Health & Wellness
Health & Wellness

We’re providing pathways to health, wellness and prevention.

Holistic Wellness imagePeople FirstUSI has assembled and engaged a group of dedicated health partners to respond to the unique needs of former Tidewater Gardens residents, help them obtain health insurance and quality care, and reduce the barriers that prevent health equity. Organizations such as Kaleidoscope Counseling, Prime Plus, Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, and Peoples Pharmacy connect these residents where they currently live to a comprehensive list of physical- and mental-health services while encouraging prevention and holistic wellness.

Health & wellness strategies play a key role.

  • Improve health outcomes through prevention and wellness programming.
  • Increase the number of residents accessing quality physical, dental, and mental healthcare.
  • Reduce barriers that prevent health equity.
  • Create a pathway to wellness for young adults and seniors aging out of existing programs.
  • Create pathways to increase ongoing participation in holistic-wellness opportunities that reinforce safety, mastery, and connection.

Healing Mind and Body

People FirstUSI knows that racism and discrimination are as common to trauma and toxic stress as childhood adversities. Yet, too often, that trauma and stress go unnamed, undiagnosed, and untreated. People FirstUSI helps residents of the Tidewater Gardens community who feel this impact address how both mind and body react to traumatic experiences. This support will continue not only while the project is underway but for years after the St. Paul’s transformation is complete.

Kaleidoscope Counseling helps families face life’s challenges.

Francesca Dillard-Moore is on a mission to dispel the negative stigma about mental health that exists in the Black community. As founder and CEO of Kaleidoscope Counseling and Case Management (KCCM) LLC, a Portsmouth-based, comprehensive mental health agency that serves families and children in the Norfolk area, her nonprofit works closely with People FirstUSI to help families from Tidewater Gardens cope.

Since 2019, Kaleidoscope has been awarded one-year support grants from People FirstUSI, funded by the City of Norfolk, to help families who experience trauma, anxiety, depression, drug or alcohol addiction, grief and other issues that impact their quality of life and ability to perform daily functions. Kaleidoscope does this through in-home counseling, mentoring, parenting classes, outpatient therapy, safety courses, and mental health skill-building exercises. It also makes referrals to Medicaid services and community mental health providers to ensure that families receive the comprehensive care they need.

Working with People FirstUSI has enabled Kaleidoscope to treat a vulnerable population that likely would not receive treatment otherwise because, as studies have shown, African Americans tend to shun the mental health system due to the cost of treatment, perceived shame of needing help, and negative past experiences from white mental health professionals who were not sympathetic to the unique needs of people of color.

Kaleidoscope removes those barriers by employing a diverse staff that families from Tidewater Gardens can relate to. “When they see people who look like them, they are more encouraged and become more trusting,” says Dillard-Moore.

In the last three years, Kaleidoscope has helped more than 40 former Tidewater Gardens families, many of whom are experiencing some type of trauma. Typically, says Dillard-Moore, the trauma stems from violence – whether it is domestic violence in the home, from seeing or experiencing it in the neighborhood, or from the violent death of a loved one. Sexual assault and depression also loom large.

Kaleidoscope hopes to make inroads as a People FirstUSI partner by providing a continuum of care for former and/or returning Tidewater Gardens families for up to five years after they enroll in the program to ensure they have the resiliency to withstand life’s challenges.

Resident Highlight:
Natalie Lino

“My life, oh my Lord, my life has changed,” said Ms. Lino, who is preparing for yet another lifestyle change: moving to Origin Circle at Kindred with her youngest child, who is 12.