BHN Receives $10,000 Grant From PeoplesBank

Springfield— Behavioral Health Network, Inc. (BHN) has been awarded a $10,000 grant from PeoplesBank to be used for BHN’s Money School program, a financial independence initiative for survivors of domestic or sexual violence who are also recovering from addiction. 

PeoplesBank’s grant to BHN will support the operation of the Elizabeth Freeman Center’s Money School program. Money School is an award-winning, trauma-informed financial independence initiative designed to create long-term safety and economic security for survivors. 

According to Matthew Bannister, VP of Marketing & Innovation at PeoplesBank, “Financial literacy is a skill that is lacking today in so many areas of society, so it is gratifying to see BHN addressing this issue with a vulnerable population. We applaud BHN’s efforts in this area, and in so many other important areas, too. They provide great services to our communities.” 

Participants are given individually-tailored financial and career mentoring as well as intensive advocacy and support for their substance use recovery and healing in the aftermath of domestic or sexual violence. The program helps survivors achieve and maintain safety, economic independence, and family wellbeing for themselves and their children.  

Kathy Wilson, President & CEO of BHN, said, “Much of our work at BHN has to do with supporting and engaging with people as they overcome obstacles and plan a better future for themselves. The Money School program has been particularly effective in helping women to take control of their finances, one of the most difficult challenges for anyone when navigating the long-term impact of domestic violence. We deeply appreciate the resources being provided by PeoplesBank in this vital program that is changing the lives of the women served."

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) states that one in four women report experiencing domestic violence. In addition to physical abuse, domestic violence survivors often experience financial duress, and almost half of domestic violence victims struggle with substance use disorders. 

About PeoplesBank: PeoplesBank is a leader in innovation, corporate responsibility, environmental sustainability, and employee engagement. Our three LEED® certified offices are environmentally friendly, and we have financed more than $171 million in wind, hydroelectric, and solar energy projects. As the largest community bank in the market, we have a unique ability to help the communities we serve through volunteer efforts and millions of dollars in donations to charitable and civic causes. Our associates devote an average of 10,000 hours to volunteer work each year, and 48 of the bank’s officers serve on the boards of directors and committees of 115 nonprofit organizations in the area. As a mutual bank, PeoplesBank is responsible to its depositors, employees, and the community. This organizational structure allows us to focus on the long-term viability of the bank and the best interests of our customers.

About BHN: BHN has been providing behavioral health services to children and families in Western Massachusetts since 1938. The agency provides community-based services that include innovative, integrated whole-health models as well as traditional clinical and outpatient and therapeutic services, day treatment, addiction services, crisis intervention and residential supports.