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:

-The Arc of Haywood County (Haywood), $5,000 to expand supported employment services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and $3,600 to support development of a year-round art therapy program.

-Appalachian Access (Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Haywood, Macon, Swain), $20,000 to provide transportation for voluntarily committed consumers from throughout WNC who need to have a plan in place for transportation home after discharge from an inpatient psychiatric hospital; $39,366 to provide community support services for individuals with behavioral health and substance abuse issues and $21,000 to provide funding for the jail assessment and treatment programs in Cherokee, Clay, and Graham Counties. $25,722 was also awarded for safety changes to the Balsam Center which will enable them to support individuals with a higher level of crisis needs and $10,807 for solid core, fire rated doors in the facility.

-AWAKE (Jackson), $13,185 to fund a part-time victim services assistant to support children who are victims of abuse.

-Family Resource Center of Cherokee County (Cherokee, Clay, Graham), $10,000 to provide early intervention activities and parent education programs for families of children birth through pre-school age.

-Haywood Pathways Center (Haywood), $14,631 toward the purchase of additional bunkbeds, upgrade lighting and replace windows in the homeless shelter.

-HIGHTS (Jackson, Haywood), $7,935 toward the purchase of a sawmill to be used in their apprenticeship program for at-risk youth.

-Macon Citizens Habilities (Macon), $16,875 toward the purchase of large fans to cool their day habilitation program and $25,000 toward the purchase of an accessible van.

-Macon County EMS (Macon), $34,499 to expand their community paramedic program to provide in-home medication monitoring for individuals with mental health needs to increase their stability in the community.

-Meridian Behavioral Health (Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain, Cherokee, Clay, Graham), $37,000 to provide continuation funding for the Patient Assistance Program which provided free psychiatric medications to over 500 individuals last year saving them over 2 million dollars; $23,250 toward the training cost for 25 clinicians throughout the 7-county area in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocess Therapy to better meet the needs of individuals who have experienced trauma; $82,500 to develop an early recovery team to work with individuals with addiction issues post discharge from the hospital to increase community stability; continuation funding of $64,500 for the jail treatment programs in Haywood and Jackson Counties.

-Mountain Projects Senior Resource Center (Haywood), $5,000 to provide access to Project LifeSaver for individuals unable to afford the radio-tracking bracelets.

-Soar, Inc. (WNC) $20,000 toward the purchase of a 15 passenger van to support their outdoor adventure program for at risk youth.

-Southwestern Commission Area Agency on Aging (Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Haywood, Macon, Swain, Qualla Boundary), $26,500 to provide elder abuse awareness and resources through-out Western N.C.

-Youth for Christ Outdoor Mission Camp (Haywood), $1,625 to provide camp facilities, boat rides and horseback riding for the Camp Ability program serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Applications from not-for-profit organizations are accepted on a rolling basis, with the next award cycle in September. Grant proposals are due by August 31 at 5 p.m. The mission of the Evergreen Foundation is to improve access to and public awareness of quality prevention, treatment, and support services by the provider community to individuals and families with intellectual/developmental disabilities, behavioral health, and/or substance abuse needs in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties.