Only half of tens of millions of people each year affected with mental illnesses receive treatment. Lack of treatment for mental illnesses can lead to severe consequences such as suicide and disability. As of 2020, over 38 million Americans, including almost 12 million children, lacked consistent access to enough food for active, healthy lives. Many of these Americans lacking access to mental health treatment and food are Veterans.
CommunityForward dedicates itself in serving our veterans and other underprivileged communities to the basic needs such as food security and mental health support. As many of our focus areas are intersectional, the intentions of our programs and collaborations are to create sustainable change. We are also an organization powered by a veteran-owned business with a significant constituent of veteran staff, TISTA Science and Technology Corporation. CommunityForward continues to do its part in improving the quality of life of veterans and other underprivileged communities facing mental health and food insecurity challenges.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness (51.5 million in 2019). Homeless individuals and veterans are at a higher risk for experiencing mental disorders. Brain & Behavior Research Foundation has stated that homelessness can be a traumatic event that influences a person’s symptoms mental illness.
At CommunityForward, our programs include partnership with US Vets to fully fund Mental Health Therapy support for homeless veterans transitioning at US Vets’ Washington DC location.
CommunityForward is also a proud sponsor of the Out of Darkness Walks organized by the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (ASFP). These walks are held in hundreds of cities across the county and give people the courage to open up about their own struggles, loss, and a platform to change society’s approach on mental health.
In response to increased food insecurity countrywide as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, Community Forward’s Provide-A-Meal Program began with a vow to serve 3000 meals to vulnerable groups such as veterans, homeless, and underserved families/children, as well as first responders. Today, this initiative has grown to include a monthly commitment to deliver at least 1,500 meals. By collaborating with community partners, local restaurants, and soup kitchens, we have served over 31,972 meals.
The Children’s Inn at NIH is a non-profit organization that provides free housing for children and young people who are NIH patients. The facility offers patient and family support, comprehensive research, and clinical care. Their objective is to provide a peaceful environment for their residents. Since 2016, CommunityForward and The Children’s Inn have collaborated to make the children’s experience memorable and positive. CommunityForward’s assistance includes sponsoring meal services, coordinating “Wish Lists,” and presenting “Thoughtful Treasures” to children and their families over the holidays, ensuring that the children’s health is prioritized and at the same time precious memories are made.
Strong collaborations result in effective teamwork, making a long-term difference in our communities. Underserved communities confront numerous challenges, which the Pandemic has further aggravated. CommunityForward formed a relationship with Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, affiliated with Johns Hopkins Medicine, to provide long-term solutions in this area. This collaboration with the hospital includes a commitment to the COVID Fund, which was established to bridge the gap and assist marginalized families and individuals with education, equality, and research programs.
The COVID-19 pandemic initially put an immense demand on the health-care system, leading in a scarcity of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Community Forward responded by obtaining PPE for those most in need, suppling over 34,750 PPEs to first responders, police officers, and healthcare professionals at hospitals and nursing homes.
We also distributed PPE, masks, and gloves to homeless individuals, veterans in shelters, underserved families/children, and inner-city educators.
TISTA developed a COVID-19 tracker to track cases around the U.S. to effectively identify who is in the most need and where they are located.
Housing and rental assistance to veterans and survivors of human trafficking.
Housing, education, and employment opportunities for survivors to ease the path to recovery.
Mentoring, scholarships, and job placements for the underserved to remove barriers and create opportunities.
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