United Way Suncoast provides $4k in emergency assistance

Manatee/Sarasota, Fla. (April 15, 2020) – First Step of Sarasota, Inc. is committed to ensuring that our outpatient clients in Manatee, Sarasota, and DeSoto counties have access to mental health services. First Step of Sarasota, Inc. is pleased to announce that United Way Suncoast, is providing the nonprofit $4,000 in emergency assistance. The funds are part of more than $1 million of COVID-19 emergency assistance from the United Way Suncoast’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund being distributed to human services agencies across the Suncoast to support housing/shelter, food, childcare, financial stability and mental health services.

“We are deeply grateful to United Way Suncoast Rapid Response Fund for awarding us a grant to fund our telehealth platform. This grant will allow us to provide telemedicine services to our outpatient clients of all ages,” stated First Step of Sarasota, Inc.’s CEO, Gwen MacKenzie. “It is extremely important that we continue to provide crucial mental health and addiction services through individual and group therapy as well as psychiatric services and medication-assisted therapy in a safe manner.”

First Step of Sarasota, Inc. will use the funds to offer outpatient services that are usually treated one-on-one by providing telehealth services for their outpatient clients for a period of 2 months. First Step of Sarasota, Inc. treats the underserved individuals and families that cannot afford insurance, and those that are below the federal poverty guidelines.

“It is our job to raise funds, awareness of need, and mobilize volunteers for the critical services needed during this crisis. United Way Suncoast is proud to partner with First Step of Sarasota, Inc. This funding is immediately being put to work to support individuals and families needing mental health treatment in our community” says Jessica Muroff, CEO United Way Suncoast.

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