The Brightside: SHINE Task Force
WORCESTER CO., Md. – When people in Worcester County need to get tested for Covid-19, when they need help finding affordable food, or even when they need mental health services, it can be daunting finding the right place to turn. Now, one task force is hoping to put all of those resources in one place.
“when I started here, I knew this was the place for me, because there was such a big emphasis on giving back to the community,” Jennifer Leggour, the Executive Director of the Worcester county Youth and Family Counseling Services, said.
Now, she keeps that tradition of giving back to the community. In their latest effort to give back, her team has created something called the Shine Task Force.
“We wanted to create a committee that would assess the needs in the community, and create a one stop shop, one area where community members could easily access this information for children and families,” Leggour said.
Shine stands for Stabilizing Homes through Innovative Networking and Engagement, and the task force will essentially link families with resources in pretty much any area that they need.
“There’s your mental health, your behavioral health, basic needs, educational resources, things like that within the community,” Jerrona Smith, the Lower Shore Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Director said.
It’s a service that, especially during the pandemic, is desperately needed.
“I look online and we see a lot of people saying ‘where do we go for Covid testing? Where do I get this done? How do I go about doing a certain thing?'” Smith said.
She says it’s really all about meeting people where they are.
“We want to break it down to the most elementary level, where the person who is maybe not familiar with social networking and things like that, they can easily get on their phone and come to one area and find whatever information they’re looking for,” she said.
Smith says it’s all about working hand in hand, helping each other through.
“As people used to say, it takes a village, and particularly what we do, is we are a youth-based organization, so it takes a village, and that’s what we are trying to do, to be that proverbial village,” she said.
The task force’s first meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 17 from nine a.m. until 10:30 a.m. on Zoom. For more information on that, you can visit their website.