Taking Our Immediate, Direct Services To The Community
How Our Partnerships Are Creating Easier Access to Services For At-Risk Populations
VOADV has 40 high quality outcome-driven programs providing essential services across the Delaware Valley. However, for an organization founded on the ideal of going wherever is needed and doing whatever is needed to serve, expansions and partnerships are crucial to helping us provide diverse programs and specialized assistance to our communities’ most vulnerable populations.
Through collaborations with other organizations, agencies, law enforcement and more, we are able to identify needs for services as they arise in the community, and work together with our partners to develop a plan to assist. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exacerbate the opioid epidemic and our region continues to experience the highest number of overdose deaths in at least the past five years, there was a clear need for comprehensive, progressive services.
In response to the growing problem, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office partnered with VOADV, the Center for Family Services and local law enforcement to launch Operation Helping Hand: Community IMPACT Series – a series of assistance events designed to offer Camden County residents struggling with substance use disorder linkage to social services.
Our IMPACT (Immediate Mobilization of Police Assisted Crisis Teams) Initiative is designed to meet individuals where they are and offer the same immediate, direct approach to service delivery as other VOADV programs. Through Operation Helping Hand: Community IMPACT Series, our IMPACT specialists were able to approach each individual with care and compassion to help support them on their journey to long-term success and stability. Services offered at each event include:
- Housing assistance
- Assistance obtaining identification
- Veterans services
- Medical treatment linkage
- Benefits assistance
- Reentry services
- Case management
- Linkage to mental health and substance abuse treatment
Thanks to this collaborative partnership designed to address a current and pressing need in the community, the first event of the Series, held at the Pine Hill Police Department, resulted in direct, community-centered service linkage for over 15 individuals struggling with substance use.
The IMPACT Initiative has been operating successfully within several police departments and communities for over a year, and recently began it’s partnership with the City of Burlington Police Department. Building a relationship with the City of Burlington Police Department has enhanced our mission to serve at-risk populations at every possible point of contact.
“These partnerships have allowed us to provide rapid and personalized services, from mental health to substance abuse, tailored to an individual’s specific needs,” said Amanda Leese, SVP of Safe Return and Navigator. “Our specialists are in the community, providing access to services for individuals in need and developing an understanding of the unique challenges faced by that community.”
As VOADV has expanded and adapted to the ever-changing needs of the communities we serve, one thing has remained true – the need to meet clients and the community where they are. Expanding programs like the IMPACT Initiative and developing partnerships such as Operation Helping Hand: Community IMPACT Series do exactly that.