Steel Smiling Organization in Residence
Goal of the Program
The intention of the Organization-in-Residence program is two fold–to incubate a nascent and growing, Black-led organization to eventually launch as an independent non-profit entity and to bring a holistic, more person-centered approach to community development by aligning Steel Smiling’s Black mental health programs with Neighborhood Allies’ economic mobility and digital inclusion work.
What We Provide
Through the Organization-in-Residence partnership, Steel Smiling has heightened capacity to meet the needs of those they serve by accessing Neighborhood Allies’ organizational infrastructure. Having the ability to share in these structures, policies and internal services means that the Steel Smiling team will be able to both broaden and deepen their reach in ensuring that every Black person in Allegheny County has at least one positive mental health experience by 2030.
Steel Smiling’s Direct Programs:
Beams to Bridges (BTB) is a1-year, mental health workforce development program that equips Black adults with the knowledge, skills, and competencies to serve as Community Mental Health Advocates and support the mental health needs of others and themselves. While matriculating through this experience, cohort members receive group peer support, mental health resources, behavioral health treatment, workforce development stipends, and social service connections. Cohort members engage in at least 1-hour of weekly classroom time that’s facilitated by a Black mental health practitioner.
Select cohort members are invited to participate in weekly case consult sessions to help guide them through the process of providing peer support to their neighbors in community-based settings. This gives them an opportunity to work with executive leadership, clinical staff, program instructors, and cohort leaders to determine the best course of action when responding to the mental health needs of people in their neighborhoods.
The Black Mental Health Fund helps Black people offset costs related to receiving mental health support/treatment from Black mental health professionals. After completing an intake and application process, eligible community members can receive up to $1200 towards mental health services by Steel Smiling (*contingent upon availability of resources in the fund). The Black Mental Health Fund also provides community members with a matchmaking service to a pool of trusted, Black mental health practitioners who are reflective of the individuals served, and best poised to meet the culturally-specific needs of the resident.