This winter, a new coalition of local and county agencies banded together in hopes of providing assistance in everything from resume-writing and job-training services to food and housing for those in need.
This past summer, the Pickerington Area Resource Coalition was formed to enhance community awareness about resources available to help local residents in their times of need.
The coalition is a partnership that includes the Violet Township Fire Department, Fairfield County 211, the Pickerington Public Library, the Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce, the Pickerington Local School District, the city of Pickerington and the PCMA Food Pantry.
Through its own agencies -- and with the help of area churches and other service organizations -- it seeks to provide a variety of resources to local individuals and families, including such basic needs as food, clothing and housing assistance.
It also links people with medical equipment they might need and furniture, and it provides resume-writing and job-training services.
“Community organizations started meeting in the spring, and PARC was formally named and launched this summer,” said Colleen Bauman, PARC steering committee secretary. “The thought is that if the community organizations work together, their resources will have a bigger impact and serve more people. The hope is that people can go to one resource to get their needs met more easily.”
Because PARC is a community organization comprising nonprofit groups, it has no operating budget.
However, the steering committee has sought to raise its profile through public outreach and a social-media presence.
The group plans to establish a PARC website.
In the meantime, individuals and families may seek services – many of which are free – related to food and clothing, utilities assistance and access to health care through Fairfield County 211.
For more information about the Fairfield County 211 agency, visit www.fairfieldcounty211.org or call 740-687-0500.
Fairfield County residents also may reach Fairfield County 211 by dialing 211.
“It is more of a coalition to coordinate resources for Pickerington-area individuals and families and to educate the community about resources,” said Kristin Ankrom, director of Fairfield County 211 and the Mental Health Crisis Line. “The goal is to partner with Fairfield County 211 -- not re-create the wheel - (but) rather enhance the service in Pickerington.”
Although PARC was established months ago, its steering committee is trying to spread the word about the coalition at a time when winter weather could add to hardships.
“There are a lot of organizations that provide different services,” Bauman said. “The community may not be aware of just what all is available to them. People can access the services by first reaching out to Fairfield County 211. They are equipped to access the different services and resources.”