Prairieland: Serving More Individuals through Square 1

Prairieland Service Coordination, Inc.  has a mission to provide lifespan individual service coordination to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Prairieland helps people receive the assistance they need, want, and deserve to navigate daily living and to connect people with disabilities to their community. They provide services in 23 Illinois counties and serve over 5,000 individuals annually.

The state of Illinois has a limited amount of money available to distribute through a waiver system. While the intention is to help as many people as possible, the reality is that not everyone who seeks their services is eligible for the program. For those who did not meet the eligibility requirements for the state programs, Prairieland referred them to other programs, but many of the individual’s needing assistance do not have the capacity to follow up and would fall through the cracks.

Rather than throwing their hands up in frustration, Prairieland decided to act. How could they bridge the gap between families who needed help to existing services in their community? The answer: Square 1. This program, funded by private donations, United Way, the Community Foundation, as well as other foundations, bridges that gap through Program Advocates who walk individuals through the steps to access services: from researching available options to completing paperwork and ensuring transportation is in place. Services can include anything from housing, employment and food assistance to childcare, social justice, and legal aid. Program Advocates will follow up with individuals on a regular cadence to ensure no additional resources are necessary.

To manage the Square 1 program, Prairieland needed a technology platform to do the following:

  • Track basic demographic information
  • Track guardianship information
  • Track consent information
  • View relationships, so they can see a network of support

Prairieland partnered with Provisio to build this solution on the Salesforce platform. Through Salesforce, Prairieland can collect all the data they need, create referrals, take progress notes, and receive reminders for follow ups.

Salesforce, and the great folks at Provisio Partners, gave us the flexibility and support to create exactly what we needed to start the Square 1 Program, said Helen Michelassi, Prairieland Executive Director.

From their beginnings, Prairieland’s goal has been to help people with disabilities receive the assistance they need. The Square 1 program allows them to support more people in the community to ensure that their needs, hopes and dreams are supported, and they can live their best life possible.

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