Posted on November 6, 2015
The ladies of Show You Care Ministry, a part of Green Grove Baptist Church in Berlin, NJ, spent the last six months creating 700 handmade hats for Oaks Integrated Care consumers. The hats will go to people in need this winter. The dedicated team made hats for children and adults. The ladies met every Wednesday to crochet or loom the hats.
Each hat is unique in color and shape. Some of the hats even have decorative flowers or a pom pom! While no two hats are the same, you can see the love, thought and care put into every piece.
When the ladies dropped off the beautiful donation, 6ABC came by to cover the event. Watch their coverage of the story here. And check out some behind the scenes photos!
Posted on October 26, 2015
There’s only one month left until Thanksgiving, which means we’re busy gearing up for our annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drive! Last year, with the help of our generous donors, we distributed over 900 turkeys with all the trimmings. This year, the need is greater than ever. Don’t miss your chance to make Thanksgiving traditions possible this year!
Ways to Get Involved
1) Hold a Food Drive! Gather your friends, family or co-workers to help. Drop off food donations to a Oaks Integrated Food Pantry:
Mt. Holly Food Pantry Berlin Food Pantry
770 Woodlane Road, Suite 16 128 Berlin Cross-Keys Road
Mt. Holly, NJ 08060 Berlin, NJ 08009
- Frozen turkey/ham
- Canned sweet potatoes/yams
- Cranberry sauce
- Mashed potatoes
- Canned vegetables
- Bread/muffin mix
- Macaroni and cheese
- Pie filling and crust
2) Donate Online or by Mail! For every $2.71 donated, we can purchase a Thanksgiving meal for someone in need.
Mail monetary donations to:
Oaks Integrated Care, Attn: Development Office
770 Woodlane Road, Suite 15, Mt. Holly NJ, 08060
3) Volunteer! Volunteers are needed the week of Thanksgiving to pack bags and distribute food.
Contact Liz Lemmon at 609.267.5928 x99836 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on October 19, 2015
Thank you to all the hosts, chefs, guests and local businesses that made this event so successful! Visit our Flickr page to see all the fantastic photos from the Moorestown Progressive Dinner.
Posted on October 9, 2015
October 4 – 10 is Mental Illness Awareness Week. Although it’s important all year long, this week gives us the opportunity to discuss mental illness in America and the stigma surrounding it. Here are just a few stats about mental health in the U.S.:
Approximately 1 in 5 adults experiences mental illness in a given year.
Approximately 1 in 25 adults experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life.
The good news is, mental health disorders are common, treatable, and many individuals go on to recover and lead full and productive lives. Unfortunately, many people are reluctant to ask for help or simply don’t know where to find it. Connecting to community resources helps reduce isolation, and increases each individual’s ability to make healthy choices.
We Can Help!
Oaks Integrated Care provides over 150 behavioral health programs for vulnerable children, adults and families in our community. Outreach services give adults living with mental illness the opportunity to manage their illness through supportive counseling, housing, vocational assistance, family support, medication education and crisis intervention.
One Way YOU Can Help – Take the Pledge!
Join Oaks Integrated Care and our friends at NAMI as we fight against the stigma surrounding mental health! NAMI’s theme this year for Mental Illness Awareness Week revolves around their StigmaFree initiative.
NAMI explains “Being Stigma Free means learning about and educating others on mental illness, focusing on connecting with people to see each other as individuals and not a diagnosis, and most importantly, taking action on mental health issues and taking the StigmaFree pledge.”
Learn more at: http://www.nami.org/miaw#sthash.EkfWrfbi.dpuf
Posted on September 29, 2015
Posted on September 17, 2015
Registration is now open for our Moorestown Progressive Dinner!
Begin the evening with a cocktails and hors d’oeuvres reception at the beautiful home of Ed and Barbara Omert. From there, move on to share an intimate dinner with friends prepared by a talented area chef in a Moorestown home.
Proceeds benefit our Food Pantries and Mt. Holly and Berlin.
For more information on tickets, sponsorships and more, visit our Moorestown Progressive Dinner page.
Posted on September 1, 2015
THANK YOU to everyone who supported Oaks Integrated Care Operation Fill-A-Backpack drive! With all of the community support, we handed out over 900 backpacks to children in need. YOU gave a child the chance to start the school year with the tools and confidence needed to succeed!
Here are a few photos from this year’s drive:
If you have pictures of your own backpack drive, post them on our Facebook wall!
Posted on August 11, 2015
Touch A Truck is pulling into the the Moorestown Mall Parking Lot! Mark your calendars for September 26, 2015 so you don’t miss a minute of the fun!
Posted on August 6, 2015
Today on the blog, we feature an OP-ED our CEO, Bob Pekar, wrote. It was recently featured in The Burlington County Times.
Imagine trying to recover from a serious mental illness and not being sure where you were going to be able to sleep at night. Or imagine leaving an abusive relationship but not knowing whether you would have a stable home to fall back on where you could rebuild your life.
Situations like these are all too common in New Jersey. Even as new research has shown that good housing is the key to getting families confronting mental illness and other disabilities on their feet, too many New Jersey families wait for years on waiting lists to access safe and affordable housing opportunities. At Oaks Integrated Care, we always have families waiting in line for a housing opportunity.
Statewide, of the 120,000 New Jersey residents living with disabilities on the Social Security rolls receiving less than $800 a month, only 41,000 receive federal or state housing assistance. The rest struggle with substandard housing, living at home with aging parents or are at risk for homelessness.
But these families have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get the services they need to thrive. In a March ruling, the New Jersey Supreme Court reaffirmed our state constitution’s commitment to fair housing options for our families.
Most attention on our housing policies, known as the Mount Laurel doctrine, focuses on the benefits they provide to working families and senior citizens. But because the needs of people with disabilities and those who suffer from mental illness and domestic violence are so great, our courts recognize that towns have an obligation to provide housing services to them as well.
The high court’s ruling means that, over the next several months, hundreds of towns across New Jersey will submit housing plans to the courts for judicial review. Towns will have to prove they are taking appropriate steps to ensure they are doing enough to provide New Jersey residents with their fair share of housing opportunities.
Thanks to 16 years of litigation and bitter struggles over our state’s housing policies, it is understandable that towns are approaching this new process with caution. We invite them to view the next few months as an opportunity to make good on a legal and moral obligation to some of New Jersey’s neediest families.
As a full-service social service provider with nearly 500 clients in supportive housing environments, we know firsthand the benefits a stable home can bring. A home provides a stable place for people battling devastating mental illnesses to call their own and recover. It also provides opportunities for wraparound services, like counseling and access to social workers, which give people the chance to rebuild their lives.
Oaks Integrated Care offers services ranging from food pantries to case management options. But providing quality housing opportunities is the backbone of what we do – because without a home, these other services aren’t nearly as effective.
Housing isn’t just a moral and legal obligation New Jersey municipalities must face. It also makes good financial sense. Supportive housing options save taxpayers money by preventing extended, expensive hospital stays and even homelessness.
I call on towns to work cooperatively with developers and nonprofit and advocacy communities to craft local solutions to this pressing problem that work for everyone. As a manager of group homes, permanent supportive housing options and emergency transitional homes, we have deep experience in working with towns across Camden, Burlington and Mercer counties in meeting their housing obligations.
Many other organizations with similar expertise are waiting to lend a hand and leverage state, federal and local housing dollars to meet the growing need for these services. The need for this type of housing is so pressing that the courts even allow municipalities to earn bonuses or credits toward their obligations for building certain types of affordable housing units.
As towns across South Jersey prepare their housing plans over the next few months, we call on them to do all they can to help their fellow residents in need. These aren’t just numbers – they’re our brothers, our sisters, our children and our friends. And they deserve our help.
Bob Pekar is the CEO of Oaks Integrated Care (formerly Twin Oaks Community Services) in Mount Holly, a member of the Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey
Posted on August 1, 2015
When children return to school without even the most basic school supplies necessary for class, it can have a devastating impact on their education. Many parents of children and teens in Oaks Integrated Care programs cannot afford new backpacks and essential supplies for the upcoming school year.
You can show a child that you believe in his or her ability to succeed by donating a new backpack stuffed with new school supplies. Your donation will give a child the confidence needed to start the school year off on the path to success!
For a complete listing of supplies needed and drop off locations, visit our Operation Fill-A-Backpack page!