The InterAgency semi-monthly meeting was held on March 1 at the Emery County Courthouse. Kathy Thomas of Active Re-Entry for Emery County and the Emery County Food Bank welcomed all and conducted the meeting.
Twelve resource agencies were represented with a variety of information exchanged to better serve the people of Emery County.
Jackie Anderson of Bringing Hope To Single Moms Foundation is presenting a break from everyday routines which will help moms take charge of their lives, get "safety nets" in place and experience the support of other single mothers. This break time will enable single moms to learn about community resources and find a mentor to help encourage them toward self-reliance. There is no charge for these classes but space is limited; call to register at 637-5542 or 381-5410.
Donna Thomas of Woodward Home Care was introduced and told of services offered. She can be reached at 637-3511 for more details.
Emery County Commissioner Ira Hatch attended and added to information presented which pertained particularly to Emery County.
Maughn Guymon, over the Emery County Aging program of Southeastern Utah, expressed his concerns which have been magnified upon hearing that 200 plus state workers will be laid off. There is also concern that funds for the aging program will be cut which will inhibit the expansion of home delivered meals that help provide better care for the elderly of our communities. He anticipates an even greater cut in 2003. The meals will continue for now as set up but creative ways will have to be found to make sure those who cannot enjoy a meal at the senior centers, can have meals delivered to them. "In-home care and meals are the core to keeping people out of nursing homes," stated Guymon. He gave state statistics of only $968 per person per year for in-home care and meals, versus the $3,300 it costs per month at a nursing home. "The legislature has a lot of choices to make, but limited budget. Our own representatives have fought for these services to continue." Guymon can be reached at 637-4268.
Larry Heaton, of Adult Protection Services, brought forth some cautions and concerns about hearing aid sales and services in our area. He asked agencies to pass the word to potential hearing aid clients to be cautioned about being pressured; some hearing aids are very high priced; make sure you are dealing with a reputable dealer. He cautioned against the many scams around that take advantage of unknowing people. Call him at 636-2394 if you have a problem to report of these concerns.
Sylvia Nelson, representing Habitat for Humanity of Castle Country, stated that plans to build on the two lots in Castle Dale are pending enough funds to start the builds. A golf fundraiser in Green River will be on April 20, and a bowling fund raiser will be May 4. There are two qualified families, but applications are still being taken. The Helper house was successfully sold to another family making four homes that are generating funds back into the next builds. The HFH office is located at the Carbon County Courthouse downstairs and can be reached at 636-3230.
Kathy Thomas said on the last Monday of every month at 3 p.m. at the Center is a support group that is well attended. Call Thomas at 381-5410. She hopes to start a similar group soon in Green River. Thomas stated that she is in Green River on the first Monday of the month (unless it is a holiday, then the next week) from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Senior Center (564-8236) or people can contact the Sheriff's office there, and she will get the message to be able to get help and information to those who need resource help.
Concerns were raised about the availability of a Social Security representative to be in this area or at least more available. A representative comes to Price on only the second Wednesday of the month, between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., and not at all to Emery County. Concerns about telephone contact with Social Security were also addressed and felt to be very challenging also.
John Sehestedt of Emery County Housing Authority stated that there is no new information about the housing. He can be reached at 381-2902.
Laurie Pitchforth of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, is encouraged and has more volunteers this month, has established new stations, and has tax assistance help set up. She needs more volunteers for a variety of stations. She can be reached at 384-2421.
Nancy Bentley over the Active Re-Entry Program said that Perky Travel is up and running to help those needing transportation for treatments at various hospitals. She said that 24 people have used this service in just the last six months; over 720 trips in all. Active Re-Entry also helps with emergency equipment; helps meet guidelines at home and independently. She can be reached at 637-4950.
Workforce Services was represented by Delena Fish, Manager. She reported that Workplace Essential Skills, a new public television series is available on tape through the DWS office. This series of 30 minute tapes teaches the attitudes and competencies necessary for success at work. It focuses on the needs of those who are unemployed, underemployed, or new to the world of work, by teaching basic job search, reading, writing, math, and communication skills.
She noted that DWS was awarded money from excess TANF Dollars, to enhance gaps in services for Emery County youth. This money was targeted to enhance exposure to the employment market and work opportunities. A panel of local business people highlighting 12 vocational occupations in Emery County was presented at Emery High School. EHS students signed up for trips to Bridgerland Technology College in Logan, to CEU, and Snow South at Richfield to see educational opportunities in those fields. There are five, $1,000 scholarships that can be applied for, which are not necessarily based upon academics but to help those who are serious about getting an education.
The TANF funds can also be used for help to families in crisis which will help keep families employed; such as help with car repair, housing needs, counseling needs and employment opportunities. She is concerned that there will probably be cutbacks at DWS in some areas. The Medicaid program may resume the maximum of seven prescriptions that it will pay for. The CHIPS program is accepting no new applicants. Unemployment is high: 9.6 percent. Manager Fish stated that Castle Dale DWS is trying to look at other resources to help get individuals back to work.
Dana Olsen, with SouthEastern Utah Health Department, said that kindergarten registration sign-ups have begun. Child Find is scheduled for April 25 to see if your child can qualify for early intervention programs. Call for an appointment. The new cancer center is in the same building as public health and Boyd's pharmacy.