THE ABILITY CENTER … Associate Director Ash Lemon was sharing information with Julie Taylor, the Bryan Schools Special Education Director about the things available through his organization. This group based out of Toledo offers opportunities in housing, health care, social, educational, public spaces, transportation and employment to help make each location a “disability friendly community.” (PHOTO BY REBECCA MILLER, STAFF)
By: Rebecca Miller
The meeting room at Bryan Fraternity of Eagles was packed on Thursday morning, April 14, 2022 from 7:30 to 8:30 with information gatherers.
With twenty-four organizations set up at tables to answer questions and give out promotional items and flyers, those invited circulated, holding conversations and finding out what is available in the county for the protection of any who need it.
P.A.C.T. stands for Protecting All Children and is a Task Force of Judge Karen Gallagher, WC Commissioner Terry Rummel, Prosecutor Katherine Zartman, Sheriff Tom Kochert and Job and Family Services Director Fred Lord.
This group came about in 2020, in response to the realization that if all of the entities in the county that work with children were to work together, they would be more effective.
This info fair included many of those entities, plus many more who are designed to help make Williams County safer. \They are getting the word out, “Anyone needing to report a child in danger needs to call 419-636-6725.”
The organizations who participated in this Information Fair were: Volunteer Guardian Program, WC Health Department, School Works/Care coordinators, Shalom Counseling and Mediation, Board of Developmental Disabilities, Family and Children First, Maumee Valley Planning Organization (MVPO), ECHO/Maumee Valley Guidance, Mentors for Williams Co., WC WIC, Foster/Adoptive Parents, Ohio Means Jobs, PRC (Prevention, Retention, Contingency info, Child Support Enforcement Agency, Sarah’s Friends, WC Homeless Planning Committee, United Way, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Four County, Adrial Inc., WC 4-H and SnapEd, Center for Child and Family Advocacy, Ability Center, NOW Community Action Commission and New Home Development.
Each one of these organizations offers something to help make Williams County, not only a safe place to live, but a county where everyone can thrive, not just survive.
Many of these and the services they offer are well known throughout the county, but some of the newer ones were there to introduce themselves and let everyone know what they offer.”
“For example, the Volunteer Guardian Program has been started to help the elderly in our county who have no one to be a guardian for them. “
“Many of our Nursing Home patients have no family member to stand up for them, to visit them or to make sure good decisions are made for them. “
“Anyone interested in volunteering to be a Guardian can call Krista Wright at 419-633-5162 or email her at Kwright@wmsco.org to ask for details and to get a Volunteer Guardian Application.”
Another organization, the Homeless Planning Committee is relatively new, and has been put together to help figure out how to get more safe places in Williams County for homeless people.
Katie Shaffer who is the Director for Sarah’s House, is on the committee and said that “The Sanctuary” in Bryan is doing a great job, but they are the only place available in the county. This committee holds quarterly meetings to discuss new housing solutions, to prevent and eliminate homelessness in Williams County.
For more information or to attend a quarterly meeting, contact Kimberly Adkins at 419-782-6962 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Center for Child and Family Advocacy, Inc. is a Mental Health Agency that has a sexual assault response team (SART), which is a collaborative effort between northwest Ohio hospitals, victim advocates, law enforcement agencies and prosecutor’s offices.
They offer assistance to all victims of sexual assault, but also provide a rehabilitative service to sex offenders. The Sexual Assault Hotline is 1-800-782-8555.
According to their flyer, New Home Development “is a private, non-profit housing development corporation that administers a number of housing programs to persons living in Defiance, Fulton, Henry and Williams Counties.
Their primary focus is to assist qualifying persons with mental illness in accessing housing that fits their needs within the county they call home.”
All of the organizations who were there are worth checking into, if their name catches the reader’s attention.
Only a few are covered here, but the event gave all of them the opportunity to spread the word.
Rebecca can be reached at email@example.com