Community services

One Love Community Services launches new veteran-centric program for daily and clinical needs – Salisbury Post

By Madeline Wagoner
[email protected]

SALISBURY — For veterans in Rowan County, 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 on March 1, and services are already in place for veterans in need of assistance, regardless of their benefits status.

Salisbury law firm Wallace & Graham approached United Way last year with its charitable trust fund Wallace & Graham Gives to come up with an idea for a collaborative project. The company had veteran employees who noticed that Rowan County veterans were underserved with respect to their needs.

The cost of treatment for veterans can prevent someone 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 Wallace & Graham’s proposal, United Way connected company donations to the nonprofit to bring its services to Salisbury.

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

United Way donated a total of $490,000 through Community Impact Grants for One Love and $10,000 for its veteran-specific program.

Now in Salisbury, Executive Director Stevie Wideman says services to address food, transportation, therapy, medication management and benefit claims are open to any veteran who requests the facility, including those who cannot afford to pay. One of the goals that One Love hopes to achieve is to break the stigma around mental health and veterans.

“No matter what branch of service they were in or whether or not they have benefits, anyone can walk through our door and request services for whatever they need,” Wideman noted.

Based on his own experience of talking with people in need of recovery treatment for mental health and addiction, Wideman said that most individuals don’t feel comfortable talking to those who don’t share the same background and trauma when looking for what’s most important to their needs. One Love’s program includes a team of veteran therapists who work with case managers and organize treatment plans for those referred by Veterans Affairs or those seeking care independently. Clients can speak with the therapist with whom they feel comfortable or attend group therapy.

One Love Clinical Director Richard McDonald awards grants to Wallace & Graham and other donors for the ability to provide services to all veterans, whether insured or uninsured.

“We are willing and now able to support as many veterans who need the service through our grants and donations,” McDonald said. “If our program helps one person, then we have reached 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/.