Three finalists were chosen to compete for Impact 100 Martin’s $100,000 grant award in 2018: House of Hope, Project LIFT, and Tykes & Teens. Grants were awarded as follows:
Project LIFT – $100,000
House of Hope – $3,500
Tykes & Teens – $3,500
Each finalist organization’s profile is outlined below.
Project LIFT Inc.
Executive Director: Robert Zaccheo
Year Founded: 2010
Mission: Dedicated to improving lives of at-risk teens through substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, vocational skills training and mentoring.
Vision: To transform the lives of at-risk teens into successful, independent, competent, productive citizens in our community.
Project LIFT (Life Initiatives for Teens) began in March 2010 to offer hope for at-risk teens ages 14-19 with problems in the following areas: drug and alcohol addiction, juvenile delinquency, truancy, physical altercations, depression and low self-esteem. Licensed therapists and vocational tradesmen work intensively with individuals and small groups of teens to overcome negative behaviors, utilizing the skilled trades to elicit positive outcomes for the future.
For the past seven years, Project LIFT has been offering 14-week programs with continued aftercare at no cost to participants. The sessions combine substance abuse treatment, group and individual mental health therapy and mentoring along with vocational skills training in such areas as auto repair/restoration, boat building and restoration, creative design, screen/textile printing, bicycle repair, welding, carpentry, sewing, upholstery or agriculture. In addition, participants are taught the joy of giving back to the community. Teens in the programs have been responsible for giving away close to 100 cars to needy families in Martin County and performing more than 700 no-cost auto repairs.
Impact Project: Launch of Pathway Academy of Innovation to provide at-risk high school dropouts with an alternative way to obtain a high school diploma.
House of Hope
CEO: Robert Ranieri
Year Founded: 1984
Mission: To empower Martin County residents to overcome hunger and hardship.
Vision: To become the leader in transforming lives by providing basic needs and life skills to those in need.
House of Hope provides food, clothing, furniture, financial assistance, information and referrals to Martin County residents in need. There is never a cost to anyone seeking assistance, and everyone receives some level of life-skills planning and goal-setting case management. On average, House of Hope provides 6,000 services to people each month and distributes 700,000 pounds of food annually to individuals, local church kitchens and food pantries, agency partners and low income communities.
House of Hope operates four full-service centers, thrift stores and Client Choice pantries, in addition to five nutrition gardens, the Elisabeth Lahti Nutrition Center, the Golden Gate Center for Enrichment and a vocational training program. All programs and services are designed to educate and empower people in need, to break the cycle of poverty and afford them the greatest opportunity for good health, financial stability and life success.
IMPACT Project: Construction and supervision of an internal greenhouse system on the Agriculture Vocational Production Farm.
Tykes & Teens
CEO: Jeffrey Shearer
Year Founded: 1996
Mission: Supporting and strengthening our community through quality prevention, education and social emotional healing services for children and their families.
Vision: To create a community where all children have access to high quality mental health services.
Tykes & Teens has provided mental health services to more than 30,000 local children in need since its founding in 1996. The organization is dedicated to strengthening families and preventing suicide, substance use and other dangerous behaviors by ensuring that all children have access to high quality mental health services. This includes counseling as well as a wide range of specialized programming that helps families cope with issues such as sexual abuse, domestic violence, bullying, school suspension and more.
Outpatient counseling services are provided on a sliding scale at three locations in Martin County: Palm City, Jensen Beach and Hobe Sound, as well as on-site counseling in 13 Martin County schools, at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County and in the Okeechobee school system. Select services are also available in St. Lucie and Indian River Counties. Tykes & Teens also seeks to advocate for increased awareness of mental health in order to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.
Impact Project: Hope on the Go – a mobile children’s mental health counseling office.