Health campaign in Prince George’s Co. offers free support to most vulnerable

Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Judith Akoh-Arrey consults with a client of The Hope Center. (Courtesy Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas)
The Prince George’s County office for The Hope Center is located in Greenbelt, Maryland. (Courtesy Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas)
The Hope Center takes a one place, one door, one team approach to offering services. (Courtesy Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas)
Volunteers of America offers myriad services. (Courtesy Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas)

Need help? No one is turned away from The Hope Center that offers support to people seeking assistance with mental health or substance use issues in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

“You’re not alone out here where we’re facing mental health challenges,” said Sheryl Neverson, vice president of Maryland Programs for Volunteers of America Chesapeake and the Carolinas (VOA-CC).

The People Like Us Campaign hopes to aid anyone who might not be getting help they need, such as adolescents, seniors, first responders and people who are bilingual. Everyone is welcome regardless of the ability to pay or insurance status.

The VOA-CC program is supported with grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“There are other people like you, like us, that are experiencing the same things; and there’s help for you here and help for you within the Hope Center,” Neverson said about the People Like Us Campaign.

Services are offered in multiple languages. If transportation is an issue, someone will go get the person who is in need of help. Telehealth is also an option for those not able to leave their homes, or help will come to them.

Removing barriers, such as money or transportation, isn’t the only way the campaign is tackling access issues.

“We have really trained our staff, and our team as well, on being culturally responsive and culturally diverse, to work with culturally diverse populations,” Neverson said. “We want to be able to relate to the populations that we serve, and be able to understand and show some humility and respect for different cultures.”

Neverson said the integrated services work to take care of “the whole person.”

“You come to us, we’ll do a comprehensive assessment. And we can provide services from substance use services to psychiatric services. If you need medication management, we have therapy; we have crisis intervention or stabilization services, supported employment, so we can help you find employment,” Neverson said.

Primary health care also are available. Neverson said The Hope Center takes a “one place, one door and one team” approach, so people don’t have to discuss their situations repeatedly.

“You can also find services as it relates to other programs that we have at Volunteers of America, such as we do Housing and Homeless Services — we do a lot of other things there,” she said.

The Prince George’s County office for The Hope Center is located in Greenbelt.

People in need of services, can call 833-HOPE-VOA (467-3862) or email

The People Like Us campaign also has a number of webinars available.

Also, at the bottom of their webpage, you can find and fill out the referral form. Look for: Need hope? Let’s Talk. The form will ask for a name, email and option to offer a phone number and provides a box saying: Tell us what you’re looking for.

“We have helpers here, hope is here. We want to be able to help you,” Neverson said.

Neverson has a doctorate in Social Work from Howard University, master’s degree in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Maryland.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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