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Mental Health agency receives over 1million for treatment

Thetimesweekly.com | 2/22/2017, 3:38 p.m.
Cornerstone Services has received a three-year $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse ...

Cornerstone Services has received a three-year $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) CABHI program. These funds will assist a total of 51 individuals who have experienced recent homelessness, have a mental health condition, and may have a history of substance abuse. Cornerstone’s behavioral health services team will help these individuals with mental health and substance use counseling, housing enrollment, and registration in eligible government benefits and insurance, as well as other services.

This was an especially competitive grant. Cornerstone was only one out of 30 recipients in the entire country to be awarded a grant from SAMHSA in 2016, and the only one in Illinois.

“These funds are crucial to provide the services that will help many people in Will County,” said Ben Stortz, Cornerstone President/Chief Executive Officer. “Many veterans and families that have been affected by homelessness, mental illness, and substance abuse can now receive the necessary supports to help them on the road to recovery.”

Permanent Supportive Housing is an evidence-based practice that Cornerstone utilizes to assist people who have experienced homelessness and mental illness to receive the assistance necessary to maintain their own homes in the community. With this three-year grant from SAMHSA, the agency will be able to successfully house and support 37 homeless people during the first year, and anticipates serving 51 people over the span of the funding. To help ensure that services retain the highest level of quality, Cornerstone is required to establish a steering committee to meet and monitor the goals of the agency’s SAMHSA Recovery and Wellness Program.

The grant requires Cornerstone to first locate permanent housing for any chronically homeless individuals or families experiencing homelessness who are enrolled in the program. While this grant does not provide rental assistance for the housing, Cornerstone has secured funding from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in conjunction with the Will County Continuum of Care, to assist with leasing homes from area landlords. In addition to the counseling and therapy, individuals will also have access to other services from the agency, including Individual Placement and Support (IPS) to find and keep a job in the community. Cornerstone will also incorporate other evidence-based practices into the service model for the SAMHSA Recovery and Wellness Program, including Housing First, Wellness Recovery Action Planning, Harm Reduction, Mental Health First Aid, and Motivational Interviewing.

Cornerstone is a leading provider of mental health and substance abuse services in Illinois and has successfully secured housing and support for homeless individuals and families for over 20 years. The not-for-profit social service agency provides services to over 1,100 adults and children with mental illness and developmental disabilities in Will and Kankakee Counties. Founded in 1969, Cornerstone is a member agency of the United Way of Will County.

For more information, visit www.cornerstoneservices.org.