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Hope and Empowerment for the Visually Impaired

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Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center Partners with Samaritan Counseling of the Gulf Coast to Offer Mental Health Services for the Visually Impaired

Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center has been awarded a $30,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County to provide mental health counseling services to its clients. In conjunction with Samaritan Counseling Services of the Gulf Coast, this new program will offer support for those who have significant vision loss or are blind. Services will include individual counseling along with small group sessions.

“Loss of eyesight can have a devastating effect on anyone,” said Lisa Howard, CEO of Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center. “Navigating a new world that includes impaired vision can lead to further feelings of helplessness and isolation. We welcome this new partnership with Samaritan and look forward to helping our clients cope with the challenges vision loss entails.”

“We are blessed to work with this population helping them find hope and peace in their lives,” said John Gregory, Community Care Director for Samaritan Counseling. “Our counselor reports clients are expressing positive comments and results. Some are moving forward by starting new things in their lives, resuming relationships, and exploring work opportunities. Many have expressed they are able to have a life again as they are learning to look at things from a different perspective.”

Funds for this initiative were granted through the Community Foundation’s Equity and Access program to support projects that promote equity and access to services amongst populations who face systemic barriers in our community. These grants are an opportunity for the Community Foundation to partner with organizations who are focusing on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access in local, direct service work.