Author Archive for colin

LIFESPAN and Evergreen Foundation: Enhancing the Lives of Individuals with Autism

Tonie Nikoson, age 34, is described as unique, lovely and enjoys sunshine, music, art, and her family, but without the caring individuals who have come into her life over the years, the description could be much different. Tonie has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Because of this, Tonie has had challenges responding and interacting with individuals and situations around her. For Tonie, one of these individuals is Pam Stockton, her guardian, who has worked with her since age 5. Pam met Tonie while working at the program for special needs children at St. John’s. In those early years Tonie’s challenges with processing information and understanding the world around her caused Tonie to respond with behaviors that were often difficult for teachers and care-givers to handle. But, a year after meeting Tonie, Tonie went to live with Stockton and her family. The Stockton family is Tonie’s family and over the years they have provided the love and stability Tonie needed to grow and learn. Read More →

H.A.V.E.N. and Evergreen Foundation Partner to Provide Forensic Interview Training

Talking to a child who is a victim of sexual or physical abuse requires the professional, whether it is a child advocate, law enforcement or a lawyer, to be sensitive to the child while still getting factual information. This type of forensic interviewing was the topic of a recent training sponsored by H.A.V.E.N. Child Advocacy Center and the Evergreen Foundation. The 4-day forensic interview training was provided for agencies in Cherokee, Clay and Graham counties by CornerHouse a child advocacy center in Minnesota. Read More →

Evergreen Foundation Announces over a Half Million Dollars in Funding to Not-for-profit Disability Agencies in WNC

The Evergreen Foundation board of directors voted at their June meeting to provide $507,995 in first quarter funding to thirteen agencies providing programs and services for individuals with behavioral health, substance use and intellectual/developmental disabilities:

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The Journey From Depression to Recovery

To meet Patricia Taylor today, one would never know that this vibrant and engaging woman once suffered from a deep and debilitating depression. Patricia’s depression began over ten years ago following a traumatic personal event. She describes this dark time in her life as being what she refers to as a classic depression. She no longer wanted contact with friends or family and no longer wanted to participate in the activities that once gave her pleasure. She wanted to spend her days in the safety of her dark bedroom. Read More →

Evergreen Foundation and MCH, Partnering for Opportunities

Providing opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities has been the mission of Macon Citizens Habilities (MCH) for over three decades and now with support from the Evergreen Foundation a new venture is planned. No later than early spring, MCH will begin a greenhouse business at their campus on Lake Wheeler Road in Franklin. Read More →

National Suicide Prevention Week: September 8-14

National Suicide Prevention Week is an annual week-long campaign in the United States to inform the general public about suicide prevention and warning signs of suicide. By drawing attention to the problem of suicide, the campaign also strives to reduce the stigma surrounding the topic, as well as encourage individuals to pursue mental health assistance and support for individuals of all ages who may be contemplating or may have attempted suicide. Read More →

Evergreen Foundation Provides Support for New Youth Shelter

In 1973 a 12 year old girl ran away from home. When the police found her she begged them to let her spend the night in the county jail rather than be taken home. Her home life was so bad she would choose the jail over her own home. This is only one of the many stories of homelessness, abuse and neglect that illustrates why having a youth shelter in western North Carolina is so critical. Hawthorn Heights, the only youth shelter west of Asheville opened in 1976 to provide a safe place for runaway and homeless teens age 12-17. Read More →

Evergreen Foundation Grant Provides Needed Supports in WNC

Evergreen Foundation Grant Provides Needed Supports in WNC

Ashley Thomas (not her real name for privacy reasons) grew up in foster care, is a survivor of domestic violence, has 3 children all in Department of Social Services custody, doesn’t have a job and in the past has responded to each situation with self-destructive behaviors. She feels that this time things are going to be different for her, she wants to break the cycle and get her life turned around.

Ashley is doing this with the help of her team at Appalachian Community Services (ACS). She is in a program that is known as The Evergreen Alternative Service (EAS). Through an Evergreen Foundation grant ACS can provide her with a case manager who is able to help her navigate the DSS requirements, find secure housing, link her with support groups, explore jobs in the community, provider her needed treatment services and provide support when stressful situations arise. With this support Thomas is making great strides in getting her life in order. Her primary objective right now is to get a job so that she can get her children back. Read More →