Jul. 24—A grant from the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area will allow the Momentum Center for Social Engagement to expand its services to the south.
"We're grateful to the community foundation for making this possible," said the Momentum Center's director, Barbara Lee VanHorssen. "We receive a growing number of requests from Holland and Zeeland residents to take our programs there, and in some cases, residents drive to Grand Haven to join us."
The Momentum Center opened in Grand Haven four years ago. It is a grassroots movement to create a stigma-free community. Its programs provide social and recreational opportunities for people who have mental illness, addictions and disabilities, filling the gap in the continuum of care between the person and clinical/therapeutic services. The center's research shows members experience a statistically significant decrease in depression, anxiety and loneliness, and a corresponding increase in social connectedness.
VanHorssen said the pilot program will be housed in the Northside Holland Boys & Girls Club, 583 Riley St. in Holland Township. The initial offering is a Mental Illness Recovery Group, which meets the first and third Thursdays of each month from 6:30-7:45 p.m. Certified Peer Support Specialist Tre Burnett leads the sessions.
"We are grateful for this opportunity for the Momentum Center to place a certified peer support specialist at (the Boys & Girls Club) to run groups and provide support to youth and adults with mental illness and addictions," said Yah-Hanna Jenkins Leys, director of community impact for the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area. "... We are honored to partner with you to support this critical work."
The center's plans call for expanding outreach to include additional support groups and peer support specialist services, as well as social and recreational programs and activities.
The Momentum Center is currently seeking a bilingual program coordinator to handle intake activities, make referrals and plan, schedule and oversee on-site activities and off-site outings.