Bellefaire JCB, a child service agency that provides a variety of behavioral health, substance abuse, education and prevention services to more than 43,000 youth and their families each year, has received its third grant from Three Arches Foundation, a Lakewood based foundation that invests in advancing the health and well-being of the people of Lakewood and its surrounding communities.

In 2021, Three Arches Foundation awarded $2 million in grants, according to its website. Through those grants, it collaborates with community partners to fund initiatives that address access to care, including behavioral and physical health. The grant, which is a two-year grant for $217,582, supports behavioral health consultation and critical trauma-informed prevention services in Lakewood City Schools. The work is done through a partnership between other grant recipients, OhioGuidestone and Cleveland Clinic, which is the onsite mental health navigator in the partnership.

Bellefaire JCB is also home to JDN Early Childhood Center, Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters Association and the Monarch Center for Autism. It has offices in University Heights, Medina, Akron and Lorain.

Ali Trotter, Bellefaire JCB’s director of admissions and community outreach, told the Cleveland Jewish News that one of the biggest benefits of the grant and continued partnership in Lakewood City Schools is the added ability to serve kids without Medicaid or insurance coverage that doesn’t cover Bellefaire JCB’s services.

“With this, we can serve any child,” she said, adding that Medicaid covers Bellefaire JCB’s primary services. “This gives us the opportunity to serve more kids in Lakewood. We’re so appreciative of Three Arches Foundation to give us the opportunity to continue to reach the many kids in need in Lakewood City Schools.”

But, even before the grant, Bellefaire JCB was already serving the students of Lakewood City Schools, Trotter said. So when they learned about the grant opportunity, they knew they had to pursue it.

“We, of course, applied for it so we could better serve the kids in the district,” she said. “And in rising to the occasion, we’ve been able to provide more mental health and prevention services in Lakewood. With COVID-19, we’ve seen an enormous increase in anxiety and depression. So, this grant also allows us to ensure that all children who have been affected by that can be served.”

And this grant continues to help inform programming at Bellefaire JCB, Trotter said, adding it has provided its leadership with the knowledge that these services are needed in many other school districts in Northeast Ohio. With that knowledge, Trotter said this also gives Bellefaire JCB the drive to seek dollars in other districts to reach more children in need of their services.

“There is an immense need for providers to come together to ensure that we’re meeting the mental health needs for any child,” she said.

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