ICAN’s Evelyn’s House Program Receives $90,000 Grant from Excellus to Address Maternal Health Disparities

ICAN and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recently announced the receipt of the Excellus BCBS Member and Community Health Improvement (MACHI) grant to support Evelyn’s House — ICAN’s joint transitional and rapid rehousing program for homeless women, aged 16-24, who are pregnant and/or parenting.

This round of Excellus BCBS MACHI grants focused on improving maternal health and health equity in Upstate New York.

Eight non-profit organizations in the health plan’s 39 county service area will share $1 million in grant funding over the next three years. Evelyn’s House has been awarded a $90,000 grant ($60,000 for year one, $15,000 for years two and three) which will support comprehensive prenatal and postpartum care, transitional housing, and a supportive peer community for young homeless women who are pregnant and/or parenting.

The core components that will be supported through the grant are:

Evelyn’s House Transitional Shelter — Located in Utica, this shelter is available to young women (ages 16-24) and their children from across Upstate New York who are homeless, pregnant or parenting and in need of support.

The shelter is open and staffed 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Intensive, Wraparound Case Management — While at Evelyn’s House, young mothers receive intensive case management, including evidence-based parenting classes and other resources to prepare them for employment, nutrition, health and wellness plans, mental health treatment and obtainment of permanent housing.

Peer Support — ICAN has a significant history in employing and utilizing peer specialists. Past Evelyn’s House residents will be trained to work as peers, bringing their unique expertise, important perspective, and deep commitment to supporting women who are facing issues similar to those they previously navigated themselves.

ICAN will assist them with credentialing so they can gain marketable skills for future employment.

Nurturing Parenting Program Access — Two staff members will be trained to become nurturing parenting program (NPP) facilitators and the program will be fully integrated for residents on a weekly basis. NPP is a national, evidence-based, culturally-inclusive and trauma-informed program that is proven to prevent recidivism in families receiving social services, lower the rate of multi-parent teenage pregnancies, reduce the rate of juvenile delinquency and alcohol abuse, and stop the intergenerational cycle of child abuse by teaching positive parenting behaviors.

Top image — FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Shayna Keller, Excellus BCBS community investments and partnerships manager; Rosetta St. Peter, Evelyn’s House housing director; Lisa Reginelli, ICAN director of transitional services; Allison Jackson, ICAN chief program officer; Eve Van de Wal, Excellus BCBS regional president; and Steven Bulger, ICAN CEO and executive director.