VOACC Receives $5,000 Mental Health Resiliency Grant from Community Foundation of Howard County 

VOACC Contact: Nicholle Granger

January 8, 2023 | columbia, md

Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas is delighted to announce that we received a $5,000 Mental Health Resiliency Grant from the Community Foundation of Howard County. This grant will significantly impact our Leola Dorsey Community Resource Center & Residences in Jessup, MD, offering expanded opportunities for the 36 formerly homeless residents to participate in enriching community activities. 

The adults we house and serve at Leola Dorsey have faced chronic homelessness, often compounded by physical disabilities, mental health challenges, and substance use disorders. Overcoming these obstacles and the associated traumas is a complex journey, and many individuals find themselves isolated, struggling to adapt and cope with the ongoing challenges that hinder their long-term rehabilitation and independence. 

Participation in community activities is a vital aspect of improving mental health and well-being for our residents. These activities foster positive connections, instill a sense of belonging, and contribute significantly to their overall recovery. 

“The more someone is connected to their community, the more they are able to thrive. Participation in community engagement produces an improvement of physical, social, and mental well-being. In general, partaking in community events and activities fortifies social support networks, improves mental/physical health, self-esteem, and personal growth, which is why the Mental Health Resiliency Grant from the Community Foundation of Howard County is advantageous to residents at Leola Dorsey Community Resource Center.”

Dr. Green-Stroman, Director, Maryland Housing and Homeless Services

“There has been a marked improvement in the mental welfare of Leola Dorsey residents since we’ve started regular outings in the community. You can feel it as soon as you walk in the building and when you talk to residents about what they like about the services offered by VOACC, they invariably mention the field trips!”

Mrs. Jennifer Dunson, Case Manager, Leona Dorsey Community Resource Center & Residences

Since 2017, Leola Dorsey has provided 35 apartments for permanent housing along with comprehensive supportive services. Acknowledging that housing is just the initial step towards long-term independence, our program delivers ongoing support, including access to mental health and substance use recovery services, assistance with public benefits and job resources, community engagement opportunities, life skills training, and more. 

To learn more about the Leola Dorsey Community Resource Center & Residences, visit: www.voachesapeake.org/leola-dorsey.

About the Community Foundation of Howard County 

For more than 50 years, the Community Foundation of Howard County has served as a knowledgeable, trusted partner that forges connections between donors and nonprofit organizations to provide impactful investments in Howard County. Since 2020, the foundation has awarded more than $6.5 million through more than 1,000 grants to organizations delivering human service, arts and cultural, educational and civic programs.

Funds to support grant programs come primarily from income generated by the foundation’s endowment supported by more than 365 funds established by Howard County businesses, families and individuals. For more information, visit CFHoCo.org or call 410-730-7840. 

About Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas

Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas (“VOACC”) is a faith-based, nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire self-reliance, dignity, and hope through housing, health and human services.

At VOACC, we have been helping to create Healthy Communities for All for over 127 years by aligning housing, health and human services. We actively pursue health equity by filling the gap in housing and care for underserved populations, including those who are experiencing homelessness, low-income, underinsured or uninsured, justice-involved and veterans. By offering integrated housing and care, we address the social determinants that impact the long-term stability for those in need.

Through a dedicated team of management, staff and volunteers who are guided by our Core Values – Visionary, One Body, Integrity, Compassion, Excellence, and Faith – we are the safety net for thousands of men, women and children each year across Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia and the Carolinas. We operate over 49 programs focused on 8 areas of service: homeless services, affordable housing, mental health, substance use recovery, intellectual/developmental disabilities services, community re-entry, veteran services and workforce development.

VOACC has over 900 staff members and more than 2,000 volunteers. The organization helps over 10,600 individuals and families every year from Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia and the Carolinas. For more information on VOACC, please visit www.voachesapeake.org.

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