Archived News Articles
CYE Races for Breast Cancer Cure
By: Cynthia K. Loftin, MBA
The month of October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Activities conducted during this month are designed to work toward reducing incidents of breast cancer by ensuring that through early detection and prevention. During the past month, organizations like the Susan G. Koman Foundation sponsored many fund raising events. Since 1982, Komen has played a critical role in every major advance in the fight against breast cancer and transforming how the world talks about and treats this disease. The foundation also helped to turn millions of breast cancer patients into survivors and many of them participate in racing for the cure events across our city and the nation.
On October 5, 2103, the foundation in partnership with Athleader Training Gym held an event at Stone Mountain Park. It began at 6:45 AM. Several Covenant Youth Empowerment (CYE) staff members raced with other individuals and groups. CYE wanted to show its support for persons who are suffering from breast cancer, survivors and those who have succumbed to the disease. A group picture is listed above. As seen in the picture the CEO also raced to show his support. It is important to remember this is not a female–only disease or a female-only cause. Men can also get breast cancer and care about the women afflicted with it. This is in keeping with CYE’s mission of focusing on the strengths of the individuals we serve. Running or walking is a great way to reduce the risk of getting breast cancer and improve the possibility of surviving. Important facts concerning breast cancer include the following:
- About 1 in 8 US women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
- In 2013, an estimated 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women and nearly 2,240 new cases of invasive breast cancer in US men.
- About 39,620 women in the United States of America are expected to die of breast cancer in 2013. More African American women are expected to die of this disease than women from other races or national origins.
- About 85% of breast cancer occurs in women who have no family history of the disease.
- A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. About 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with the disease.
The funds generated from this race support breast cancer research in the search for a possible cure. CYE and its staff support the 14 million American survivors and those who have avoided it. For more information, to get help, or to join the race, contact the Susan G. Koman Foundation at 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636).
The Covenant Youth Empowerment -Homeless Initiative
Tucker, Georgia, November 22, 2013: The executive leadership of Covenant Youth Empowerment announced its homeless project. On any given night in our city and surrounding neighborhoods, an estimated 7000 people are homeless. These people are sleeping in emergency shelters, unsheltered locations, and transitional housing units and approximately 2400 suffer from serious mental illness. Unfortunately, these are facts no longer hold surprise to most citizens in this city. Many have grown accustomed to the sight of homeless persons living under bridges. We have learned not to gaze at a toothless woman muttering to herself at the bus stop wearing layers of clothes even in warm weather. We are no longer shocked at the sight of small children and parents, panhandling on our streets. A recent Gallup Poll reported most Americans feel compassion for the homeless they encounter on the street, yet many are puzzled. They do not know how to react to this growing problem that seemed to emerge out of nowhere.
Sometimes local leaders have dealt with the homeless situation by jailing individuals for sitting on the streets or sleeping on park benches. Unable to find an inexpensive and simple solution to the problem, it appears many governmental officials prefer to pretend that it does not exist. These factors make individuals with serious mental illnesses extremely vulnerable to homelessness and difficult to help once they become homeless. Who are mentally ill homeless persons, and how do they survive? They are among the poorest people in our neighborhoods. They usually receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other modest incomes. Many suffer from severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, mood disorders, severe depression, and personality disorders.
Given medical and psychosocial treatment along with stable housing, many could function at a high level. To assist with these homeless persons, Covenant Youth Empowerment (CYE) expanded its mental health counseling services. The new Homeless Initiate provides daily support to homeless men, women and couples. This approach of mental health services has one main goal to help homeless individuals move to self-sufficiency (to the extent possible) and to permanent housing. One CYE client reported spending several years in a transitional program with another homeless organization. During that time, this client rarely met with a case manager and did not receive counseling services. Since joining CYE, working with a case manager, the client has developed a treatment plan. The plan containing the steps needed for him to achieve living independently.
The CYE homeless program provides clients with a range of care from outreach, assessment, treatment, emergency and transitional housing to permanent housing. The CYE program operates simultaneously on an individual and the community level. At the community level, CYE works with local emergency shelters to coordinate mental health services and housing. Covenant Youth Empowerment programs are available and accessible to the homeless population. With CYE, services for homeless persons begin with the street outreach and the intake process. The street outreach services are conduct at local emergency shelters and particular street locations. Several clients discovered on the streets reported that the possibility of a housing placement motivated them to seek help.
When someone agrees to receive services, a case manager will devise a personalized treatment plan to provide the care each individual needs to become stabilized and move toward increased functioning and self-sufficiency. In addition to obtaining a permanent address, the CYE professional staff helps clients gain the life skills needed to secure employment, learn new parenting and family skills, or receive supplementary education. One client stated the CYE program has helped him learn to dream again. This client is working with case management staff to develop skills needed to attend college and hopes to begin in July of next year. Another client felt working with the counseling and other support staff helped to bring happiness and family stability back into her life.
The CYE Homeless Initiative is located in the Stone Mountain, Georgia. It serves eight- ten clients at one time. Each one has a life plan and staff assists in the achievement of the plan. Using a medical van, the employees search places where the homeless congregate looking for ones wanting help. The homeless program is under the direction of the clinical director, Mr. Darrell M. Brooks, LPC, M.Ed., MPA. Other staff members include the following:
- Adult Coordinator: Cary Durden, MICP Specialist
- Case Mangers: Chadrina Leavell and Gradrell Davis- Individual Facilitators and Joseph Osondu- Group Facilitator
- Licensed Therapists: Keisha Myer and Bobbie Vyas
Each client will spend two and half days of each week at the residential treatment facility for a 30 day period. The clients reside in emergency shelters for the other days each week. During the treatment days, the clients receive daily individual and group counseling sessions. These services are provided by licensed therapists. The case managers assist the homeless clients with life skills. The adult coordinator, Ms. Cary Durden, works with each client with obtaining mainstream benefits and additional medical appointments.
People living on the streets usually do not receive mental or other health services. CYE Homeless Initiative makes it easier for homeless individuals to receive help. Many of the homeless clients describe the staff as being kind and showing concern for them. Some of the mentally ill also suffer from other chronic health conditions like HIV/AIDS. CYE helps its clients obtain intensive case management and mental health treatment along with assistance with any other medical condition. After the 30 day period, the homeless clients are placed in permanent housing with CYE and other agencies. The CYE adult coordinator works to find each client a place to call home. At their new home, the clients continue to receive mental health therapy and life skill training. The plans for the future include adding a licensed therapist specially trained to assist homeless persons addicted to chemical substances and to expand the number of treatment and permanent living facilities.
Covenant Youth Empowerment provides mental health care to persons without resources or opportunity to obtain these services. The agency serves both adolescents and adults in the metropolitan area of Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, please call 770-723-7700 or email info@CYEEmail.com.
Cynthia K. Loftin
Covenant Youth Empowerment
3469 Lawrenceville Highway, Suite 301
Tucker, Georgia 30084