The Source to Expand Mental Health Program thanks to two Substantial Grants “Changing Compassion into Action”
Two local foundations have recognized that The Source has nearly 30 years of experience in serving individuals experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness as a qualified organization to manage the current mental health counseling to the new Dignity Wellness (DW) project. The Source has recently been awarded the 2023 Impact 100 grant of $100,000 and an additional $12,000 from the Grand Harbor Community Outreach Foundation to accomplish these goals in providing mental health counseling to the homeless, mental health first aid to assess and identify the need and respond accordingly, and to supply outreach into the community to increase awareness and reduce the sigma of mental health.
According to Anthony Zorbaugh, Executive Director of The Source, “These gifts are life transformational for our organization. Providing Mental Health for our members to move out of homelessness will have a major impact in our community, and the support from organizations such as Impact 100 and the Grand Harbor Community Outreach Foundation will be the foundation of our success in doing all that.”
It’s been slightly over two years since The Source launched mental health programs and services for their members who were suffering from significant issues and having nowhere to turn for help. After organizing and implementing a solid mental health component, under the leadership of Charlene Morris, licensed Mental Health (LMHC) and Certified Addiction Professional, a three phase plan had been developed and successfully implemented. The plan dealt with varied components including business coaching for The Source employees, transitioning the new members into the Dining with Dignity Program, and providing full-service sessions for all members entering the building which began with a personal needs assessment and interview.
“As we have watched the success of our programs through the growth of our members, we assessed that the present mental health services showed a necessity to transition from our twice-a-week counseling services for individuals experiencing a crisis and start a new full-service program we have named “Dignity Wellness” shares Anthony Zorbaugh, Executive Director of The Source. “With Charlene Morris at the helm of the transformation, and with the addition of two very generous donations from local foundations, the Dignity Wellness program will soon provide mental health and wellness services daily to meet the needs of Source members.”
Ms. Morris shares, “The program will also include the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training will be offered to all staff and volunteers to identify, understand and respond to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. Additionally, The Source will offer the MHFA program to give members of the public key sills to help a person developing or experiencing a mental health crisis. Dignity Wellness will host lunch and learns for members of The Source, along with quarterly seminars and community events to provide education, increased awareness and reduce the mental health stigma. Our new initiative will ultimately help our members move towards employment mobility, healthy lifestyles and sustainable mental well-being.”
While each phase of the Mental Health Counseling, the universal thread that holds true is care and understanding, while finding the solution for each individual that can change their automatic reaction to what is happening to them and why. It’s about giving people the opportunity to get comfortable, peeling back the layers while taking off the band aid from the wound that initially drew them to The Source. The Source gives options, alternatives, new ways of thinking, and helping people out of homelessness rather than perpetuating it. It is about creating a space where people can make an income, feel honored and dignified within a community, working together, on every level that can eventually help them to return to their lives.
Receiving the $100,000 grant form Impact 100, left to right, Charlene Morris (The Source) Mary Ellen McCarthy (Impact) and Anthony Zorbaugh (The Source)
Right; $12,000 grant award left to right, Grant Writer Robin Herow, Susanne and Doug Sweeny (Gand Harbor), Tony Zorbaugh and Charlene Morris (The Source)