The Emerging Philanthropist Program (EPP), a partnership between The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC) and Harrisburg Young Professionals (HYP) awarded Shalom House a $5,000 grant for their Partnership for Independence and Positive Mental Health.
“We are truly proud of the Emerging Philanthropist Program and the young adults in the 2016 class,” said TFEC President and CEO Janice R. Black. “These young adults have worked diligently to identify a community need and through this experience they have grown in knowledge and experience on how instrumental philanthropy can be in making our community a better place.”
Shalom House seeks to empower women and transform lives and for 30 years it has been a safe home for up to 21 women and their children during times of crisis as they work with counselors to achieve self-sufficiency. Shalom House offers emergency sheltering, the SHARP program serving chronically homeless women, and the SHARP VETS program, a transitional housing program for homeless, female veterans.
The Partnership for Independence and Positive Mental Health, a partnership with Elizabethtown College’s Occupational Therapy program that first began in June, is an initiative to address the root causes of homelessness, which often includes mental health issues. Occupational Therapists are equipped with a coping skills toolbox that provides them with a variety of techniques to help women address mental and behavioral issues that are a barrier to personal growth and success. These tools are designed to help residents with issues of self-control, negative thoughts and attitudes, and inappropriate responses rooted in emotion and trauma issues.
“Just a few months into the program, the impact that the students are having on our housing program participants has been profound,” said Shalom House Executive Director, Denise Britton. “The students help assess the mental health issues that have been blocking a woman’s potential to break out of the cycle of poverty. This has elevated our ability to assist women and leverage community resources to address a gap in services. The mental health issues are very real factors in whether a resident will achieve long-term independence and the skills learned from the Occupational Therapists are often sufficient to help a woman gain control, and learn how to maintain control over previous mental barriers.”
Shalom House was selected by the 2016 EPP class after an extensive process which included identifying an area that was of the most need in the local Harrisburg community. The EPP class decided that the recipient nonprofit organization must serve Harrisburg city with programs that provide education and/or reintegration services for diverse populations with behavioral health and addiction needs.
“The Emerging Philanthropist Program is a great way for our members at HYP to learn and develop the art of philanthropy, as well as financially contribute to a nonprofit in the area,” said HYP Executive Director Derek Whitesel. “This year’s class of 17 young professionals committed to an entire year of learning how to give back and make our community a better place through conducting interviews, site visits, and more in order to find a program that they felt would best serve Harrisburg citizens with behavioral health and addiction needs. Shalom House is very deserving of the grant and this program will further enhance the community by helping women find their barriers to breaking the cycle of poverty and creating personal success and long-term stability.”
After a competitive grantmaking process involving the review of four applications, interviews and site visits to the finalist organizations, the 2016 EPP class selected Shalom House as their awardee.
TFEC and HYP have partnered together to provide an opportunity for emerging leaders in the Harrisburg community to become actively engaged with the power of philanthropy.