|Local RSC organizations|
|VRSC is a professional group dedicated to providing educational and peer support to individuals and organizations offering resident service coordination in housing across Vermont. VRSC holds quarterly meetings and special training opportunities for members.|
|NERSC represents the largest regional collaborative of RSCs in New England. More than 350 RSCs and other affiliated professionals attend NERSC's annual spring conference, reflecting diverse housing and social service backgrounds.|
For many residents of affordable rental housing, the role of supportive services is critical to maintaining independence and self-sufficiency. By working with tenants to identify their needs and desires, resident service coordinators (RSCs) help them link to appropriate supportive services in their community.
Through education, information and referral, family education and support and service coordination, RSCs help not only the tenant, but their family, housing managers and community service providers.
Many individuals may need assistance with the more burdensome tasks of daily living, but have difficulty finding, understanding or paying for the desired service. RSCs work with tenants to identify such needs and procure the supportive services. This assistance allows the tenant to continue to live independently for a longer period of time.
RSCs do not attempt to replace existing human services or the care offered by friends or relatives. Informal support networks, such as family and friends, account for 75 to 80 percent of the care that people receive. While such informal support networks can help to combat common problems, too much reliance on this form of assistance may not adequately meet the needs of the individual and may put an intolerable strain on the caregivers, particularly if they themselves are elderly. RSCs supplement, rather than replace, this support network.
The isolation created by unmet supportive service needs may contribute to poor health, alcoholism, and abuse of prescribed medications. This may result in property damage and life-threatening situations. When a manager encounters a situation he or she believes is inappropriate to resolve themselves, resident service coordination can help. It is designed to alleviate management of the burden of direct care and services. By shifting this responsibility to service professionals, potentially dangerous situations may be recognized and resolved before there's a need for crisis intervention.
The challenge of successfully meeting the needs of tenants is especially formidable in states like Vermont. The state’s rural nature, the small size of typical housing developments, geographic constraints, and inclement weather combine to make service delivery difficult.
Through RSCs, efficiencies of scale can help make service delivery more productive. RSCs can also help service providers improve their understanding of housing issues and relationships with housing managers.