• Forerunner and most successful ACT team in Georgia. • Launched the first Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) team in Georgia. • Added to the body of knowledge in mental health by conducting a cost benefit study of FACT.
• Demonstrated more than $1,114,000 in savings to institutions such as jails, psychiatric hospitals and shelters in one year. • Reduced psychiatric hospital admissions and criminal arrests by more than 75%, and measurably improved clinical symptoms. • Provided permanent supportive housing to more than 200 chronically homeless persons
• Acquired an apartment complex dedicated to chronically homeless persons. • Accredited by international accrediting board – CARF • Dedicated clinical and leadership team
DURING THE PAST 10 YEARS... TEN YEARS OF REACHING THE THE BEGINNING REACHING THE HARD TO REACH It takes vision, commitment and a self-sacrificing willingness to serve in order to tackle the giants of mental illness, homelessness, and hospital overcrowding. Shirley Hamilton launched Georgia Rehabilitation Outreach, Inc. (GRO), a nonprofit behavioral health organization, in 1998 to support the growing number of Individuals affected by severe and persistent mental illness and homelessness. GRO’s incubation can be traced to 1994 when Hamilton and her team at Georgia Regional Hospital at Atlanta, successfully demonstrated the Assertive Community Treatment model (ACT) as an approach to decrease overcrowding. The impact was significant — a 75 percent decrease in recidivism among 200 of the highest users of the hospital. But Hamilton knew more could and should be done. Her vision: to establish a more flexible, community-outreach based behavioral health organization. The goal: to promote self-sufficiency and community integration of individuals plagued with serious, persistent mental illness and homelessness.
GRO would like to thank former and current members, volunteers and stakeholders who supported us over the years through their leadership and generous donations of their time and resources. Board of Directors:
Charlene Turner, LCSW, Chair Byron Jeff, Ph.D., Vice Chair
Troy Ellis, Secretary/Treasurer Patsy Jo Hilliard
GEORGIA REACHING THE HARD TO REACH HARD TO REACH TEN YEARS OF
TEN YEARS OF REACHING THE
OUTREACH HARD TO REACH TEN YEARS OF REACHING THE HARD TO REACH TEN YEARS OF REACHING THE HARD TO REACH TEN YEARS OF
The consensus and the statistics underscored the fact that this population had been underserved in the traditional mental health system. So in 1999, GRO was awarded a grant by the Department of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases to continue its success and to expand its services.
REACHING THE HARD TO REACH
GRO specializes in overcoming barriers and reaching the hard-to-reach, offering services that are flexible, accessible and choice-driven. The vision and commitment of the members of the organization continue to make a difference in the field of behavioral health.
TEN YEARS OF REACHING THE 1777 Washington Ave. East Point, GA 30344 404.892.0998 www.garehaboutreach.org
HARD TO REACH TEN YEARS OF
YEARS OF SERVICE
REACHING THE HARD TO REACH GROreport_toprint.indd 1
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Current Cutting-Edge Programs Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) ACT is an evidence-based recovery model designed to treat and support persons with serious persistent mental illness. It is a comprehensive, all inclusive, person-centered rehabilitation team approach that helps individuals develop skills for living in the community. Typically, persons served have not responded well to traditional mental health programs; they are hard to reach, requiring frequent visits and creative engagement techniques. The ACT team is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Services include diagnostic assessment, evaluation, medication administration and education, vocational training, employment assistance, social and life skills training (i.e. money management, household maintenance, use of public transportation and assistance with resource attainment and management) coping and problem resolution skills, etc. The ACT model has been proven to be clinically beneficial and cost effective. Community Housing/Residential GRO recognizes homelessness or a lack of housing choice is a leading factor contributing to mental illness, poor physical health, hospital and jail recidivism, social problems and even death. Given the opportunity to live in decent, safe, affordable, housing, persons with special needs not only have improved clinical outcomes, but improved quality of life.
• Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities • Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) • United Way Atlanta, Regional Commission on Homelessness • Atlanta Development Authority • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development • Victory World Church
• Funding for ACT and Residential Programs. • Rising homelessness among persons with mental illness. It is estimated the homeless rate in Atlanta, as well as Fulton and Dekalb Counties will increase to 21,441 in 2009 from 16,625 in 2003. Approximately 33% will have mental illness. • Safety in the community. • Integrating behavioral health and primary health care. • Resources to defrayed medication costs.
• Association of Assertive Community Treatment • U.S. Psychosocial Rehabilitation Association • National Association of Social Workers • National Association of Case Management • Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
• Help educate policy makers and the community on the benefits of ACT and other evidence-based programs. • Renovation of the Martin Manor Apartment complex to house 40 more homeless persons. • Upgrade electronic health record database. • Diversify funding. • Volunteer recruitment.
Through our subsidized permanent supportive housing program, we lease apartments to persons who are chronically homeless, providing the necessary supports to help them live a higher quality of life and become more self-sufficient, contributing residents of their communities.
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 “GRO saved me because I had no other help
“Without GRO I wouldn’t be here. I was always
– no other way of getting into a house. I slept
GRO has the privilege of helping to alleviate human suffering through the provision of behavioral health and community housing support. With this privilege comes the responsibility of strict adherence to the highest corporate values and ethical standards in all aspects of this important work. The organization highly values its stakeholders – persons served, families, funders, other behavioral health providers, the community, and all levels of governmental authority.
in and out of jails and hospitals. I relapsed
We value: • Dignity and worth of all persons served • Excellence in service delivery • Competent committed employees • Legal compliance • Integrity in business practices • Community partnerships
came to GRO. GRO allowed me to get back to
in the parks in the daytime, and at night I tried sleeping at the airport or at the bus station, in cars and things like that. I had no place to sleep, no place for hygiene or anything, no contact with the doctor, no way to get my meds from a drug store or to get from point A to point B. Getting stability was impossible. I am a very happy person now with my life, because I have a place to stay. I thank God for a place like GRO and the leap they have given me.”
and I became homeless; I had stopped taking my medicines. I had been homeless for two years, sleeping under bridges and in abandoned cars. I was at a point where I was at an animalistic level. I had no structure until I where I once was.” — James
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10-year report for Atlanta nonprofit