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Affirmations Receives Massive $250,000 Grant From Oakland County to Help More LGBTQ+ People In Need

By |2021-11-22T13:25:45-05:00November 22nd, 2021|Michigan, News|

Affirmations LGBTQ+ community center in Ferndale is enhancing and expanding their Behavioral Health Services program thanks to a new $250,000 grant from Oakland County. The grant, which will be administered by the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, will allow Affirmations to serve more individuals in need.

“As Affirmations’ Behavioral Health Program continues to grow, I cannot overstate the importance of these funds,” said Affirmations Executive Director Dave Garcia in a statement. “We have a responsibility to truly understand the whole individual when assessing both their needs and life challenges. We will always protect the health and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community and that is not something we can do alone. It takes all of us.”

The new grant, said Affirmations Director of Programs Kathleen Redmon, will allow the center to offer a more formalized care coordination program.

“For decades now, Affirmations has been striving to be a place of solace and compassion for those experiencing urgent needs such as emergency shelter, food and clothing as well as longer-term needs like stable housing, health care, behavioral health services, employment and meaningful connection community,” Redmon said in a statement. “With the addition of more licensed therapists along with care coordination services that assist folks with a personalized plan and support as they overcome the challenges they face, Affirmations has taken a significant step forward in service to its community.”

Garcia told Pride Source that thanks to the grant, the center will be able to hire a full-time care coordinator: “If someone comes to us in need of a therapist, we will be able to ask other important questions, like, ‘Do you have insurance and, if not, can we help get you signed up? Are you HIV-positive?’ Are you a senior in need of a support group or food, are you a youth in need of housing, are you struggling with substances or transgender in need of support?’ This grant will help us get a bigger and better picture of the full individual and help us create individual care plans for them and connect them to the resources they need.” 

In addition to the care coordinator, there will be additional new hires at the center because of the grant.

“Affirmations’ behavioral health program continues to rapidly expand,” said Garcia. “We have hired new therapists and expanded our university partnerships to provide therapy on a sliding scale fee for our community. We are also in the process of becoming paneled with the largest insurance agencies throughout the state making it possible to bill individual insurance and creating a new revenue stream for Affirmations.”

About the Author:

Jason A. Michael
Jason A. Michael joined Between The Lines as a contributing writer in 1999. He has received both the Spirit of Detroit Award (presented by the Detroit City Council) and the Media Award from the Community Pride Banquet & Awards Ceremony for his writing and activism. Jason is also an Essence magazine bestselling author for his authorized biography "Strength Of A Woman: The Phyllis Hyman Story," released on his own JAM Books imprint.