Project ASSIST Overview

Hope, Help, & Recovery

These are stressful times. The country is in economic crisis. People’s extreme reactions to the difficulties they face during this crisis have been compared to people’s reactions to earthquakes or terrorist attacks. Long term unemployment and poverty during this period can trigger substance abuse and mental health issues.

In Fall River, our unemployment rate has doubled in the past two years; and has fluctuated between 14 and 18% in 2010. This rate is the highest in Massachusetts and among the highest in the country. During these years our population has become more vulnerable to issues like depression, drug and alcohol abuse, anxiety and violence.

Fall River was recently one of three cities in the Nation to receive a $5.6 million federal grant to aid members of our community coping with some of these problems due to the bad economy. The grant is called the Community Resiliency and Recovery Initiative and was awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

We tailored the grant to meet our community’s unique needs and created Fall River’s Project ASSIST (Assisting, Serving, Supporting in Stressful Times). Different programs will be developed throughout the four-year grant cycle to help the community get through this difficult time.

Programs will be designed to be welcoming to people from different cultures and backgrounds. Key staff will be bilingual Portuguese and Spanish. Materials will be available in different languages. Intervention groups will be created to meet the needs of different communities.

Visit our contact page for locations and phone numbers. If you need a department contact go here.

Case Management

All people who screen positive will have the option to receive up to six months of case management. Case managers will meet with individuals, discuss their issues, and figure out a “treatment” plan. Treatment may consist of advocacy, assistance in securing resources(such as SNAP/food stamps, ESL classes), counseling and/or admission into one of our groups.

Job Coaching

Job Preparation Specialist Katie Beth Wright can help clients enrolled in Project ASSIST to identify job skills and career goals; write resumes and cover letters; perform job searches; and identify new training or educational programs.

The Project ASSIST Job Club

Open to all Fall River residents, regardless of whether or not they are enrolled in the program. The Club meets Monday’s from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Residents struggling with unemployment meet in an informal, relaxed environment to discuss job strategies, practice interviewing skills, build resumes and cover letters, browse job ads and offer each other support. Free coffee and breakfast treats. Location: 1700b President Avenue (behind the Newport Creamery).

Cost & Contact Info

Screenings are free. Six months of Case management are free to individuals who screen positive for being at risk for any of the mental health or substance abuse issues identified during the assessment. Most other services will be sliding scale based on income and free for those who can’t afford it. Insurance plans can be used, and we can help clients apply for insurance.

For more information, please call us at 508-837-6957.