Montana Crisis Recovery Line Now Available!

CONTACTS:
Marissa Perry, Communications Director, Governor’s Office, (406) 444-4514
Erin Loranger, Press Secretary, Governor’s Office, (406) 444-9725
Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936

Governor Bullock Announces New Crisis Counseling Hotline Funded by $1.6 Million Federal Grant

Montana Crisis Recovery line is now available at                  121-877-503-0833

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced a new crisis counseling hotline funded by a $1.6 million federal grant is now available to aid Montanans struggling with their mental health due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“We know Montanans in every corner of the state have been impacted by this virus in various ways and I’m pleased this hotline is available to support anyone in need,” Governor Bullock said. “I encourage Montanans to use the hotline now to receive confidential assistance and get connected to the appropriate services in their community.”

The Montana Crisis Recovery hotline is funded and available for at least the next nine months. Montanans in need of crisis counseling can call 1-877-503-0833 to receive free and confidential counseling services from trained crisis counselors Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The free service is meant to help people navigate feelings of isolation, loss, fear, uncertainty, depression, and anxiety they are experiencing during this time. The new service is available to all Montanans, with target populations identified as healthcare workers and first responders, school officials, veterans, elderly individuals, Native Americans, and farmers and ranchers.

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) partnered with Disaster and Emergency Services to pursue the grant to address the growing need for mental health services.

“As COVID-19 cases rise across Montana, the impacts on mental health can be devastating to a wide range of the population,” Zoe Barnard, DPHHS Addictive and Mental Disorders Division Administrator, said. “A crisis counselor can offer an empathetic ear and provide support.”

Counselors on the other end of the line will be there to listen without judgement, offer emotional support, comfort, console, offer information and education on stress and coping, and direct callers to additional support and community resources. DPHHS is contracting with Mental Health America of Montana to manage the hotline. The phone line, when fully staffed, will include 12 trained crisis counselors. Efforts are currently under way to recruit and hire two counselors who are Tribal members.

In addition to Mental Health America of Montana, DPHHS will work closely with four additional project partners including the Montana Hospital Association, Voices of Hope, Kauffman & Associates Inc., and the Montana Public Health Institute. The team will work together to hire counselors and will provide outreach to communities across the state through this opportunity.

The grant is provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Other mental health resources that are already available to Montanans include the Montana Crisis Text Line, Montana Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Montana Warmline and Thrive by Waypoint Health.

The Crisis Text Line is available 24/7 by texting MT to 741 741; the Montana Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 800-273-TALK (8255); the Warmline is available Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday noon to 9 p.m. at 877-688-3377; and information about Thrive by Waypoint Health, an online cognitive behavioral therapy for those actively working to manage anxiety and stress, is available at https://thriveformontana.com/

Over the past several months, DPHHS has expanded these services to assist Montanans through the ongoing pandemic.

Social Justice in Action

 

 An Article from the 2020 Good Samaritan Ministries Diocese Newsletter:

LOVE IN ACTION

“I’ve got a good job here but I can’t find housing for me and my family”, said an unnamed Helena man experiencing homelessness.  “I learned back in high school to trust my maker so that’s what I’m doin’ and I just keep on tryin’.”

For those who are homeless, winter brings significant additional challenges when the pandemic is also creating extra risk.  The organizations that serve individuals and families experiencing homelessness are reporting record numbers of people needing assistance with shelter. However, the pandemic impacts their ability to provide services.

Since its inception in the 1980’s, Good Samaritan Ministries (GSM) in Helena has provided help through a variety of programs to serve individuals with basic needs as well people who are homeless and those in need of immediate assistance. These programs include the Assistance Ministry and associated Thrift Store, Our Place, Housing Navigator, and the Street Outreach Program. These different programs within GSM are funded by the four area Catholic parishes (Cathedral of Saint Helena, St. Mary’s Catholic Community, Our Lady of the Valley, and Sts. Cyril & Methodious) who provide monthly donations, and many other area churches, individuals, grants, the City of Helena, and Lewis and Clark County.

“The Assistance Ministry is available 24/7 so people can get services any day of the week including evenings”, said Executive Director, Theresa Ortega. “This assistance program provides basic emergency crisis shelter, help to pay rent and power bills, clothing, furniture and household goods as well as helping with medical care and transportation costs.”

Within the Thrift Store is another unique service called the “Placer Pantry” that is only open at scheduled times to provide free items to those in need which includes diapers, baby formula, soap, sleeping bags and personal hygiene items.  The Soroptimists Club of Helena and the Greater Federation of Women partner with GSM to provide these pantry items.

GSM is one of the “front door” agencies to the Housing First statewide database. This is a collaborative project through United Way that identifies the unique needs of individuals and families who are homeless or at immediate risk of becoming homeless, matches them with the agencies that can best meet their needs for housing and other resources, and connects them with these agencies. This makes the process of securing shelter and a more permanent home significantly less stressful for people in need.

In December of 2019, GSM took over the management of the “Our Place” program for Lewis and Clark County. With its colorful outdoor sign promising empowerment, recovery and wellness, it provides people in need (veterans, those from institutional settings, or those simply lost and in need of help) with a safe warm daytime place.  In addition to companionship, Helena Food Share, Salvation Army, and dropped off food donations provide breakfast, lunch and snacks. Hot coffee is served all day long and people can use a bathroom and a washer/dryer to do their laundry – a luxury for those who cannot afford a laundromat.

Trained staff at Our Place networks with community and state agencies to meet a variety of people’s needs that range from chemical dependency, physical and mental health services and necessary medications to food, housing and helping them to sign up to receive treatment, mental health support, Social Security, Medicaid, or Veteran Administration benefits.

A man walked into GSM’s Our Place seeking help; he was homeless and living in his vehicle.  Four months earlier his daughter had committed suicide, and a week later his older brother died from COVID-19. Although a recovered addict who had been in sobriety for ten years, he turned back to drugs to numb his grief, and then lost his job and his housing.

In a compassionate response, Marvin Colman, Manager of Our Place, reached out and partnered with Instar Community Services on behalf of the man seeking help to obtain a Chemical Dependency Evaluation. Upon completion of the evaluation, it was determined he needed inpatient treatment and GSM then contacted the Montana Chemical Dependency Center in Butte, who agreed to take him within the week.  GSM supplied transportation to Butte, where the man spent 30 days in treatment.  He successfully completed treatment, and now has housing and a job. The added grace in this situation is that he reconnected with his other two children.

GSM utilizes an Emergency Solutions Grant, which provides emergency shelter and helps people remain in their homes by paying up to six months of back rent. This grant also funds the Rapid Rehousing program which pays for the deposit and up to three months of rent on housing for people who are homeless.

Recently, GSM received a grant to develop a new Street Outreach Program where trained individuals reach out to people living on the street.  They offer people who are homeless food, hot coffee, and a human connection.  The outreach staff assists with any immediate needs including referrals for social services. It can take the outreach staff a period of time to build bonds of trust, as many homeless people have been traumatized and may have lived on the street for a long time.

One of many successful GSM clients whose story has a happy ending is “Kimberly”.  Her name is just Kimberly – she has no last name for this article.

“The longer you’re homeless, the harder it is to get on your feet,” said Kimberly after two years of living homeless.  When she walked into GSM’s Our Place,  Kimberly was timid, scared and sat under the stairs visibly shaking.  But two months later, and with the combined efforts of GSM, Our Place staff, and the Helena Housing Authority, she is now out of the cold and in her own apartment with food in her kitchen, furniture and a bed.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the corporal works of mercy are feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead. Among all these, giving alms to the poor is one of the chief witnesses to fraternal charity; it is also a work of justice pleasing to God.

Each one of us can help the homeless people in our community.  We can offer prayers, make financial contributions to GSM, donate clothing, food, furniture and household goods, or become a volunteer. We can educate ourselves on the causes and conditions of homelessness. We can integrate the Catholic Social Teaching principles into our lives, which entails recognizing that all we have is a gift, given to be shared, and we are all created as children of God.

As our Holy Father Pope Francis wrote, “Each of us can learn something from others. No one is useless and no one is expendable.”

Beloved Mother, help us realize that we are all members of one great family and to recognize the bond that unites us, so that, in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity we can help to alleviate countless situations of poverty and need.”  Pope Francis

 

Giving Tuesday is TOMORROW

At a time when we are all experiencing the pandemic, generosity is what brings people of all races, faiths, and political views together across the globe. Generosity gives everyone the power to make a positive change in the lives of others and is a fundamental value anyone can act on. #givingtuesday2020 is TOMORROW. Do what you can to help someone in need.

https://secure.givelively.org/donate/good-samaritan-ministries-thrift-store/giving-tuesday-neighbors-helping-neighbors

Good Samaritan client Thanksgiving meal

A HUGE thank you to Phyllis and Mary from Saint Paul’s Methodist Church for making an amazing entire Thanksgiving meal for all of the Good Samaritan clients housed at La Quinta hotel, we could not have had this event without your kindness. Our staff had such a great day serving and interacting with the clients.

 

New COVID-19 Directives

TO: Montanans; all officers and agencies of the State of Montana
FROM: Governor Steve Bullock
DATE: November 17, 2020
RE: Directive implementing Executive Orders 2-2020 and 3-2020 and limiting size for public gatherings and events and limiting bar and restaurant capacity and hours.

To curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Montana, and to protect the health and economic
wellbeing of all Montanans, it is necessary to implement additional measures to reduce spread of the
disease. In consultation with public health experts, health care providers, and emergency management
professionals, I have determined that to protect public health and human safety, it is essential to
provide certain restrictions and recommendations to limit public gatherings and close contact with
others.
November 17, 2020

Therefore, in accordance with the authority vested in me under the Constitution, Article VI, Sections 4
and 13, and the laws of the State of Montana, Title 10, Chapter 3 and Title 50, Chapter 1, MCA, and
other applicable provisions of the Constitution and Montana law, I hereby direct the following
measures be in place in the State of Montana, effective at 5 a.m. on Friday, November 20, 2020:

I. Restaurants, Bars, Breweries, Distilleries, and Casinos to Operate at 50 percent Capacity
and Close No Later Than 10:00 PM
 Capacity in all restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries, and casinos must be limited to
50 percent of normal operating capacity to allow for adequate group spacing.
 Tables must be limited to six people per table.
 Establishments must provide for 6 feet of physical distancing between groups and or tables by:
o Increasing table spacing, removing tables, or marking tables as closed.
o Providing for a physical barrier between tables.
o Note: back-to-back booth seating provides adequate separation.
 These businesses will be required to close their doors and have all patrons out by 10:00 p.m.
Businesses may reopen after 4:00 a.m.
 Breweries and distilleries shall follow existing laws on closing time.

II. Public Gatherings and Events Limited to 25 Individuals Where Social Distancing Is Not
Possible or Observed
 Any public gatherings or events where it is not possible to practice social distancing or where
social distancing is not being practiced must be strictly limited to 25 people or fewer.
o Anyone planning an event with more than 25 people should consult with their local public health office on a plan to implement adequate social distancing.
o This Directive does not alter existing requirements for houses of worship. Faith leaders are urged to continue to ensure that social distancing is possible and practiced for all in person services, and to encourage the use of virtual services where possible.
o This Directive does not alter existing requirements for public and private K-12 schools.
o The 25-person limit does not apply to bars, restaurants, breweries, distilleries, and casinos operating under the requirements set forth in Part I of this Directive.
 Though the group size limit applies only to public gatherings and events involving more than 25 people where social distancing is not possible or observed, Montanans are urged in the strongest terms to limit their involvement in any in-person gatherings of 15 or more people— including private gatherings inside a home. Such gatherings are a significant contributor to the
spread of the virus.
o Montanans are urged to practice social distancing in any gathering of any size outside their own household.

CDC guidance regarding Thanksgiving specifically is available here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-lifecoping/holidays/thanksgiving.html.

CDC guidance for more navigating the holidays more generally is available here:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html.
November 17, 2020

III. Face Coverings Required in All Counties Regardless of Case Count
 The requirements described in the July 15 Directive providing for the mandatory use of face
coverings in certain settings and the August 12 Directive providing for the mandatory use of face coverings in all K-12 schools are modified to apply in all counties statewide, whether or not a county has identified four active cases. The narrow allowance permitting students to remove face coverings while seated and observing proper social distancing of six feet, set forth
in the August 27 Directive, remains in effect according to the terms of that Directive.
Enforcement: This Directive, along with any prior Directive that implements and references the public health authorities of DPHHS provided in Title 50, constitutes a “public health . . . order” within the
meaning of § 50-1-103(2), MCA, and is enforceable by the Attorney General, DPHHS, a county attorney, or other local authorities under the direction of a county attorney.
 Local public health agencies are directed to assist in the administration of this Directive, consistent with § 50-1-202(2)(a), MCA. All officers and agencies of the state are directed to assist in the administration and enforcement of this Directive, consistent with § 10-3-305(2), MCA.
Applicability: In the interest of uniformity of laws and to prevent the spread of disease, all inconsistent local government health ordinances or orders are preempted by this Directive, but only to the extent they are less restrictive. Counties, cities, and towns may adopt more restrictive ordinances. To the limited
extent any previous Directives are in direct conflict with the provisions of this Directive, they are superseded. Otherwise, all prior Directives remain in full force and effect.
Authorities: Sections 10-3-104, -103, -302, and -305, MCA; §§ 50-1-202, -101, -203, and -204, MCA;
Executive Orders 2-2020 and 3-2020; Montana Constitution, Art. VI, Sections 4 and 13; and all other applicable provisions of state and federal law.
Limitations
 This Directive becomes effective at 5 a.m. on November 20, 2020, and expires at the end of the declared state of emergency in Executive Orders 2-2020 and 3-2020.
 This Directive shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the
availability of appropriations.
 If any provision of this Directive or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, this invalidity does not affect any other provision or application of this Directive, which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application. To achieve this purpose, the provisions of this Directive are declared to be severable.
 Nothing in this Directive shall be construed to limit, modify, or otherwise affect the authority granted by law to the Governor or any department, agency, political subdivision, officer, agent, or employee of the State of Montana, except as provided in this Directive or other Directives now in effect implementing Executive Orders 2-2020 and 3-2020.
 This Directive is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the State of Montana, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

 

To read full article please click below

2020-11-17_Directive on Group Size and Capacity – FINAL

There is always someone worse off….

There is always someone worse off….

 

In Aug of 2020, a consumer, a pleasant man in obvious personal pain came into the Our Place looking for housing. He had at one time had stable housing, a stable job, and ten years of sobriety from a Methamphetamine and Heroin addiction.

After a short talk with Our Place peer support, we learned that four months earlier his daughter had committed suicide, a week after that his older brother had lost his life to COVID-19, then within a month he lost his job and housing with nowhere else to go but his vehicle. Unfortunately he was unable to  cope and process the personal tragedies and pain. Unfortunately, he returned to his addictions and became lost in drugs again  numbing the  pain.

He contacted several agencies for a Chemical Dependency Evaluation (CDE). He was told over and over, it would be between  five to six weeks before anyone would be able to see him.

A peer support specialist introduced him to the manager of Our Place. Once the need was identified, Instar community Services was contacted for a CDE as a Good Samaritan partner for such services. Upon complement of the evaluation it was determined he needed inpatient treatment and Good Samaritan contacted the Montana Chemical Dependency Center (MCDC) in Butte, Montana. Because his assessment of need was so great MCDC agreed to take him within the week.  Our Place gave him a ride to Butte and he spent thirty days in treatment.  While he was in treatment,  Our Place housing Coordinator, Lori reached out to the community and was able to find him housing. This, to prevent him from being homeless and without a safe place of his own. He graduated treatment and he is now stably housed. He continues counseling every week and is starting to work through the grief he feels for the loss of his family. He is currently reconnecting with his other two children and he just had a job interview he feels positive about.

 

You can help!

 

How simple gratitude can change our entire path

In February2020, a young female came into Our Place and asked the manager if she could volunteer at the drop-in center. The manager asked her why she wanted to volunteer. She told him that one year ago she had been homeless and living on the street. She had spent several months living in the shelter; while there Our Place had been one of the only places of actual comfort, safety, and warmth she could find.  Eventually, she was able to secure an apartment, but she never wanted to be in that position again, so she went to the Career Training Institute. She spent a year training with them in several different employee areas. The young lady had previously never been able to keep a job for more than a week or two because she suffered from mental illness.

While at the career institute she learned about Peer Support as a career opportunity. She applied for and received a grant from them to attend Peer Support training. She fell in love with the concept of helping others that suffered as she had. When she graduated, she heard that Our Place had come under new management. The manager told her they had no job openings, but she simply shook her head and said, “No, I’m not looking for work right now I am looking for experience.” She told him that she knew she didn’t have very much work experience and wanted to volunteer twenty hours a week as peer support so that someday when she did get a job she would already be good at it.

The manager signed her up as a volunteer and gave her on the job training including everything from the NASW code of ethics to Crisis response. She was able to develop good work habits such as good attendance, mediation, and the ability to connect with her peers while remaining objective. Six months after she started volunteering, a job opportunity came up at Our Place and due to her hard work and dependability the decision was made to hire her. She works as a peer support specialist and enjoys success in this field to this very day.

Open Position: Assistance Coordinator Assistant

Objective of the Position:  To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

 

The Assistance Support Staff provides help to the Assistance Coordinator with programming  given to individuals and families in need through our Assistance Ministry.  Must have the ability to handle records of high volumes, extensive workloads(on a part time basis). The individual will manage client follow ups, reconciliation of GSM data base on in-store assistance, lead based paint inspections, landlord contact for completion of paperwork, and attend designated meetings.  Must possess the ability to be flexible and work other assigned projects and duties as necessary and instructed.  Skills needed for this position is attention to detail, time management, multi-taking, organizational and customer service skills. 

 

Essential Functions:  Duties and Responsibilities including but not limited to the following

  • Maintains confidentiality of all clients served at Good Samaritan Ministries
  • Able to conduct follow up with clients who have utilized GSM’s Hunthausen Assistance Program. 
  • Able to conduct follow up with clients who have utilized the ESG Program
  • Able to maintain HMIS file compliance and completion
  • Able to complete lead-based paint inspections as necessary and complete habitability forms for HUD and other programs
  • Able to send lead-based paint vouchers when applicable
  • Able to meet with landlords for completion of housing paperwork
  • Manages filing and the upkeep of all relevant data bases
  • Functions effectively as a team player and supports the organization
  • Attends all meetings and trainings as required
  • Follow all directions and Good Samaritan Policies
  • Other duties as necessary

 

Other Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Interacts and communicates effectively while maintaining open and professional communication with supervisors, other team members, customers and clients.
  • Functions as a team member for the success of the Good Samaritan Store and the Assistance Ministry program
  • Learns new tasks independently and as requested
  • Attends work on a regular basis with minimal absences
  • Adheres to all building safety requirements according to the fire code for all areas in the store
  • Other duties as necessary

 

Qualifications (Required):

  • The desire to promote the mission of Good Samaritan Ministries and Thrift Store
  • Maintaining databases
  • Ability to organize and prioritize for and with Assistance Coordinator
  • Valid MT Driver’s License 

Preferred:

  • AA or BA in Social Services or related field; education and work experience combined may qualify
  • Previous experience or knowledge of community services, social work or related field

 

Physical Requirements:

  • May be required to lift, and carry objects weighing up to limitations 
  • Must be able to sit or stand for long periods of time while working on the computer/clients
  • May spend work hours interacting with staff, customers, or those in need of support through the ministry

 

Working Environment: The work environment will be focused in the office setting and occasional community interactions with clients, realtors and landlords.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Work in a fast paced environment with heavy traffic flow, and heart wrenching situations on and off throughout the day

 

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature of the work being performed by employees in this position.  They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications.  The Good Samaritan Ministries Management reserves the right to amend and change the responsibilities to meet the store needs at any time.

Christmas Sharing – The Giving Tree

Greetings all,
 
It’s that time of year again AND, the end of 2020!
Good Sam is working with the Cathedral of St. Helena to ensure the many children in our community receive a Merry Christmas. With this note we wanted to let you all know how and when to access assistance for Christmas.
 
The following are the dates of the Cathedral Give Tree:
 
1. Applications will be taken at GSM from 9:00 – 3:00
-Nov 9th – Nov 13th
-Nov 16th – 20th
-Nov 23th – 24th
-Nov 30th – Dec 4th
-Dec 7th – 11th
-Dec 14th – 15th
 
2. Distribution date December 18th and 19th, distribution/shopping will be from 8:00-4:00p. Shopping will again be at the Brondel Center. This year shoppers will be taken to shop on very limited numbers at a time(1-3 at a time).
 
3. The Department of Health has been contacted to inform of the event and process.
 
Please feel free to refer families to GSM or the Cathedral for assistance
GSM: 442-0780-Theresa
Cathedral: 442-5825-Kathy

Good Samaritan Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is not just about making a donation its about making a DIFFERENCE. Throughout #GIVINGTUESDAY today we stand together, united with our global community to make a difference. Good Samaritan’s #GIVNGTUESDAY platform is to help raise money for those most in need in the Helena community. As the temperatures drop and the weather gets bad those living on the street are more vulnerable than ever please help make a difference in someone’s life by clicking the link below

Good Samaritan Giving Tuesday

406.442.0780
3067 N. Montana Avenue
Helena, MT 59601

office hours

Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

thrift store hours

Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Loading Dock: OPEN for donations Tuesday & Thursday  8:30-3, and Saturday 9-3.

© 2020 Good Samaritan Ministries. All rights reserved.