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) provides 50 hours of comprehensive mental health training and education to community members, grounded in:
- Self-care through education, self-exploration, healing and practice, and
- Community care through sharing experiences, group support, community conversations, and connections to mental health and wellness providers.
Training activities include:
- Comprehensive mental health education, topics include Culture, Identity, and Development, Trauma, Substance use and recovery, Grief and loss, Relationships and conflict, How to find help and treatment, and Mental Health First Aid
- Developing a personal self-care practice,
- Facilitating supportive mental health conversations, community conversations and mental wellness activities, and practices
- Meeting local mental health and wellness providers.
Participants experience diverse training techniques including lectures, large and small group discussions, role-playing activities, journal assignments to meet the following learning objectives:
- Identifying mental health signs and symptoms,
- Supporting the mental health needs of others, and themselves.
- Championing/Advocating for mental health experiences 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.