COMING SOON SPRING 2022

Brother Shawn Project was created in June 2020 in honor and memory of Marine Shawn Gibbons.  Shawn sought a life of civil service as a way to evade the pitfalls of his community.  His desire to be an exemplar of his community drove him to pursue a military career.  Shawn served four years in the Marines and earned (rank).  He did three tours in Iraq during Desert Storm.  The military provided a pathway to escape the pitfalls of low-income communities.  Unfortunately, he could not escape the mental strain many active duty veterans suffer from once they’ve returned home.  Shawn was diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress.  His maladjustment had an adverse effect on family, friends, and loved ones who witnessed his downward spiral.  He was no longer the same Shawn that left to serve his country.  

A study conducted by the National Institute of Health in September of 2009 found, out of 289 328 Afghan and Iraq Veterans, 36.9 percent were diagnosed with mental disorders directly related to active duty.  Twenty-one percent were diagnosed with PTSD, and 17 % were diagnosed with depression.  Studies are also being conducted to explore the long-term effects of chemical warfare agents on their victims. Veteran support services are essential to a healthy and productive transition back into society.    

Over 200,000 service members transition out of the military each year. There are government-provided support systems for returning Veterans. Unfortunately, more are needed, particularly among minority communities that may refuse such services due to stigma.  The Cooperative Opportunity Project aims to provide virtual support groups to veterans in a confidential group setting.  We seek to provide an opportunity for veterans to form relationships with their peers through this virtual setting. A trained, licensed mental health therapist will guide these groups for additional support.  

We will cultivate a safe virtual environment for veterans to congregate and support each other.  Discussion topics can include personal experiences, coping with PTSD, transitioning back into society, and what resources are needed to help reintegration back into the community. 

Our goal is to improve the readjustment phase simply by providing an open forum. Targeted age groups are within the age range of 35-50. Group sizes will remain reasonable to ensure that every Veteran’s voice is heard. We do this in remembrance of Brother Shawn Gibbons.

PROJECT OUTLINE

Goals
Create online counseling sessions for veterans in underserved communities.
Facilitate Weekly forums led by licensed professionals
Generate financial support and community resources through fundraisers such as bicycle races and other functions.
Network with established veteran support groups and shelters within the DMV area.
Structure an online community of different professionals to support these efforts
Utilize community veteran programs to facilitate enrollment


Program
Our program seeks to target veterans who are reluctant to seek help and support. Strategically we will make services cost-effective, private, and easily accessible through virtual programming. Our initial phase of therapy provision will consist of a minimum of 4 licensed counselors. The Director of this program will be Hasani Edwards LMSW. We seek to assist active duty veterans in transitioning back into society. Our goal is for them to become productive, mentally healthy members of society.


Phases


1: Therapy
Create a virtual environment for veterans to seek counseling online with licensed therapists.


2: Stability
Have a transitional home dedicated for veterans to rent rooms and have in-house weekly counseling and programs and monthly advocacy meetings.


3: Security
Create a financial opportunity for veterans seeking employment and create a work environment where veterans can seek employment and advance financially.

More details to come shortly. If you would like to support this project, go to our FUND A PROJECT SECTION and pick THE VETERAN SECTION.