One of the core programs of the Bartlett Center is the Youth Program. It serves children ages 6 through 12 years of age, beginning at 3 p.m. and closing at 6 p.m. during the school year. During the summer, the schedule begins at 10 a.m. and goes until 5 p.m. Children need a safe environment with positive activity during these hours. The activities during the school year consist of tutoring, physical activity, computer lab, as well as art activities, and board and card games. The summer program is truly a fun time for activities with fun built into the time frame. Activities are built around community volunteers to teach children about our community and how the youth are a part of this growing society. Lunch and snacks are provided for the children utilizing the USDA food program facilitated by Second Harvest. This program is always a stretch to keep youth growing with activities. Community Connect allowed the Bartlett Center to expand all youth activities and grow the program to an exciting new experience that helps youth as they develop into productive citizens for tomorrow.
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater St. Joseph (BBBS-SJ) developed a special initiative, Mentoring Children Experiencing Trauma (MCET), to help the hundreds of children in the Greater St. Joseph community who have or are experiencing trauma. By creating this new MCET Initiative, BBBS-SJ has the resources and opportunity to help this high-risk group of children by providing a mentor in their lives. Mentors who are matched with children in this program receive intensive and specialized training to prepare them to help the children to which they are matched. With the kind of support that BBBS-SJ Bigs offer, these children will be more likely to have bright and productive futures and make vital contributions to their families and neighborhoods.
Catholic Charities’ Welcome Center provides an emergency assistance model that serves individuals and families with emergency needs in St. Joseph, Missouri, and the 27 counties in their diocese. Welcome Center clients are often homeless or on the verge of homelessness, unemployed and unable to sustain their immediate needs. Clients represent diverse backgrounds such as un/underemployed, older adults, ex-offenders, veterans, disabled, single parents, families dealing with a mental illness diagnosis and families with one or more undocumented parents who often are a part of the working poor, struggling to make ends meet.
Community Missions 8th Street Drop-In Center provides homeless and disenfranchised people with a safe and welcoming place to congregate, out of the heat and the cold. The Drop-In Center is also a place where they can access services and receive help in finding housing. The Drop-In Center is centrally located so downtown business and churches have a place nearby to refer people for this type of assistance. Activities at the 8th Street Drop-In Center include assessment, using the Vulnerability Index and other tools designed to determine immediate needs; on-site laundry; showers; and free wi-fi. In addition to services offered by Community Missions, arrangements have been made to bring in representatives from other agencies that provide assistance to people in need, such as the Social Welfare Board, InterServ, Second Harvest, Veterans’ Administration, employment services, etc. Clients also receive referrals to appropriate resources, including Social Security, Division of Family Services, housing programs and job search assistance. Also on site is the InterServ Clothing Pantry, providing free clothing and other hygiene necessities.
Faith in Action
Faith in Action is made up of Christian congregations working together to help with the unmet needs of persons in our community through church volunteers. Faith in Action’s number one client request is for transportation to doctor appointments and grocery stores or food pantries. Faith in Action also builds ramps for those clients needing a safe way in and out of their homes and provides help with some small home repairs, lawn care and simple outside maintenance. Today Faith in Action has 25 partner churches that provide financially for the program and provide volunteers to help clients that come to Faith in Action for help.
Legal Aid’s St. Joseph Healthy Housing Project seeks to target root causes behind poor health outcomes by addressing the social and physical determinates which act as barriers to effective healthcare. An individual’s health outcome is influenced by many factors. One of these is the accessibility of safe and stable housing and neighborhoods. Research has shown a connection between an individual’s physical and social living conditions and their health. The 15,000 plus residents of Andrew and Buchanan counties who rent their homes are dependent upon their landlord to meet most property maintenance obligations. Unfortunately, landlords do not always do this, and leave their tenants with little or no options. Legal Aid’s role is to represent tenants living in low-quality housing and negotiate with their landlords to facilitate necessary repairs. Housing instability also has adverse effects on mental health due to the stress that such uncertainty causes. Sadly, unlawful eviction processes often create housing instability that could have been avoided, and may compromise a tenant’s health. Both of these types of landlord-tenant disputes require legal action, something that is financially unfeasible for most low-income tenants. Legal Aid has been able to assist residents with these types of cases, resulting in successful outcomes in cases that affect the health outcomes for many residents of Andrew and Buchanan counties.
Pivotal Point Transitional Housing
Pivotal Point is a transitional housing program providing a Christian environment that helps homeless families become self-supportive contributors to society. Pivotal Point Transitional Housing's primary program focus is moving families from homelessness to self-sufficiency within 90 days. In exchange for rent/utility-free housing, residents are required by written agreement to work full time, obey the program guidelines, and attend volunteer taught classes in life skills, employment, community living, and budgeting. In addition to housing and life-skills counseling Pivotal Point provides the following through a network of community support: auto repair/donation, food pantry, medical assistance, dental work, GED classes, haircuts, glasses, school clothes, work uniforms, etc. Pivotal Point also sees the value to the community to implement an educational based program for young adults. As a pilot program, they are working with 18-year-old individuals in high school or who recently graduated as they develop this program and continue to seek out the needs of the community.
Second Harvest’s Fresh Mobile Pantry is a food pantry on wheels, filled with nutritious food items, that travels to various locations in rural and under-served areas of Second Harvest's 19-county service area. Volunteers from the host sites help set up and serve clients. The mobile pantry allows Second Harvest to engage those most in need and extend their service into hard to reach food deserts. This is the first mobile pantry serving any of the 19 counties of the service area. Offering fresh produce and protein helps provide access to those who have not been served and may reside in a food desert. Some pantries in Second Harvest’s service territory are only able to offer food product to individuals three or four times per year due to lack of food product available and/ or infrastructure to stock needed food to distribute more food on a more regular basis. The mobile pantry currently distributes to nine set locations monthly across the service area. The Fresh Mobile Pantry provides more access to fresh produce and offers more individuals better nutritional choices.
Voices of Courage Child Advocacy Center
Voices of Courage Children’s Advocacy Center Parent Education and Support Class provides education to parents about child sexual abuse and the emotional and behavioral reactions to abuse. It also provides support and skills to help non-offending parents cope effectively with their own emotional distress related to the abuse of their child, non-offending parents with skills to respond optimally to and support their child, parent support groups and referrals to other community resources for individual therapy for parent as needed.
YWCA Healthy Teen Parents/Healthy Babies program offers pregnant/parenting teens education and support services to improve personal health/well-being, keep babies healthy and safe, promote early childhood development and learning, stay motivated to stay in school, and reduce social isolation. Teens can enroll in/be referred to the program from early pregnancy until their child is age 3. All project services are available to both pregnant and parenting teens. Teen fathers are encouraged to participate as appropriate. Program activities include monthly education groups, including a healthy meal, involve community partners such as the University Extension Nutrition Specialist, public health nurse, etc. and provide information on topics such as healthy eating for expectant/new mothers, healthy meal planning/preparation, prenatal development, child development ages/stages, importance of reading to children, car seat safety, immunizations, safe sleep, and financial literacy topics (budgeting, establishing credit, avoiding predatory lenders, etc.)
Community Clinic at Carden Park
The Community Clinic at Carden Park opened on October 23, 2017, providing well-child exams for children at school. This School Based Health Clinic is the result of the partnership between the St. Joseph School District and Mosaic Life Care. Jayna Monical, FNP and her team have seen over 300 patients since opening, have made numerous referrals for further treatment and have helped students break down barriers to attendance. Although based out of the school nurse’s office at Carden Park, this clinic serves all SJSD students. In addition to providing well child examinations and seeing children who are sick, Jayna fulfilled stringent requirements needed for the clinic to became VFC certified. She can now administer immunizations to students throughout the District. The Community Clinic at Carden Park is one of only a handful in the state of Missouri.