes. We had the opportunity to make many connections with service providers throughout Minnesota.”
We are proud of our partnerships with St. Kate’s and the Minnesota Department of Human Services and look forward to continuing to work together to help low-income homeowners who are older adults or are living with a disability age-in-place successfully and live more safely and independently in their homes!