Lapham Park is a subsidized housing complex owned and operated by the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (Wisconsin). It was built in 1964 and has 200 units. In 1993, Lapham was designated as an elderly-only building. Presently, residents are 74% elderly; 96% African-American and 56% female. 74% of the residents are very low income, with a median annual income of only $7,553. Many of our elderly residents are frail and a number of them have disabilities: many of them in wheelchairs, many have vision or hearing loss, and some show early signs of Alzheimer’s.

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The Lapham Park Venture Presentation (requires Flash)
The idea for the Lapham Park Venture began as a result of requests from residents for more and improved services. Though many agencies provided care at Lapham, the service remained fragmented and inadequate. After considerable dialog among the involved agencies, a collaborative plan emerged. The goal of the plan for all participants is to maintain and improve the quality of life and housing stability for the residents of Lapham Park through the creative use of public and private funds. A secondary goal is to determine whether the model of a Continuing Care Retirement Community can be superimposed on a publicly-funded housing development to facilitate true "aging in place" for low-income seniors.
Housing Research Foundation's Best Practices features Lapham Park

Powering the Future: High-Performance Partnerships
(Link to National Academy of Public Administration Site Highlighting The Lapham Park Venture)

The major partners of the Venture include:

· The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM): Providing building space, remodeling and renovation, and liaison with the Resident Organization.

· Milwaukee County Department on Aging (MCDA): Providing a congregate meal site, transportation, case management, and funding for community-based long term care.

· S.E.T. Ministry, Inc.: Providing outreach, quality of life enhancement, and on-site staff for social service.

· Community Care Organization (CCO): Providing on-site medical care including primary care, therapy, prescription management, etc., through use of its Medicare/Medicaid Waiver.

· St. Mary’s Family Practice Clinic: Providing on-site physician services to residents referred by the other partners.

· Lapham Park Resident Organization: Provides assistance with outreach to the community and organizes social and community-building activities within the building.

These partners have invited and integrated the services of other agencies into the plan. Characteristics of this joint collaboration include:
  • Thinking outside the box, i.e., doing things in different ways.
  • Mutual information sharing and risk taking.
  • Breaking down of traditional agency barriers/territories.
  • Reallocation of each agency’s resources with minimum start-up costs.
  • Resident-centered approach.
  • Collaboration between the public and private sector
The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee is an equal opportunity housing provider and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, handicap, lawful source of income, marital status, family status or sexual orientation.