At the DWR Center collaboration is part of the daily routine for all of the organizations but The Community Support Team is definitely making a difference as a program.
The mission of the Community Support Team (CST) is to provide an integrated system of care to individuals and families in the areas of mental health, domestic violence and sexual assault, food and nutrition, substance abuse, parent education financial stability, client advocacy and general support.
The collaborative started working together in Nov. 2006 as the Service Integration Team but changed its name to The Community Support Team in 2010 to be more client-oriented. The collaborative partners include: Tahoe Family Solutions, Tahoe SAFE Alliance, Project MANA, Tahoe Youth and Family Services, IVGID Senior Programs and North Tahoe Family Resource Center.
Four of the CST partners – Tahoe Family Solutions, Tahoe SAFE Alliance, Project MANA and Tahoe Youth and Family Services all have offices in the Donald W. Reynolds Community Non-Profit Center making it a “one stop shop” for the majority of services available through this program.
The CST is definitely making a difference for the organizations participating in the collaboration and will result in more needed programs for our community.
“As a result of the Community Support Team, Tahoe Youth and Family Services has seen an increase in referrals for substance abuse and chemical dependency treatment,” Alissa Nourse, Executive Director of Tahoe Youth and Family Services said. “In addition, more of the referrals follow through and engage for services because of the ‘warm hand off’ referral process.”
Nourse also explained that TYFS is now able to identify more needs in the community and is preparing to address those needs with future programs.
“TYFS hopes to implement a mentoring program in Incline Village in FY 13-14 which came out of the various meetings including the CST,” Nourse said.
For Project MANA clients the CST program is helping to provide referrals to other agencies that can also provide resources they need.
“The CST program has allowed many of our clients to receive short term financial assistance when they might not have otherwise received the help they needed in order to get ahead,” Heidi Allstead, Executive Director of Project MANA said.
Several clients have received other resources as well Allstead said since participating in the CST program. One disabled client on a fixed income was having a difficult time covering her expenses. After meeting with the CST advocates and Project MANA staff she was able to receive CST program funding to pay past due utility bills and prevent her power from being shut off. But she also received SNAP benefits (food stamps) and Medicare to provide additional food and help with medical care. Now through lower rent and additional SSI benefits the client is more financially stable.
The CST partners and what they offer:
Tahoe Family Solutions offers mental health services including individual, child and family therapy, psychiatric evaluations and medication management, family resource center with case management, translation, client advocacy, parent education, and educational support through Homework Help Club, summer camp, information and referrals.
Tahoe SAFE Alliance provides domestic violence and sexual assault services including intervention, safe house, legal advocacy, support services, children’s program, 24 hours crisis hotline, prevention and education.
Project MANA’s contributions include food distribution, community gardens, nutrition education, food stamp outreach and community education about hunger issues.
Tahoe Youth and Family Services offers substance abuse counseling for adolescents and adults, mentoring, community outreach, emergency youth shelter, wraparound services, court ordered programs and 24 hour crisis hotline.
IVGID Senior Programs (located just down the street from the DWR Center) provides education, recreation, social support, transportation, resource and information.
North Tahoe Family Resource Center (located in Kings Beach, CA) brings case management support, information and referrals, community outreach, education and family support classes to the group.