CalAIM Stories – PneumaCare In Colusa County Making a Difference…

CalAIM Stories – PneumaCare In Colusa County Making a Difference…

CalAIM Stories:

PneumaCare in Colusa County Making a difference, one neighbor at a time.

Esperanza clutched the white sheet of paper as waves of fear washed over her. An eviction notice! How could this be happening? She shuddered as she wondered where she and Miguel, her 7-year-old son with a disability, would live now. They had moved to Colusa three years earlier at the invitation of a family friend, Diego, who wanted to sublease his apartment to her. Esperanza and Miguel were making a good life for themselves in the small California farm town. She had found work, and Miguel was doing better in school.

Esperanza trusted Diego and faithfully paid him $900 for rent, plus extra for electricity, every month for three years. Diego even helped her through the process of buying a pickup. She didn’t question when he advised her to put the pickup in his name so he could help her manage the registration. But just a few days before, she received the eviction notice, Diego had slipped into her apartment and left a note. “I’m sorry, I have to leave. May God bless you. I’m taking your truck.”

And the eviction was looming. It came about when the landlord’s assistant found out about the sublease, violation of his rental agreement. After receiving the notice, Esperanza reached out to the county, who directed her to PneumaCare. But there was one small hope. Maybe, just maybe, PneumaCare could help. The program, led by Executive Director and Pastor Jason McMullan, provides CalAIM.(California Advancing and Innovating
Medi-Cal, services). The county staff gave Esperanza a flyer with contact information. It was a rainy Monday morning in mid-April when Esperanza arrived at the PneumaCare office, evictionnotice in hand, Case Manager Cenza Mehr remembers.

“She was crying, shaking and distraught.” Community Health Worker Veronica Jimenez sat down with Esperanza to listen to her story. And that’s when everything changed. Miguel qualified for CalAIM services through California Health & Wellness, a Medi-Cal managed care plan in Colusa County and corporate sister plan to Health Net. PneumaCare could provide Housing Transition Navigation Services to help Esperanza and Miguel keep their apartment. Things were looking up for the family. But there was still one obstacle. The landlord’s assistant was adamant that Esperanza and Miguel move out by the end of the month.

Apartments in Colusa were very hard to find. Cenza, who attends church with the landlord, met with him to share all that Esperanza and Miguel had been through. “I am not evicting this single mother and her son,” he replied. And he wouldn’t require a deposit, either. Esperanza was shocked to learn that the rent was $575 … a third less than what she had been paying Diego. The family also qualified for CalAIM Housing Tenancy and Sustaining Services. Veronica helped Esperanza set up for electricity and will continue to help with her lease. Esperanza and Miguel are secure in their home now, and Veronica and Cenza couldn’t be happier. Veronica said… “It was one of the greatest feelings that, through the grace of God, this neighbor was able mto have someone advocate for her.” “Especially with the language barrier, that she has a roof over herhead and is able to care for her child.” “I’m grateful to have a program in place that has the ability to do that for her and others in her situation.”

Thank you, Cenza, Veronica, and PneumaCare, for making a difference in Esperanza and Miguel’s lives. Thank you, PneumaCare in Colusa County Making a difference, one neighbor at a time.


Post By Dora Barilla

President and Co-Founder of HC² Strategies, Dora Barilla is a Doctor of Public Health and a national thought leader in community health transformation. She is a passionate advocate for meaningful system and policy change that leads to better health outcomes for the most vulnerable populations through innovation, partnership, and strategies.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *