A Day in the Life of a Family Resource Center
Do you know someone who is a parent? Do you know someone who is looking for a job? Do you know someone who needs some kind of assistance? I am guessing the answer to all of these questions is yes. The River Center can help. As a family and community resource center, we act as a resource for individuals and families in our community.
Let’s look at a day in the life of our Center.
A typical morning might find Bonnie, Parent Educator, setting up for her Teens and Tweens parent group. She arrives early, gets the coffee pot on, makes copies of an article they will discuss, and prepares the Parent Room for her group. From 9:30-11:30 a group of parents of teens and preteens share successes and challenges, learn new techniques and strategies, and receive support from each other as well as from Bonnie. As they leave, I hear animated conversations between group members and dates being set for coffee.
Kelli, our home visitor, gives me a call. She wants me to know she will be helping a home visiting client and her family move tomorrow. They have just been accepted into Monandock Area Transitional Shelter and will have stable housing in which to regroup and plan for the future. She has been seeing this client for six months now, through the last months of the pregnancy and the birth. Mother and baby will now have their own place to call home at the Shelter.
The front desk is busy this morning. Several folks stopped in with questions. One lady said her neighbor told her to come here. She is a single mom with a teenage daughter. She heard about the Fuel Assistance program and she thinks she could qualify for food stamps. Sheila gives her information about SNAP (food stamps program) and shows her the Fuel Assistance office (located at The River Center). She also tells her about the parenting group for parents of teens.
A man wants to know about getting his resume done. Do we do that? Our Employment Specialist, Laura, sets up an appointment for the next day. He left his job a year ago so that he could focus on alcohol abuse recovery. He needs help putting together a new resume and wants to know how best to explain his unemployment period. Laura makes some changes to his resume, gives him suggestions about to approach his employment gap, and connects him with a local group that supports those in recovery.
At noon the parenting staff meets to discuss parenting programs for the coming months. Do we have something planned for working parents? How a program for dads? Can we bring the Parent Information Center in to do a presentation for parents on Individual Education Plans (IEPs) again this year?
The Money Coach volunteer shows up to meet with someone who has requested help in organizing her finances. This is the third time she is late with her rent. Our Money Coach will help her figure out her income and expenses.
Wendy, another Parent Educator, prepares for our Farm to Table program, that meets on Thursdays. This week they will be baking apple pies, with apples they picked last week. She needs to print out the recipe for families to take home with their bag of apples. I hope there are leftovers!
Karen, our bookkeeper, has a question about grant monies that we have received. What program was that grant helping to fund? We do our happy dance because this is a welcome check. I sit down to write a thank you to the foundation for generously supporting this work in our community.
The day ends with our monthly Tuesday Topics program. Tonight we have invited an occupational therapist and a speech therapist to talk about developmental stages in young children. We expect about 8-10 parents to join us for this presentation and discussion.
I go home knowing that it has been a worthwhile day. What we do at The River Center makes a positive difference in the lives of individuals and families in our community.