Henderson Behavioral Health Receives Grant from Jim Moran Foundation for Youth “Aging Out” of Foster Care

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (December 12, 2011) – Henderson Behavioral Health (HBH), South Florida’s oldest and largest not-for-profit behavioral healthcare system, was recently awarded $30,000 from The Jim Moran Foundation. Over the past few years, The Jim Moran Foundation has provided $117,500 to support HBH’s Wilson Gardens transitional housing program for young adult males who have "aged out" of the foster care system, have mental health issues, and have not mastered the skills necessary for self-sufficiency.

Henderson Behavioral Health CEO, Dr. Steven Ronik commented, “We are honored to have such extraordinary support from the Jim Moran Foundation to fill such a huge gap in supporting these young people as they take their first steps toward independent living and adulthood. We are proud to be a partner with the Jim Moran Foundation and thank them for their generosity and belief in our mission.”

The apartment complex is comprised of seven (7) individual one (1) bedroom, one (1) bath units of which six (6) are dedicated to residential occupancy. The seventh unit is utilized as housing for the on-site resident manager. The resident manager provides on-site supervision, 24/7 access to a supportive adult, assistance regarding housing needs, coordination of rent payments, ensures a safe living environment and enforces rules on a daily basis. Together with the Wilson Gardens staff, the residents participate in a weekly community meeting every Friday, where their voices are included in the planning process. Residents are encouraged to provide "peer to peer" support that consists of sharing skills i.e. cooking a specialty meal, weight training, computer skills, driver’s license preparation. Guest speakers are invited to join the community meeting every alternate week to speak/train on a variety of topics such as minority development, HIV/AIDS awareness, healthy relationships, housing opportunities, and careers.

The Wilson Gardens apartment-living program also provides intensive case management, life skills training, and independent living skills, and most importantly, a much needed safety net during this often difficult time of transition into adulthood, thus decreasing their risk of becoming homeless. In conjunction with community partnerships, coordinated interventions promote self-sufficiency by assessing and engaging youth and supporting the mastery of necessary independent living skills. This is accomplished through "hands-on" experiential learning opportunities, and built-in supportive services which give these young men the opportunity to gain living skills necessary to eventually live independently and successfully in the community.

When Jim Moran established his foundation in 2000, it was to ensure his passion for giving back would continue well beyond his lifetime. With an active Board of Directors and the leadership of his wife, Jan, as chairman and president, The Jim Moran Foundation is doing just that. From funding family strengthening programs to changes in the approach to education, The Foundation is meeting its mission of responding to the ever-changing needs of the community. Through its many partnerships, children and youth are receiving the necessary resources to equip them for more successful futures, and seniors are enjoying better care and support services to live safely and independently with the dignity they deserve. http://www.jimmoranfoundation.org

Henderson Behavioral Health (HBH) is a private, not-for-profit behavioral healthcare system providing comprehensive, recovery-focused services to more than 20,000 people of all ages every year. HBH provides a continuum of high quality, community-based preventions, and education, treatment and rehabilitation services and utilizes clinical best practices and evidence-based treatment models to maximize recovery. For more than 50 years, HBH has helped people in south Florida discover new beginnings in their lives. Visit Henderson at www.hendersonbehavioralhealth.org