Grant to Help Girls Inc. Expand Mental-Health Services for Most Vulnerable Girls

Business

SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING TUESDAY FEB 25, 2020

A grant from Gulf Coast Community Foundation will enable Girls Inc. of Sarasota County to serve more vulnerable girls and their families with much-needed Girls Inc. programming and mental-health services. The $25,000 grant, approved by the foundation’s Board of Directors last week, will help Girls Inc. expand its Family Strengthening Program to reach girls living in crisis situations, with a concentration on Sarasota Housing Authority residences and girls with similar needs. The funding will support on-site services for girls and their families at SHA housing as well as scholarships so additional girls can participate in after-school and summer programs at Girls Inc.’s main campus on Tuttle Avenue.

“Oftentimes, the girls we serve have experienced high levels of trauma, commonly known as Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs,” said Angie Stringer, president and CEO of Girls Inc. of Sarasota County. “By helping girls deal with that trauma in a healthy way, we can empower them to lead safe, healthy lives while decreasing their likelihood to engage in risky behaviors.” New offerings for SHA families will include therapeutic services for girls, parenting education, and referrals to other community providers. Girls Inc.’s licensed mental-health counselor and case manager will lead group discussions and individual sessions for girls as well as parenting workshops on location. The expansion builds on a successful partnership between Girls Inc. and the Sarasota Housing Authority that began last year with some programs brought to SHA housing. Since then, both girls and Housing Authority staff have asked for additional on-site services as well as access to more programming at the Tuttle campus.

This year, for the first time, a full quarter of the families who receive financial help for Girls Inc. programs require 100% scholarship support. The agency also reports more demand for its mental-health services. In addition to SHA families, Girls Inc. aims to use this grant to reach other girls in the community in similar crisis situations.

Photo courtesy of GCCF.

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