Sammy & Bonnie's Nonprofit Journey

Once upon a time, there were two girls, Sammy and Bonnie, who had a dream to start a non-profit mental health agency and change the world, here's their story...

The two of us are both Licensed Graduate Professional Counselors (LGPCs). Between us, we have almost 10 years of practice serving high-risk populations in schools, clinics, shelters, and residential substance abuse facilities, and directly in communities across the country.

Our experience includes first-hand service as therapists, managers and auditors with large, profit-driven mental health agencies. We have seen the unfortunate result of this model: lack of consumer focus, communities in need not being adequately served, and mental health professionals burning out.

If you know us well, you probably have heard us share some of the horror stories: poor employee treatment; unrealistic productivity and expectations; lack of  clinical supervision, and little focus on self-care. Equally and importantly, we have witnessed high intensity clients being served by underqualified and undertrained workers, fraudulent billing, and generally unethical behavior.

Would you believe that this is the standard for mental health care and how our hard-working mental health professionals are treated in our nation's capital?!We believe we can change that. We believe we can establish an agency to provide both need-based and ethical services, while fostering a supportive environment for our mental health professionals.

Our goal in the beginning phase is to work with the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) in Washington, D.C. to combat this trend, and become the model agency for quality mental health care in D.C. by "Fostering a Beloved Community."

Our core service agency (CSA) will be committed to serve high risk consumers in the District though person-centered and wellness-oriented community support (clinical case management) and individual therapy. We are to serve individuals who have experienced trauma, severe and persistent mental health illness, struggling with substance abuse, homelessness, financial difficulty, re-entering the community after periods of incarceration, at-risk youths, at-risk young mothers, etc. All of our consumers receive insurance through D.C. Medicaid and affordable managed care organizations (MCOs).

For every Community Support Specialist (CSS) we are able to hire, 30 individuals will gain access to support regarding housing, finances, community reintegration, crisis intervention, anger management, and skill-building for success in work and family life.

For every Therapist we are able to hire, 40 individuals will gain access to quality counseling to address trauma, grief, and managing difficult emotions.

Within the first year of opening, we project that we will be providing services to approximately 500 people in the community. 

Please help us get started on this journey with your donations and make this dream possible! Here's where your donation will go:     
     -Rent for office and clinical space: $1500-$2000/month     
     -Business application and certification fees: $1K
     -First month salaries, other administrative and start-up expenses:: $40k 

**We are exploring other sources of financing also, including small business loans, grants,  and angel investors.   Your donation will help us reduce our debt burden and ease our pathway to success.  The sooner we reach our fundraising goal, the sooner we can channel your support through providing quality mental health services to those in need. 

We will be posting weekly updates. By keeping all of our friends, family, and colleagues informed every step of the way, we will show how we are transforming our passion and conviction into very concrete progress and results. Please reach out to us directly at [email redacted] if you have further inquiries. We sincerely thank you for your support. 

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Sammy & Bonnie
Washington D.C., DC

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