Ocean Mental Health Services (OceanMHS) had a visit from Winnie the Winnebago on Thursday, September 23. Winnie is the Affordable Housing Alliance’s (AHA) mobile Sandy Housing Recovery Resource Center and was invited to OceanMHS’ main site in Bayville for a two hour visit the Path to Renewal Program. “Helping people recover from the effects of Superstorm Sandy has been a very collaborative effort,” shares Path to Renewal Coordinator, Heather Bense. “We strive to ensure our clients are connected to every resource available to help them move forward and reclaim their lives.” Path to Renewal has been supporting the behavioral health needs of Ocean County since the storm, through community education, case management and mental health counseling.
Path to Renewal Community Educator, Susan Calavano,
and Coordinator, Healther Bense with Winnie.
AHA’s HUD-certified housing counselors, Torri and Leah, met with 17 people and provided information to a dozen others. Although this was only one step in the path to recovery, for many it will be an important step, as the AHA staff works with individuals to help them create a plan, find transitional housing, address tenant/landlord issues and connect with additional housing resources.
According to one of the participants of the event, Dana, the event was a success, “I tend to be down and feel helpless without knowing where to turn and she pointed me in the right direction.”
Path to Renewal has several more events scheduled in the coming weeks, including free mental health screenings in October and Stressbusters on October 25th at St. Paul’s Church in Toms River. Stressbusters is free and open to the community. For more information visit our events page.