My first experience with the MHAT was as an external auditor for many years. From this relationship I observed the passion and dedication MHAT's employees exhibited in serving their clients and thier mission. I audited many nonprofits in the area, many of which are truly wonderful organizations. However, MHAT stood out to me as and Organization I wanted to get more involved with. When I left the firm that performed the audit, I made the decision to volunteer with MHAT. I served on the Board for 6 years and continue to serve on the Finance Committee. The Association has grown by leaps and bounds over the past 10 years due to the passion exhibited by the Staff, volunteers (including Board Members) and donors. Their "housing first" model has made the most significant impact on me. They embraced the concept that you can't expect someone to sober up, clean up, get a job THEN provide them with housing. You're much more successful when you provide a person with safe, affordable housing and wrap them with the services they need (whether from MHAT or other local nonprofits).
Having the opportunity to work closely with MHAT, and being acquainted with a number of their staff, I am deeply impacted by the compassion, integrity, respect and honor offered to all people serving with them, and most importantly, being served by them. Also as one whose family has suffered the loss of a heart-and-mind-wounded Iraq war veteran, I know by experience the strengthening and healing I have received through the love, support, and embrace encircling me through many on staff at MHAT. This organization has most certainly changed the topography of Tulsa in terms of mental health education, of moving this city forward to better understand, embrace, care for, and respect those in our midst who courageously confront their mental health challenges daily, and in engaging community members to get involved through tangible action. They have pioneered in caring for, and elevating, the segment of our community who, years ago, otherwise would have received very little compassion or care. There is truly no other organization or staff I know of for whom I have greater respect and with whom I am more proud -- and humbled -- to be involved, than Mental Health Association in Tulsa.
I have visited several of mhat buildings including Denver House, Altamonte, Walker and Yale Apartments. I met several former homeless who were residents. All were employed, seemed happy and were participating in the mhat culture. Money invested in public housing is better spent than unnecessary, emergency room vists, incarceration of the mentally ill and turning our backs on a potentially valuable segment of our community.
I have served as a member of the Housing Committe for the Mental Health Associaiton of Tulsa ("MHAT")for approximately 6 years. A large portion of our homeless are also suffering from some form of mental illness. During this time MHAT has dramitically assisted this portion of our homeless population with obtaining stable and affordable housing, which in turn has allowed more effective treatment of their mental illlness. There have been many wonderful success stories. My business is developement & management in the "for profit" multi-family industry. I have been and remain active in our local, state and national apartment associations. The manner in which MHAT has improved and maintained the apartment properties it has acquired, has not only helped to meet its mission of providing affordable housing for the chronically homeless mentally ill, but has also helped to improve neighborhoods and increased property values. As a real estate professional, I am very proud of the job that MHAT has done in this regard. Greg Guerrero, ASC Development & Management Company.
The fact that the national conference on Mental Heath was held in Tulsa rather than Washington DC this most recent year is a recognition on what informational work is being done by this organization. Their leadership, approach and overall impact is amazing.
The Mental Health Association in Tulsa is a nationally recognized, award winning organization making huge strides in providing over 650 units of safe, affordable, and decent housing for people living with mental illness with the goal of ending chronic homelessness in Tulsa. Last month the Association hosted the 2012 National Zarrow Mental Health Symposium and Mental Health America Annual Conference attracting speakers from 20 states and attendees from 35 states and 3 countries. The subject was "from housing to recovery". Executive Director, Michael Brose, his staff, board members and volunteers are unparalleled. As a volunteer for over 18 years, I've witnessed tremendous growth in housing, wrap around services, education, public policy, advocacy, outreach and employment assistance to name a few. The Mental Health Association is changing people's lives, including mine. I find it a privileged to be given the opportunity to work with such talented, dedicated people who are making a difference in this world.
Not enough can be said about the warm, genuine, and hard-working nature of this non-profit, including its staff and volunteers. I joined the Mental Health Association in Tulsa as a volunteer board intern and was immediately impressed by the spirit of its people. From its goodhearted and down-to-earth Executive Director, Mike Brose, to the selfless staff that is its backbone, everyone goes above and beyond what is necessary to serve the Tulsa community. I am proud to be part of an organization that has made a significant contribution to ending homelessness in our city. In assisting the mentally ill, the Mental Health Association in Tulsa has provided not only the basic necessities of everyday life such as housing and support, but a sense of dignity and worth which is invaluable. They have become a family to me and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with this non-profit!