Jessy Watford, Community Relations Coordinator from Superior HealthPlan, with Alice Zaccarello, Executive Director of The Well
At The Well Community the interdependency between mental health and physical health is obvious every day. This connection can’t be overstated (see An Interconnected Challenge: Physical Health in the Shadow of Mental Illness). That’s why The Well offers holistic care for its members.
In addition to addressing emotional needs such as isolation, depression or loneliness, The Well serves its members’ spiritual, cognitive and physical well-being.
In order to address hygiene, nutrition and clothing/bedding concerns, a new Well Resource Center has been created. Water bottles, toothbrushes, hand sanitizers, healthy snack food, masks, body wash, shoes and lightly used jackets are just some of the items available to members as needed. Continue reading
It’s a bit shocking when you think about it. In a 2021 research project* about individuals living in homelessness, 33 percent of all respondents self-identified as having mental health issues.
That means about one out of three homeless people are living each day not only with the challenges of poverty and insecure housing, but also with mental illnesses. What incredible obstacles they face! It can be nearly impossible to know where to turn for help and how to access that help. We want to change that. Continue reading
Administrative social work intern Valencia with two Well Community members
Over and over, we see how internships at The Well Community truly benefit interns and members alike. University of Southern California Master of Social Work intern Valencia Jefferson has experienced these two-way rewards while attending to the behind-the-scenes tasks at The Well.
While working toward a master’s degree in social work with a concentration in administration at the University of Southern California (USC), Valencia Jefferson realized she would need to complete an internship before graduation. She asked her professors for a recommendation, and they pointed her in the direction of The Well Community, which had an opening for a graduate social work intern at the time. Valencia had grown up in the Dallas area, so spending a year in Oak Cliff seemed a good fit. She interviewed at The Well last spring, and for the past eight months has been working there as a graduate social work intern with an administrative focus. Continue reading
Director Alice Zaccarello, Ericka Ruiz and Gemma Cardenas, with UTA interns
Program Coordinator Gemma Cardenas understands the benefits of The Well Community’s internship program firsthand, not only from her role in supervising the students who participate, but from her own time as an intern. “It gave me the opportunity to apply everything that I had learned at school,” she recalls, adding that serving at The Well was vastly different from merely hearing about mental health in a classroom. “I learned so much from being here, so much more than from a textbook. It gave me a lot of confidence as well.” Continue reading
Five years ago the Board of Directors of The Well Community made one of the most important—and best—decisions it has made for our organization. After a careful search we brought on Alice Zaccarello as our Executive Director. During her tenure we have seen awareness of The Well widen and the circle of community support deepen. Her compassion for our members and her leadership of our programs reflects her good heart and her wise ways. We wanted you to get to know more about Alice’s perspective on her role, her job, her ministry. The following is a brief interview with Alice. I hope you’ll enjoy these glimpses into her thoughts, and, when you have the opportunity, join me in thanking her for ongoing service to The Well. – Wes Keyes, Chairman of the Board of Directors Continue reading
Ericka and Gemma (second row, second and third from the left) with Well Community members at the Fall 2018 Spiritual Retreat
A while ago, P.T., a member of The Well Community, was asked, “What makes The Well a special place?” He listed a number of things such as being treated as a human being, having a safe place to go to and having spiritual as well as practical needs met. Then he paused and added, “Really, it’s the staff.”
The Well provides services, programs and meals for Well members with a small, hardworking staff. “The Well would not be what it is today without these people who run it,” said a volunteer. Indeed, along with Executive Director Alice Zaccarello, Program Coordinator Ericka Ruiz and Assistant Program Coordinator Gemma Cardenas make quite the dream team when it comes to loving the members of The Well. Continue reading