Wellness encompasses a full range of approaches to creating vibrant, healthy communities. From clinical healthcare, to plenty of safe and appealing green spaces, to healthy food and water supplies — a holistic approach to healthy living is key to creating thriving neighborhoods and communities. To foster greater wellness, we provide support for collaborative programs that promote healthy lifestyles, prevention and health literacy.
Putting It All Under One Roof (Click here)
For community members in need, challenges often quickly compound themselves into overwhelming situations. Unemployment, hunger, illness, mental health issues, and poor education can all become intertwined. Navigating from one service agency to the next for help can become an insurmountable obstacle.
But for families in Greenwood, the United Center for Community Care is helping overcome obstacles with a one-stop-shop approach to social services. Under one roof, those in need can find food, mental and physical health services, help with employment and government assistance programs, tutoring — even an escape from domestic violence.
Concept of a one-stop shop started almost 20 years ago, explains Deborah Parks, the United Center’s executive director. “Dr. Jack Parham noticed the vacant facility, and wanted to do something for the homless, the hungry and the disenfranchised in our community. He and others collaborated with the area’s leading nonprofits, government agencies, the Self Family Foundation and the faith-based community. As a result, the Self Family Foundation helped the United Way purchase the building, and the United Center was created.”
The Center is located in the United Way building on Phoenix Street in downtown Greenwood. It houses a total of nine agencies in a total of 25,000 square feet. Agencies located here include:
• Community Initiatives Free Medical Clinic • DSS (TANF) • Greenwood Food Bank • Lakelands Rural Health Network (coming soon) • MEG’s House • Mental Health America-Greenwood • The Soup Kitchen • United Way of Greenwood and Abbeville Counties • YMCA (High Hopes Tutorial Program) All tenants pay some rent, but not at regular commercial rates.
“Our goal is to provide an environment to meet basic needs all in o ne location, but an added benefit is that the agencies here can also build stronger collaborations that provide even more effective and efficient services.” says Parks. For example, a new collaboration between the soup kitchen and free clinic provides health screenings during mealtimes once a month. As a result, the providers have caught some serious health issues before they became life threatening.
“The next step is cooperative case management,” says Parks. “We’ll be able to assign a professional case manager to help coordinate care for people who need more than one service.”