JFS Affordable Mental Health Collaboration Recognizes Senator Jones and Rep Caruso

by Boca Raton Jewish News | Oct 5, 2022 | Boca News | 0 comments

JFS Affordable Mental Health Collaboration Recognizes Senator Jones and Rep Caruso

Jewish Family Services Affordable Mental Health Collaboration Recognizes Senator Shevrin Jones and State Representative Mike Caruso for Supporting Nearly $1 Million in State Funding Received to Expand Behavioral Health Services for Low Income Individuals in South Florida

First Time Collaboration Between Alpert Jewish Family Service of Palm Beach County, Goodman JFS of Broward County, Jewish Community Services of South Florida and Rales Jewish Family Services Will Fund Mental Health Services for Over 3,000 Low Income Individuals in South Florida

South Florida, FL—October 4, 2022 – The Tri-County Jewish Family Services Mental Health Collaboration joined together to request and ultimately receive $998,400 in funding to serve low-income, underprivileged individuals in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties with mental healthcare. The first-time collaboration consists of Ferd & Gladys Alpert Jewish Family Service of Palm Beach County, Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward County, Jewish Community Services of South Florida and Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services. The funds, granted in July of 2022 and made possible through the leadership and legislative sponsorship of State Senator Shevrin Jones and State Representative Mike Caruso, will specifically address the growing need for mental health services, encompassing both mental illness and substance abuse in South Florida.

Senator Jones and Representative Caruso will join the leaders of all four Tri-County Jewish Family Services organizations at a special event featuring a brief discussion and photo opportunity to be held Thursday, October 6, 2022 at 12:00pm at Zinman Hall (21300 Ruth & Baron Coleman Blvd) in Boca Raton. Organization leadership who will be present at the event include Danielle Hartman, President & CEO, Rales JFS; Marc Hopin, CEO, Alpert JFS; Randy Colman, CEO, Goodman JFS County; and Miriam Singer, President & CEO, JCS of South Florida.

“The second I was asked to sponsor the Affordable Mental Health Collaboration Bill, I agreed. This represents a landmark effort to provide mental healthcare to the region’s underserved populations,” said Senator Shevrin Jones. “It is extremely gratifying to me personally to be in a position to be part of and support the incredible work of these four South Florida Jewish Family Service organizations.”

“Mental health care is often the unspoken crisis of the day until something horrific such as a mass shooting at a school happens grabbing the news headlines. We have to do better,” said State Representative Mike Caruso. “I’m very pleased to work with Senator Jones and thankful to these four agencies who are on the front lines everyday helping those in most need.”

The Tri-County Jewish Family Services anticipate more than 3,000 low income individuals in crisis across all three counties will be provided with evidenced-based, trauma informed, clinical care by licensed mental health professionals as a result of receiving the funds. According to Mental Health America, Florida ranks 48th nationwide on access to mental health care. The study also reported that 633,000 Florida adults with mental illness and 116,000 youth with depression had unmet treatment needs.

“We are pleased to collaborate with our JFS partners for this Tri-County Mental Health initiative, which will provide our communities with much-needed affordable access to mental health care,” said Danielle Hartman, President & CEO of Rales JFS. “Each of our organizations has experienced tremendous surges in requests for mental health support over the past few years and this funding will allow us to hire additional staff, minimize wait times and meet the growing need.”

With the nearly $1 million in funding, the agencies will be able to offer a sliding scale fee structure to ensure that all clients in need will receive care. The target demographic for the initiative is low-income, underprivileged individuals who are uninsured or underinsured and unable to pay the costs associated with receiving mental healthcare. Funding will enable all four agencies to hire additional qualified clinicians who have specialized training in areas such as trauma, domestic violence, substance use, and LGBTQ+.

About Ferd & Gladys Alpert Jewish Family Service

Established in 1974, Ferd & Gladys Alpert Jewish Family Service is a nationally accredited service provider for children, adults, seniors, and Holocaust survivors. The non-profit, non-sectarian organization is a trusted leader, with a team of 140 highly skilled professionals delivering high-quality care to community members. Alpert JFS works to ensure the well-being of children and families, independence of older adults and quality-of-life for individuals with disabilities. For more information, visit www.alpertjfs.org or call via phone at 561-684-1991.

About Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward County

Dr. Stanley and Pearl Goodman Jewish Family Service Inc. of Broward County first opened its doors in 1962 to meet the counseling and support needs of the growing Jewish population in Broward County. As home to the second largest population of seniors in the country and a rapidly growing destination for families, JFS of Broward County expanded to meet the increasing social service needs of the growing South Florida population. With programs for seniors and the neurodivergent, information and referral services, emergency financial assistance, kosher food assistance, bereavement groups, and caregiver support, mental health counseling, and volunteer programs, Goodman JFS helps thousands of individuals and families who have nowhere else to turn. For the last 25 years, Goodman JFS has also been the primary provider of support to aging Holocaust survivors, serving nearly 1000 survivors annually, and nearly 750 survivors at any one time. JFS provides a wide array of services, including home care, cleaning, reparations assistance, emergency financial assistance, and socialization to an increasingly frail and elderly survivor population. Goodman JFS is one of the largest programs of its kind in the U.S.  For more information, visit www.jfsbroward.org or call 954-370-2140.

About Jewish Community Services of South Florida 

Since 1920, Jewish Community Services of South Florida, based on Jewish values, has remained true to its mission in providing a resilient safety-net of health and social services through a broad array of programs that promote, health, safety, and self-sufficiency. By collaborating with community partners, funders, hundreds of volunteers, sister organizations and local leaders, our team continuously strengthens its engagement and impact. Our professional team continues to provide healing and hope in serving the many layered needs of residents in our diverse and vibrant community. JCS is here for you. Learn more at https://jcsfl.org/.

About Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services 

For 40 years, Rales JFS has provided help, hope and humanity through their comprehensive range of programs that serve people of all ages and beliefs. With locations in Boca Raton and Delray Beach, programs include food and financial assistance, affordable counseling and mental health services, senior services, programs for children and families, career and employment services and many volunteer opportunities. To learn more, visit www.ralesjfs.org or email info@ralesjfs.org.

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Harlan Kilstein has been a Boca Resident since 1997. He know the ins and out of Boca


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