JP’s VOAMASS Awarded Nearly $9.2 Million to Address Behavioral Health Needs

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.

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Chang-Díaz and Mayoral Candidates Help JP’s VOAMASS Pack 200 Bags for Senior Mothers

Jamaica Plain's state senator and mayoral candidates teamed up together to pack gift bags for seniors in celebration of Mothers Day to help a local nonprofit. Volunteers of America of Massachusetts (VOAMASS), a nonprofit that creates opportunities for individuals through residential and outpatient behavioral health treatment, re-entry for justice-involved individuals, veteran services and senior living, hosted the 26th Annual I Remember Mama on May 8, 2021. The event is a signature fundraiser that supports VOAMASS’s substance use recovery programs.

While the event traditionally includes a hotel ballroom brunch for roughly 200 senior mothers living in public housing throughout Boston, because of COVID-19 restrictions, VOAMASS packaged and delivered 200 gift bags to the women as a reminder of how much the community cherishes them. Two mayoral candidates John Barros and state Rep. Jon Santiago, joined state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz to help VOAMASS assemble the bags at Shiloh House, a residential recovery center for women with co-occurring behavioral health and substance use disorders in Jamaica Plain.

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Nonprofit VOAMASS Names Rejoyce Owusu Director of Human Resources

Jamaica Plain based Volunteers of America of Massachusetts (VOAMASS), a 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 the appointment of Rejoyce Owusu as director of human resources. Owusu will oversee all aspects of the agency’s human resources activities, including oversight of talent acquisition, employee training and development, agency accreditation, and compliance with local, state and federal regulations. Owusu will play a critical role in developing relationships with employees across programs and locations, using her leadership skills to make the organization an employer of choice. “During this critical time for our profession and the communities we serve, having skilled and compassionate leaders like Rejoyce on our team is critical,” said Charles Gagnon, President and CEO of VOAMASS. “We are excited to welcome her to VOAMASS and are looking forward to utilizing her experience to strengthen and expand our workforce to better serve the thousands of individuals we support.”

Owusu, a Bronx, N.Y. native and Dorchester resident, earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from SUNY Geneseo and a master’s degree in management from Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. Prior to joining VOAMASS, she was HR Director at ideaMACHINE Studio, a Brooklyn-based video production service, and previously worked in talent acquisition at Prudential Financial.

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