One Love Community Services launches new veteran-centered program for daily and clinical needs

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, March 30, 2022

By Madeline Wagoner
intern@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — For Rowan County veterans, mental health services are now more accessible thanks to a recently launched program with One Love Community Services.

The nonprofit has partnered with Rowan County United Way to offer veteran-specific clinical and daily resources. The project launched March 1 and services are already in motion for veterans in need of assistance regardless of their benefits status.

Salisbury law firm Wallace & Graham approached the United Way last year with their Wallace & Graham Gives charitable trust fund to pose an idea for a collaborative project. The firm had veteran employees who noticed Rowan County veterans being underserved when it came to their needs.

The cost of treatment for veterans can keep an individual from getting the help they need due to dishonorable discharge and lack of benefits. One Love Community Services has been offering its services since March 2019 with locations in Morganton and Charlotte. With the proposal from Wallace & Graham, United Way connected the donations of the firm to the nonprofit in order to bring its services to Salisbury.

“It’s a really great cross-collaborative program that was developed,” said United Way Executive Director Jenny Lee. “The level of camaraderie that One Love can offer with their staff to individuals being served by having staff who has been through what these veterans have is what the population needs.”

United Way donated a total of $490,000 through community impact grants for One Love and $10,000 for their veteran-specific program.

Now in Salisbury, Executive Director Stevie Wideman says services to address needed food, transportation, therapy, medication management and benefit applications are open to any veteran who asks the facility, including those who do not have the means to pay. One of the goals One Love hopes to reach is breaking the stigma regarding mental health and veterans.

“Regardless of the branch of service they were in or if they have benefits or not, anybody can come through our door and request services for whatever they need,” Wideman said.

Based on his own experience talking to individuals in need of mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment, Wideman said most individuals do not feel comfortable speaking to those who do not share similar background and trauma when seeking what is most important to their needs. The program at One Love includes a staff of veteran therapists who work with case managers and arrange treatment plans for individuals referred by Veterans Affairs or those independently seeking care. Clientele can speak with the therapist they feel comfortable talking to or attend group therapy.

One Love Clinical Director Richard McDonald gives credit to grant funding from Wallace & Graham and other donors for the opportunity to provide services for any and all veterans whether they are insured or not.

“We’re willing and now able to take on as many veterans who need the service thanks to our grants and donations,” McDonald said. “If our program helps just one person, then we have met our goal.”

One Love Community Services is located at 723 W. Innes St. in Salisbury. For more information, call 980-330-7000 or visit https://www.oneloverowan.org/.

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