HELENA — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) awarded Youth Homes a $50,000 Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® (HKHF) grant Friday, Sept. 3, to bolster the organization’s Shelter Care Program through a greater emphasis on a comprehensive staff support system.
Since 1971, Youth Homes has provided services for youth and families, including a network of shelters in Montana. The Margaret Stuart Youth Home in Helena, Linda Massa Youth Home in Hamilton, and Flathead Youth Home in Kalispell offer short- and long-term shelter care, while the Shirley Miller Attention Home in Missoula provides short-term shelter care.
The HKHF initiative is an ongoing commitment by BCBSMT to invest in and partner with like-minded nonprofit organizations that offer sustainable, measurable programs to reach children and their families in the five following focus areas: nutrition, physical activity, disease prevention and management, substance abuse prevention, and suicide prevention.
“Youth Homes plays a vital role in the lives of many disadvantaged Montana children and we are proud to support their efforts to improve the health and wellness of those in their care,” said John Doran, BCBSMT Divisional Vice President of External Affairs. “We care deeply about the physical, social and emotional wellness of our communities, and Youth Homes is a great partner in our effort to support those in need.”
Youth Homes shelter care offers short-term care for youth who are out of their homes because of a crisis, have concerns about the safety or stability of their home, or who are awaiting a longer-term placement. The goal of the of shelter care is to keep youth stable and safe until they can be placed in an appropriate, more permanent setting, with three weeks being the average length of stay.
The grant will support efforts to address all five HKHF focus areas, such and providing for healthy and reliable meals, physical and recreational opportunities, facilitation of medical appointments, training and support for staff around substance abuse prevention, and training in youth mental health.
Since 2014, BCBSMT has awarded more than $1.5 million through the HKHF initiative. In addition, BCBSMT contributes more than $500,000 each year to nonprofit organizations that support efforts throughout the state to improve the health of all Montanans. BCBSMT also presents the Governor’s Cup each June and supports the Caring Foundation of Montana’s Care Van program, which provides access to preventive health care services at low or no cost. The Governor’s Cup, which has been running strong since 1974, promotes the benefits of physical activity though running and walking, is host to more than 4,500 participants each year, whose race fees directly benefit the Caring Foundation of Montana.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) is a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSMT is the largest and longest-standing statewide, customer-owned health insurer and full-service health benefits administrator in Montana. BCBSMT has provided high-quality health insurance plans and administrative services to Montanans for more than 80 years and is committed to ensuring its members — no matter where they are on the health spectrum — achieve maximum health. Headquartered in Helena with five regional offices, BCBSMT’s purpose is to stand with its members in sickness and in health.