Tahoe Youth and Family services receives $50k capacity grant

Ashleigh Goodwin /

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Tahoe Youth and Family Services recently received a $50,000 capacity building grant with the potential for an additional $50,000 to be awarded next year upon successful completion of year one expectations. 

Out of 45 eligible nonprofits, 28 applied and four were chosen to receive this groundbreaking grant from El Dorado Community Foundation.

Brian Conway, executive director of Tahoe Youth and Family services, said, “This is the first capacity grant, the first time money has been made available to nonprofits to be able to expand and better serve the community they’re a part of.”

COVID-19 had obvious negative impacts on mental health but also, Conway pointed out, it helped bring more attention to the importance of taking care of mental health and brought about funding opportunities to do so.

Conway called this grant a course altering event. Conway said they have three expectations for this coming year; new equipment, a new database and expand the time frame and area in which the services are available. 

The equipment currently used are desk top computers which limits visits to in office only. Due to the connectivity often, there are delays in the outdated computer system, Conway said. 

Upgrading the technology by purchasing new laptops for staff also expansion of services by offering more impactful appointments that fit life’s busy schedule. The laptops will allow for the clinicians to have interactive resources online available for the sessions in addition to allowing more effective treatment.

Additionally, Conway said the providers will also be able to offer telehealth appointments, home and school site visits depending on the needs of the individual family. In addition to individual counseling Tahoe Youth and Family Services provides family and group counseling. “The things with telehealth we can do is to tailor the services to keep your life as normal as possible.”

The database currently used, a server-based system will be transitioned to a more secure, less costly, and more effective cloud-based service. The speed and cost of the current system hinders online communications and requires families to come to either one of their two locations. 

Conway said, “The mission for the agency is to truly become a community organization to meet clients where they’re at and hopefully get a higher level of engagement.”

Potentially the most important of the steps Tahoe Youth and Family Services will take this year is the analysis of impact.

“We need to see where we’re hitting the ball and where we’re swinging and missing so we can adjust and better meet the needs of our clients,” said Conway. 

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