LONGVIEW, Texas — One Love Longview hosted an open house Friday as they displayed plaques on the walls of rooms sponsored by members of the community.
"We had several individuals who agreed to come on board with us, sponsor a room for a year," Amanda Veasy, founder of One Love Longview, said. "That obviously is a huge undertaking for these businesses."
The organization within a few months has blossomed into providing resources on mental health, substance abuse addiction services and now a medical clinic.
"It started with a kindness movement," she said. "We had make kindness go viral on the back of our shirts."
Veasy says last year's political unrest and divide made her want to do something.
From there on she met with community leaders to tackle the biggest needs of the community.
"By January of this year we were seeing 10 clients with individual counseling and by mid-march we were seeing closer to 40-50," she said.
One Love Longview is now in its third building located on Fairmount Street in Longview.
"Mental health is something that a lot of people we might attend to our psychical health, but our mental health sometimes gets pushed to the side," Tina Rushing, the organization's licensed clinical social workers, said.
Along with free counseling many of the volunteers say they've seen a flow of clients needing help with substance abuse addiction.
"Since COVID hit we've seen a huge spike in people needing treatment," Amanda Shephard, director of Step One Service, said. "We've even seen, personally where I am at, we've seen some people that had 10, 20 year sobriety and relapsed."
Shephard says One Love Longview has helped with access to resources.
"Before One Love Longview there was such a need for mental health and substance abuse resources we certainly have some available it's the access that's an issue," Shephard said.