VOACC awarded $4 million dollars to provide whole-person care to DC

Contact: Nicholle Granger

November 7, 2022 Washington, DC

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has awarded Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolina’s VOA Hope Center a $4 million grant for 4 years ($1 million per year) to provide vital services to address primary care, mental health, and substance use for people across the District of Columbia.

VOACC was one of 151 national Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Planning, Development, and Implementation grants funded guaranteeing the money each year through 2026.

"This funding will help support VOACC in the creation of services, partnerships and systems that provide integrated behavioral health services now and the future. We look forward to partnering with key stakeholders and other providers to have a greater impact for DC residents."

– Candace Vanderwater, Executive Vice President & COO, VOACC

This grant will enable VOACC to provide trauma-informed, comprehensive behavioral health, substance use and primary care services for individuals and families, regardless of their ability to pay, as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). This grant will allow VOACC to bring additional needed resources to DC residents, including the integration of physical health, behavioral health and social determinants of health.

“Mental health and substance issues impact the total person. This grant enables us to not only increase the type of mental health and substance use services to vulnerable populations within the District of Columbia but to also expand services to include an often-neglected service as a result of mental health and/or substance use challenges-primary care. This funding will help us provide a wrap-around service to better meet the needs of the individuals we serve here in the District of Columbia.”

– Tanyka Abbott, Senior Director of Clinical Services, VOA Hope Center DC

Behavioral health data tells us that people who have a serious and persistent mental health diagnosis have a life expectancy that is 25 years shorter than the general population, often due to serious health concerns that may not be effectively managed in traditional medical health care systems.

VOACC has been supporting the most vulnerable populations for over 125 years. We know there is a direct connection with physical health, behavioral health and social issues (such as housing, trauma, food insecurity, mental health, recovery, employment, safety, purpose & meaning) that we have been fighting for over 125 yrs. For meaningful impact, the whole person needs to be supported. We can no longer expect real changes by not looking at the whole picture of someone’s life.

The goal of the CCBHC model is to increase access to integrated mental health and substance use treatment including 24/7 crisis response and medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Services include same-day behavioral healthcare, treatment with medication for opioid use disorder, community-based treatment, case management and care coordination, and primary care. Services are for adults, children and active-duty military or veterans whether you have insurance or not. We, along with our community partners, will ensure access to services.

"With this funding support from SAMHSA, VOACC will offer a model that can assess, provide, and/or coordinate with partners to find solutions, support and treatment for the whole person so that they may live a meaningful life and contribute to a healthier community.... a healthier DC."

– Candace Vanderwater

About Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas

Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas, Inc. (VOACC) is a faith-based, nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower self-reliance and inspire hope. As a church without walls, we do this through personalized housing, ministry, health, and human services that benefit vulnerable individuals, their families and the community.

VOACC has more than 49 programs throughout Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia and the Carolinas that provide homeless services, supportive housing, behavioral health, substance use recovery, intellectual/developmental disability services, veteran services, community re-entry and workforce development.

VOACC leverages over 800 staff members and more than 2,000 volunteers to support more than 10,400 individuals and families every year. For more information on VOACC, please visit www.voachesapeake.org.

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