Woods

Finding Success and Support in the Woods

As experienced case managers, Guy Matthews and Justin Bales take their work beyond the confines of the office and into wooded areas to connect with unhoused clients as part of the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program.

 Guy and Justin provide case management to people facing low-level, non-violent offenses such as drug use identified by law enforcement as individuals who would be better served by counseling than incarceration.

 “It really makes a difference — going out in the community,” said Justin. Many people we work with are ashamed of their addiction or mental health challenges and their families are weary of letting them back into their lives, he noted.

 “You cannot arrest a person out of their circumstances of addiction or mental health challenges,” said Guy. “What we have built here is trust in our services. They value our advice because we do not preach to them, but treat them with dignity.” As a result of their grass-roots approach, Justin and Guy have seen an increase in referrals for the LEAD program.

Success in the Woods
Bel Air's Retired Sgt. Chip Carter (c) with Springboard staff members Guy Matthews (l) and Justin Bales (r).
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