For the first time in its 31 years of service to the community, The Caring Place will establish outreach offices in Florence, Granger and Jarrell on a 6-month pilot basis. The purpose of this initiative—scheduled to begin in June 2016—is to provide services to people in the more rural communities of Williamson County who are experiencing financial crisis and have limited access to resources.
“We know that transportation can be a critical barrier to peoples’ ability to receive the help they need,” states Ginna O’Connor, Executive Director of The Caring Place. “We feel that it’s the right time to venture out from our location in Georgetown to assist people in crisis in the outlying areas that we serve.”
The Caring Place will work with partners in these rural communities, including the Granger Community Food Pantry, the Florence Chamber of Commerce and Jarrell United Methodist Church which will serve as host sites where The Caring Place can offer assistance on a limited schedule. Services will include help with rent and utility bills, transportation, prescriptions, certain medical, dental and optical procedures, assistive medical devices, food, clothing, household items, minor home repairs to accommodate persons with disabilities; and, referrals and education.
All services of The Caring Place will be available at the outreach locations, however those who need food, clothing or household goods will need to visit The Caring Place in Georgetown to access those services. If warranted, The Caring Place will provide a gas voucher or CARTS pass so that transportation is not a barrier to receiving those services not provided at the outreach locations.
“The Outreach Pilot Program will be a big blessing to the residents of Granger,” states Judy Gotcher, Chairperson of the Granger Community Food Pantry. “Granger has a large population of elderly who barely make it month to month. When something major happens, whether medical, physical, or material, the cost is overwhelming to them. They pray that help will come. Our poverty level in Granger is high. Just to know help is there will be a welcome relief.”
At the end of the 6-month pilot period in November 2016, The Caring Place will evaluate the outreach initiative, and determine next steps in each community.
“We are very excited about the new pilot project in Florence, Granger and Jarrell and look forward to serving more people who need assistance,” Ms. O’Connor stated.