Local leaders consider proposed Community Resource Center | CraigDailyPress.com

Local leaders consider proposed Community Resource Center

— Community organizations came together Monday to discuss the possibility of starting a Community and Family Resource Center at the Center of Craig, facilitated by Connections 4 Kids.

The idea stemmed from a need to simplify the navigation of the many resources available to young families in the community.

"We decided we need some kind of central hub in our community where people could go to find resources," said Connections 4 Kids Coordinator Betsy Overton. "Then community members would not have to bounce from place to place to get information needed for families."

Connections 4 Kids has set a preliminary budget for the project of $46,000, which includes salary for a full-time coordinator for the center, computer, office supplies, training, advertising and media. Office space, phones, internet and oversight would be provided by Connections 4 Kids.

The center could help families with information ranging from where kids can sign up for summer sports leagues to where to find support for children with developmental disorders.

"For parents coming into the system with young kids, to have one person to give them all the different avenues they can take (would help) let them know what is out there," said Judi Holland, director of Early Childhood Education at Colorado Northwestern Community College.

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Concerns raised at the meeting included whether the center's goal would be to provide case management versus being simply a resource library. Most in attendance agreed that case management, or facilitating follow-through with paperwork and making sure people get connected with needed programs, would quickly stretch a single coordinator too thin.

There were also concerns about defining the target population, ensuring utilization of the center and creating redundancy, and making sure it would fill a valuable niche in the community.

"Doing it in the Center of Craig, any building that doesn't say law enforcement… It's more welcoming. People might be more apt to go to a neutral location," said Craig Thornhill, program director for Mind Springs Health in Craig. "It has to come from people in this community who say yes, this makes sense."

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

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