The Fort Meade Alliance (FMA) Foundation has been awarded $500,000 from the state of Maryland for its campaign to create a new Resiliency and Education Center at Fort Meade. This infusion marks a significant milestone in the foundation’s $3.6 million “Ready, Strong and Connected” campaign, which has raised more than $1.25 million.

In 2013, the FMA Foundation began this significant effort. The plan, which is a partnership with the U.S. Army and the Fort Meade Garrison, includes the renovation of the installation’s historic Kuhn Hall and its conversion into a Resiliency and Education Center, which will serve as a place for all those serving at Fort Meade and their families to find resources, services and programs. Veterans and retirees who live in the region also will be served.

Designed to serve 160,000 people on-post and in the communities that surround it, the center will host education courses by several colleges and universities, and provide information, programs and services on all five areas of resiliency — physical, emotional, social, family and spiritual. Those coming to the center can receive services there or be referred to additional resources on-post and in the community. Construction is expected to begin in early 2018.

The center will feature services ranging from guidance counseling and transition services to mental health counseling, wellness programs and financial planning. A premier benefit of this space will be new programming for educational programs needed for successful career placement and continuing education, and expansion of existing programs to broader audiences, including spouses.
At any given time, there are approximately 400 Army service members at Fort Meade transitioning out of the military — and the military unemployment rate is 7.1%, nearly 2% higher than the national average. Additionally, Fort Meade has a higher rate of chronic disease (cancer, arthritis, asthma, heart disease), behavioral health disorders (such as PTSD or anxiety) and substance abuse (alcohol, prescription medication and other drugs) than other U.S. Army installations.

For example, Fort Meade’s Behavior Health Programs had more than 27,600 appointments in 2015 — an increase of 2,500 appointments from 2014.