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Spotlight on Service and the Power of Community Outreach - #RealChangeRealPeople

Updated: Jul 3

The Community Service Program (CSW), a groundbreaking initiative in Pennsylvania, draws inspiration from our highly successful Community Support Workers Program in Washington D.C. Both programs embody a "street ministry" approach, delivering grassroots, hands-on support to those most in need. Witness the transformative impact of this innovative program in Pennsylvania and check out what making change looks like in the Lehigh Valley!


A Seasoned Program Manager with Heart 

Tiah Jones, TPMF Program Manager, has a profound passion for community engagement and transformative outreach. With nearly eight years on an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team, Tiah's journey into the CSW program was propelled by her desire to make a REAL difference in the lives of those with limited access to essential resources.  Just recently Tiah and her CSW team, Christopher Salemi and Angelica Sarabia led a community clean-up in Allentown where homeless individuals reside in collaboration with Valley Health Partners Street Medicine Team, Allentown Health Bureau, The City of Allentown’s Parks and Recycling Departments and generous backing from Mid-Atlantic Rehabilitation Services (MARS). This collective action not only cleared the riverbank but showed the community's united stand against neglecting vulnerable groups. 


One of the most heartwarming stories from Tiah’s tenure involves a 74-year-old Spanish-speaking man she met at a local soup kitchen. Found sleeping at a table, his story of loss and survival—living in his car and eventually on church steps. Tiah's persistent advocacy ensured that, despite his initial reluctance, he would not be discharged back to the streets amid severe health issues. With her intervention, he remained hospitalized until he could be safely transferred to an elder care facility. This critical intervention not only saved his life but reconnected him with his estranged daughter, turning a tale of isolation into one of hope and community support. 

Tiah Jones, Chris Salemi and Angelica Sarabia

A Day in the Life

Along with her team, Chris and Angelica, the daily life of CSWs can be unpredictable and filled with challenges that require quick thinking and compassion. Each day brings new situations that defy plans, pushing CSWs to adapt swiftly to meet urgent needs while building long-term relationships. 

Building trust in such unstable situations, Tiah explains, starts with respect and kindness. "You just treat people with dignity and respect," she notes. This simple approach has enabled her to reach people effectively, whether they're on a park bench or in a temporary shelter. 

Behind the Scenes

TPMF supports its CSWs with extensive training and emotional support, crucial for navigating the complexities of mental health in marginalized communities. Regular meetings and discussions with Executive Clinical Coordinator, Paula Gonzalez ensure that CSWs are not only well-prepared but also well-supported as they manage their demanding roles. 

The Celebration Continues

As we launch this blog series, we’ll spotlight CSWs for their relentless dedication to fostering health, hope, and humanity in the community. Through their daily acts of kindness, they are not just providing resources; they are truly saving and transforming lives. Stay tuned as we continue to highlight more heroes from the CSW program, each story a testament to the power of compassionate community service. 

To learn more about the CSW Program, visit 


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