Kind and Caring People Co-ordinate Services to Offer Support & Resources
Last Thursday, on the second floor of the Manchester Police Department, the Manchester Community Services Council (MCSC) met. Approximately 20 people attended the meeting. This group meets once a month to focus on networking and timely topics with a goal of matching resources and agencies with Manchester people in need. Shannon Baldassario, Director of Community Outreach and Emergency Services for Manchester Area Conference Of Churches (MACC) was the speaker.
Attendees were from Eastern CT Health Network (ECHN), Rebuilding Together, Highland Park Market, Manchester Adult & Family Services, National Alliance for Mental Illness, Manchester High School Family Liaison, Interval House, Pastoral Counselors from the Unitarian Universalist Society, a retired University of St. Joseph professor, and a representative from an organization that helps homeless veterans. (I don’t always write fast enough to get names of all of the organizations so please excuse any errors or omissions.)
Meeting attendees provided a glimpse of the good work performed daily to offer valuable assistance to those in need in Manchester. Shannon Baldassario, of MACC Charities, spoke to the group about her efforts to provide outreach to people whose circumstances leave them without a home. She informs them of services available, including clothing and showers at MACC Charities, free laundry, and appropriate referrals for mental health and addiction services. Once a connection is made, follow-up occurs after a week or two with additional support provided if needed. Shannon is persistent and thorough in reaching out as often as needed to connect individuals with appropriate resources.
Another service provided by MACC utilizes resources available at MACC Charities to keep individuals or families in their home or apartment. Clothes, dishes, grocery vouchers and funds to pay for utilities are available for people at risk of losing their home/apartment. This is short term help to keep people and families from becoming homeless.
Emergency referrals can be made directly to Shannon Baldassario by calling (860)647-8003 X 31 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. A phone call may also be placed to 211 to refer someone to the Coordinated Access Network (CAN). This network provides triage for people at imminent risk of becoming homeless or for people who are chronically homeless. Individuals will be placed in shelters or on a waitlist for a shelter. The maximum stay at a shelter is 30 days. Families are referred to an organization called Journey Home.
If you are interested in helping out here is a brief list of needs:
- Joy of Community Sharing (adoption of 40 families not receiving services but in need for Thanksgiving and Christmas)
- December 20 – Holiday Party for children under 10, volunteers needed
- November 10, 11, 17 & 18 Stop & Shop Food Drive
- Yoga for Food TBA
- Thrift Shop open Mon-Sat
- Check out MACC-CT.org for volunteer opportunities