Volunteers of America of Massachusetts (VOAMASS), a Jamaica Plain based nonprofit that creates opportunities for individuals through residential and outpatient behavioral health treatment, re-entry for justice-involved individuals, veteran services, and senior living, recently announced that it has been awarded four grants – totaling nearly $9.2 million – to address behavioral health needs in several eastern Massachusetts communities.
The four grants, three funded by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and one funded by The Humana Foundation, will be deployed over five years and are central to VOAMASS’s transition to an integrated service model. Through the new model, VOAMASS plans on breaking down barriers to independence and economic opportunity by providing behavioral health services through a trauma-informed, culturally competent, whole-person care approach.
“We will be able to leverage these funds to support those we serve in breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness and in getting treatment for substance use disorder and mental illness utilizing our new care model that addresses root causes and not symptoms,” said Charles Gagnon, President and CEO of VOAMASS. “We will also be able to extend this model to far more communities and offer a broader range of services that will help clients realize their full potential.”
VOAMASS will prioritize serving high-risk populations, including homeless, chronically unemployed, low-income, and BIPOC communities, veterans, and people re-entering society from incarceration. Grant details are as follows:
• Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic. This two-year SAMHSA grant totaling $3,303,000 will support 850 individuals in the Boston Metro area. VOAMASS will use the funds to improve access to and quality of community mental health and substance use disorder treatment services through its Integrated Care Center, including 24-hour crisis intervention and community-based, integrated treatment and rehabilitative services for mental illness, substance use disorder, co-occurring disorders, and serious emotional disturbance.
• Community Mental Health Center. This two-year SAMHSA grant totaling $3,000,000 will support 600 individuals in Bristol and Plymouth counties, including Brockton, Bridgewater, and Taunton. VOAMASS will use the funds to expand services provided by its existing outpatient clinic in Taunton.
• Medication-Assisted Treatment. This five-year SAMHSA grant totaling $2,625,000 will support 950 justice-involved individuals in partnership with Essex County Sheriff’s Department. VOAMASS will use the funds to expand its existing Medication-Assisted Treatment services for individuals in correctional facilities, which include the use of medication, along with patient-centric counseling and behavioral health therapies to treat substance use disorder.
• Humana Foundation Community Health Challenge Grant. This two-year grant, funded through a Partnership between The Humana Foundation and the national Volunteers of America, totals $250,000 and will serve 300 individuals in Boston, Somerville and Quincy. VOAMASS will use the funds to utilize Critical Time Intervention, an evidence-based practice focused on early engagement designed to solve an individual’s immediate needs before moving them into other services, including clinical treatment or employment services.