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KIM Workforce (1)

May 6, 2024

COMMUNITY FIRST!

That’s the HEARTBEAT of people like SLO County resident Amelia Stephens, Vocational Specialist for a life changing organization known as TMHA. (Transitional Mental Health Association) May is Mental Health Awareness Month, but I think we all would agree that mental health is a subject that we should always be compassionate toward. TMHA began its roots in SLO County in 1979 thanks to a document entitled “The Model for California Community Mental Health Programs”. The people of San Luis Obispo County and its officials had boldly decided to TEAM UP and provide life enhancing services for this underserved population in their community. No sooner was the ink dry on the documents than it became ALL hands-on deck! With the help of our empathetic and caring community, quality mental health professionals, state grants and many other local resources, an INSPIRING IMPACT was made throughout our county. We soon became a shining example of compassion for others to follow. And they did!  As a result, 25 other counties in California created similar programs for their communities. One beautiful example of the work done through TMHA is a project that began in 1984. Then Executive Director of TMHA Barb Fischer, spear headed the implementation of an enterprise called The Growing Grounds Farm and Nursery. It is a non-profit wholesale nursery that provides therapeutic horticulture, socialization and paid employment for adults with severe and persistent mental illness. Barb and her team believed that if they could provide an opportunity for a person to feel productive, it would then in turn provide nourishment for their soul. And once that type of SEED was planted, showing them their inherent value as a human being, it could then grow GOOD FRUIT that would last them a lifetime! TMHA and its local partnerships have been planting their GOOD SEEDS of compassion and generosity in numerous ways that have yielded GOOD FRUIT throughout SLO County for over 40 years. I have no doubt that the HARVEST has been ABUNDANT. To date they have (3) flourishing locations, SLO, AG and Atascadero which is opening its doors on May 10, 2024. These locations provide over 40 supportive services which range from housing assistance, job seeker workshops, family support, clinical services, fun social activities and much more. It has been a privilege to highlight TMHA as a shining example of the HEARTBEAT of our beautiful SLO County.

Their public sentiment truly says it all ….” COMMUNITY FIRST!”

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Sincerely,

Kim Wybenga

October

Chairman's Circle Plus, Chairman's Circle & Community Partners