Sequoia grant helps domestic violence victims 

A $100,000 grant from the Sequoia Health Care District will help specialists at domestic violence center treat patients’ mental issues at a time when organization officials says funding continues to be cut toward nonprofit and mental health.

Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse is a domestic violence shelter in San Mateo County that helps victims and their families get treatment for their mental health and help rebuild the family bonds.

CORA Grants Coordinator Joy Dickinson said treating victims and their families mentally is just as important as healing the physical pain.

“Physical wounds can heal in a short amount of time,” Dickinson said. “It’s the mental health than can prevent one from becoming self-sufficient and healing over time.”

Dickinson said CORA helps 7,000 people each year through its crisis programs, and this grant money will enhance existing mental health treatment by allowing the organization to add a therapist to its staff.

CORA is one of 36 recipients of some $2 million in grant money from Sequoia Health Care District. It is the most the health care district has ever given away, according to Sequoia Health Care District board President Don Horsley.

This is the first time grants were awarded areas of mental health, Horsley said. The change came after a request from the community.

“So many cuts are happening in the state and county budget, and mental health [funding] is being stretched,” he said. “We were asked to include it, so we did. Many organizations applied and many were given the max $100,000.”

Other mental health grant recipients include the San Mateo County Police Chiefs’ and Sheriff’s Association’s SMART Program, which received $100,000 to train law enforcement to respond to mental health calls, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which received $30,000 to help eliminate the stigma of mental illness.

The Sequoia district’s community grant program aims to provide money to help organizations provide adequate health care. Grants are awarded annually and organizations can apply for funding for up to three years.

Dickinson said the options for grant funding has greatly deteriorated in the economic climate. She said this grant will help CORA provide six months of therapy to at least 200 domestic violence victims and their families.

“This will strengthen and increase the number of people we can serve,” she said. “Grants are hard to come by. Our waiting list is getting longer and longer. Now we are able to take new clients.”

Spreading the love

The Sequoia Health Care District issued a total of $2 million in community grants.

$100,000 grants

- Peninsula Volunteers: Meals on Wheels
- St. Anthony’s Padua Dining Room: Feeding the needy
- Second Harvest Food Bank: Family harvest program
- Shelter Network: Family wellness
- Sequoia Union High School District: School nurse
- Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse: Family-centered mental health
- San Mateo County Police Chiefs’ and Sheriff’s Association: SMART program

$50,000 grants

- Ombudsman Services of San Mateo County: Elder Care
- Catholic Charities CYO: San Carlos Adult Day Services
- San Carlos Parks and Recreation: Youth and senior health and wellness activities

Source: Sequoia Health Care District

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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