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Community Stories

Mending Fences Program

Mending Fences Program is a FREE service for qualified homeowners (low-income, senior, vet, disabled) living in houses that need minor repairs, replacements and renovations necessary for home safety. This program is about revitalizing our city and eliminating blight with a community of volunteers, skilled craftspersons, and generous donors through collaboration, partnerships and teamwork, focusing on providing home improvements to provide residents who are in dire need to remain safe, comfortable, and habitable in their own homes.

Safe Medication Collection

After holding a Town Hall Meeting on Prescription Abuse, the Drug Free Task Force decided to look into ways to get medications out of the hands of those who might misuse them and ways to keep medication from being disposed of ways that were harmful to the environment. The group educated themselves on the negative impact medications have on our water system when they are flushed and learned about the process to hold a medication collection. This group organized the first safe medication collection for all residents in Madison County in 2009.

Main Streets Go Blue

The Cancer Services Program of Livingston and Wyoming Counties, a service of the Livingston County Department of Health and the New York State Department of Health Cancer Services Program, collaborates with villages and businesses in Livingston County for the Main Streets Go Blue initiative every March, which focuses on raising awareness and increasing utilization of colon cancer screenings among community members.

Global Society for Youth Empowerment

We primarily worked with the Deep Sea Slums community and partnered with two local grassroots organizations, and DJ Kalonje, a local celebrity. Prior to implementing our six week program we met with the parents to discuss the agenda and desired outcomes. After that we met with Project Mabawa, Victoria Sports Association to discuss our program and the schedule of speakers from the community, including female business owners. We met three times a week with the children providing snacks, sanitary, and hygienic products with each interaction.

Reducing Harmful Environmental Exposures

Given an elevated cancer rate documented by the Indiana Cancer Registry and an elevated rate of ALS in the county, Blackford County Concerned Citizens (BCCC) is investigating whether environmental exposures from the county’s industrial history could be contributing to the risk of cancer or neurologic disease.
We are doing research into possible harmful exposures, seeking solutions where we find them, and providing public information on reducing risks. This application is about our exposure investigations that began in the fall of 2014.

Insurgency against Food Insecurity

Our group (McMinn Living Well), the Athens-McMinn Family YMCA with various departments of the Cities of Athens, Englewood, and Etowah; and with Starr Regional Medical Center, McMinn County Dept. of Health, and Cherokee Health Systems has constructed 7 community gardens throughout the county, 1 community orchard to drastically decrease the number of food deserts found in our communities that lie near low income housing. These gardens have various methods to reach the same goal of eradicating food deserts. Some of the gardens are pantry gardens that provide fresh veggies to food pantries.

Soups and Sweets Culinary Training Program

Jewish Family & Children's Service designed the "Soups and Sweets" culinary training program to provide young adults with special needs an opportunity to gain marketable, transferable food service skills. The goal of the program is to increase paid employment opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities. Limited training opportunities exist for employment in the food services field. Soups and Sweets addressed this deficiency by establishing a training and internship program.

Show You Care--VOLUNTEER

Representatives associated with United Way of McPherson County created a children’s book focused on volunteerism. The book included discussion questions that could be used by parents, caretakers, teachers and others to facilitate conversation about volunteerism and community service. Bookmarks highlighting local United Way progress provided a supplemental tool for all community members. Ultimately, the initiative was designed to encourage young students to read, to encourage individuals to volunteer and to improve county-wide relationships.

H. O. M. E.

H.O.M.E. (Helping Owners Maintain Equity) representatives met with numerous community organizations to determine if there was a need to assist low income homeowners with home maintenance projects.

Affordable and Healthy Rental Housing

Since 1990, Homes First! has provided supported housing using a unique and unusual business model. We provide clean and healthy homes for adults with developmental disabilities through partnerships with five local service providers. We also provide supported housing for adults in recovery through our partnership with Oxford House International, and supported family housing through our partnership with the Family Support Center.