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Here We Thrive consolidates MEND’s burgeoning intensive case-management services and is our most exciting intervention in the lives of those we serve. With the goal of individual and community resiliency in mind, we are combining the former Family Support Program and Pathways to Wellness and adding a new employment component to better serve the community in one hub. Here We Thrive is staffed with professionals willing and able to support participants through a process of uncovering and overcoming their (in many cases, long-term) challenges.
The previous iteration of these services, while appreciated by participants, did not deliver the tangible changes we desired. After a careful analysis, the failing we uncovered could be summarized as lack of full integration in services. Each service was dispersed from the other and operated in silos. Because MEND’s strategic plan makes a commitment to increasing participant independence and resilience, giving these services a second look and re-thinking how we deliver them for maximum impact, was important.
The program targets those MEND clients who live below the poverty line, with low levels of academic attainment, and with a desire to change their circumstances. Through Here we Thrive, our existing services are modified, integrated and enhanced with the addition of employment services.
At the age of 32, Amelia, has known more pain and struggle than anyone deserves over a lifetime. She has lived through cruel abuse, rejection, homelessness, intense physical pain and persistent hunger. From a very young age, Amelia worked alongside her Mom, Elizabeth, selling whatever they could to make ends meet.
And, sadly, as she grew older, her mother developed what they later learned to be epilepsy. Caregiving became an important part of her growing list of duties. She says with some regret, “I never went to school because I had to be by my mother’s side.