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She arrived late to work today. She had been to the local housing authority to sign paperwork on a new apartment—finally.

And unfortunately she arrived to learn that there were still some things that had to be addressed prior to her being able to sign the paperwork and the lease.  When she reminded the house worker that she had nowhere to live as of Friday, they handed her a list of local shelters and told her they would work on her case.  I looked into her dejected face and asked her what she was going to do.  She said, “I’m just gonna stay where I am until they evict me.  The electric will be turned off on Friday so I’ll have to deal with the dark.  I can’t afford a storage unit for my things.”

Tara* has been working on housing for the last two months and makes almost daily calls to make sure she is doing anything she needs to do to assure she has a safe and sanitary place to live.  She works as a housekeeper here in Baltimore at the Ulman House.  Those three hours she lost at the local housing authority cost her three hours of wages and cost her an additional two bus fares.  She hasn’t been sleeping well because her current apartment is infested with roaches and they crawl all over her at night waking her up.  She has one nine year old child at home—her others are grown and gone and have children of their own.

Last week the school contacted Tara to ask her if things are okay at home because they are seeing changes in her daughter.  Tara has to be careful what she says because if the school learns she is not providing “adequate” housing for her girl, they will turn her in to child protective services as required by the laws here.

Tara’s challenges started when she left her young daughter’s abusive father in search of a better life for both of them.  She tells me she feels as if everything conspires against her and it’s a struggle to stay in faith that things will work out.  Her spirit is peaceful and lovely and she just wants to find a new path.  Every evening she is greeted by questions from her daughter, “Mommy, how did it go today?  Do we have a place to live yet?”

While Tara and her life experience are here in Baltimore, she is an example of what is happening all around us in Grant County and across the entire nation.  She is the working poor.  She’s not lazy.  She’s exhausted.  She’s poorly nourished.  She has more hurdles than most of us can imagine.  And yet she soldiers on for herself and her young child.  We can no longer ignore that our systems and processes are part of the problem.  As we check all the boxes to remain in compliance with all the programs and services, human resources requirements, employer related requirements, etc. that make us feel like we are doing a good job, a mother and child sleep in the dark in a roach infested apartment.

This is inequitable and wrong.

It’s time for a radical shift in how we do things in Grant County and beyond.  If we are not empowering individuals in our communities then why are we here?  What good are we doing?  It’s time for ALL of us to get our hands dirty.  It’s time to stop making assumptions and start asking questions—what happened to you that led you to this place? And what would be the most helpful to YOU right now?

My challenge, as you make plans and set intentions for yourself and your organizations in 2020, is to look at how YOU may be contributing to the challenges of our working poor community members.  Too much red tape in service offerings disguised as “compliance?”  Too much red tape in hiring?  Lack of on the job training to assist good employees in getting promotional opportunities?  Lack of diversity of cultures and thoughts in your organization and your personal networks?  Employment practices that set up the working poor for failure?  I believe WE can catalyze radical change in Grant County that moves our individuals and families from struggling to THRIVING.  It starts with each of us.  Let’s THRIVE together.

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Hi there.
We're Radiant Health.

As of January 18, 2023, Grant Blackford Mental Health and Family Services Society, two organizations that merged in April 2022, rebranded under the unified name Radiant Health.

We’re excited for you to meet the new us, and to get a chance to help work together on the new you.

How we help.

When you’re in the middle of it, addiction can feel like a dead-end road. We know for certain that it isn’t. Just like any mental health challenge, addiction is an obstacle on our path. And, with some innovation and hardwork, we can work our way around it. On the other side of that obstacle is a bright future with healthy relationships, purpose-driven life, and a profound joy that’s been missing for all too long.

What do we mean?

Like so many things, mental health is passed down through families. Through behaviors, mirroring, and conditioning, we learn so much of what we know from those closest to us. Oftentimes that’s for the better, sometimes it’s not. At Radiant Health, we’re here to help ensure that your family makes purpose and joy as hereditary as any trait you might pass down to future generations. With a bit of hard word, together, we can make joy run in your family. 

What is Better?

Better ≠ perfect. Better means a path of continuous improvement; of evolution. When we focus on getting 1% better, 1% brighter every single day., we’re able to see the joy in the moment, while feeling the pride that comes with taking the reins over your life and working hard on yourself.  Here at Radiant, to focus on your future, we move towards it one achievable step at a time. 

What is Better Care?

When we talk about “brighter, better care” through our specialized services it boils down to 3 simple ideas. First, better care is safer care. Our facilities and staff are trained and equipped to offer safe, secure facilities during any stay. Second, better care is a respect for dignity. We believe in the dignity of every human being and we treat each person with the same level of respect. Finally, better care is the pursuit of purpose. Our treatment is designed with the firm belief that every person has purpose and, through it, finds joy.

What to Expect?

At Radiant Health you can expect a warmth and cheer that are rare in the mental health space. We believe firmly that the commitment to mental health is a commitment to finding purpose, but also discovering joy in the pursuit of it. Walking through our doors is a simple and transparent process. You’ll begin with an initial consultation with our expert staff, developing a blueprint, and taking that first step towards incremental improvement.