How CFHZ is supporting nonprofits providing mental health services

The foundation distributes $150,000 in grants to five nonprofits working to increase access and availability of mental health services.

Mental health service providers are facing many challenges as clients present with more severe mental health needs that require long-term intervention and care. 

At the same time, a shortage of behavioral health providers has resulted in long waitlists and made it difficult for individuals, especially those experiencing poverty, to access the help they need in a timely manner. 

As the need for mental health services continues to escalate, the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area (CFHZ) is focused on increasing access to and availability of mental health services. 

CFHZ has awarded a total of $150,000 to five local nonprofit partners who are committed to providing mental health services for the community, especially for those who face the greatest barriers to accessing care.

“It is a privilege to partner with these local organizations as they deliver critical services to the
community,” says Yah-Hanna Jenkins Leys, CFHZ director of community impact. “We are excited about the potential for greater impact through the targeted investments from our proactive grant program. There’s so much opportunity to make meaningful progress and ensure that all members of our community have access to the resources they need to thrive.”

CFHZ grants

Here is how the money is being dispersed: 

City on a Hill Ministries Health Clinic — Behavioral Health Integration
Amount awarded: $50,000 over two years
Purpose: To increase access to mental health counseling and mental health medication management for the uninsured and underinsured. Most patients seen at the clinic are at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level and 95% of clients served are uninsured. City on a Hill Ministries Health Clinic will pursue a multilayered approach to serving some of the most vulnerable community members who may not otherwise have access to crucial mental health counseling services alongside medication management from a psychiatric nurse practitioner.

Bethany Christian Services of Michigan — Expanding Affordable Mental Health Services to Uninsured and Underinsured Hispanic/Latinx Community Members
Amount awarded: $30,000 
Purpose: To provide bilingual, culturally sensitive mental health services and clinical trauma assessments to the Hispanic/Latinx population in the greater Holland/Zeeland Area. Ten percent of Ottawa County’s population identifies as Hispanic/Latinx. Currently, 37% of the clients served through general counseling at Bethany identify as Hispanic/Latinx. Bethany Christian Services has recognized the need to adapt and deliver services in culturally appropriate ways. This includes providing co-located services to reduce the stigma and barriers of accessing mental health services within the Latinx community, offering therapy services in Spanish, and hiring an additional therapist.

“Bethany is thrilled to partner with CFHZ to provide affordable mental health services to the Latino community by providing barrier-free access to mental health services. We believe that everyone, regardless of background, should feel safe, loved, and connected to services in their language and community,” says Tim Nolan, executive director of Bethany Christian Services in Holland.

Ladder Homes — Ladder Home 6
Amount awarded: $30,000
Purpose: To add a home to house 3-4 unsheltered community members with mental illness.
Participation in Ladder Homes’ Supported Independent Living Program offers a level of security over a sustained period while working with residents to set and meet goals, navigate community resources available to them, and move on to more independent living environments in an average of 12 months.

Arbor Circle — Children and Family Outpatient Counseling Services
Amount awarded: $20,000
Purpose: To strengthen outpatient counseling services for children and their families through the
Holland office. Arbor Circle has experienced an increased frequency of youth seeking services for anxiety, depression, and trauma. They are one of few organizations that provides services to individuals who use Medicaid, helping fill a gap for vulnerable populations.

“We are grateful for the potential these funds will support, ensuring our staff has all the tools they need as we work to provide the best possible services for the children and families in our community,” says Anna Wehrmeyer, clinical manager at Arbor Circle.

Evergreen Commons — PEARLS Mental Health Program for Seniors
Amount awarded: $20,000
Purpose: To provide mental health services with local partners and to provide access to an evidence-based program that improves the quality of life for older adults by addressing mental health problems. For older adults, depression can be compounded by social isolation, disability, polypharmacy, or financial concerns. Evergreen Commons has served adults 55 and older in this community since 1985 and currently supports over 4,500 annual members. With existing relationships, trust, and infrastructure, the PEARLS program will provide new tools and pathways to meet the mental health care needs of seniors in our community.

“At Evergreen Commons, we are committed to serving our older adult population in a holistic manner, which includes supporting their emotional needs,” says the Rev. Dr. Jill Ver Steeg, Evergreen Commons president and CEO. “The PEARLS program is specifically designed for older adults experiencing depression. With a client-centric adaptable design, the program empowers older adults to develop skills and lifestyles to promote wellness. We are truly grateful to CFHZ for their support of mental wellness in our older adult community.”

More information about grantmaking is available online at Questions about CFHZ’s grantmaking strategy can be directed to Yah-Hanna Jenkins Leys at

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Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.