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Expanded Services at South County Community Services: Making the Vision Real

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South County Community Services board of directors from left to right front row: Kathy McCormick, Lorna Landrum, Danna Downing, Jackie Skinner, Kristina Powers Aubry. Back row: Jim Shaw, Don Ulsh, Barb Sheward, Stan Rolfe, Larry Forsyth.

By Danna Downing

Vision

South County Community Services (SCCS) will be the dynamic hub connecting individuals and families at all life stages with the resources necessary to manage life’s challenges and opportunities.

The SCCS team wants to work with community members to restore or improve the quality of life for all who reside in the South County area. Because of our location and transportation gaps that many of our residents experience, that vision depends on two key strategies:

•             Managing a free METRO Community Service Van

•             Bringing vital services closer to home whenever feasible

The South County METRO Community Service Van has been operating for about a year and has resulted in over 600 successful transports. All trips were completed by a team of trained and dedicated volunteers.

The big news in April is that with the help of local craftsman, volunteers and the Vicksburg Foundation, SCCS now houses a satellite office for the Kalamazoo County Department of Human Services (DHS), which administers an array of programs for Michigan residents. From food assistance and child care to Medicaid and cash benefits, the department works with individuals and families needing a helping hand as they chart a path to self-sufficiency.

The department is also responsible for protecting the vulnerable in Michigan with programs that include Adult and Child Protective Services, Juvenile Justice, Foster Care, Rehabilitation Services, Independent Living Services and Domestic Violence & Prevention Services.

The DHS presence in South County is part of the department’s PATHWAYS TO POTENTIAL, the department’s commitment to bringing services into a community where those in need can most easily access social workers.

DHS also partners with MICHIGAN WORKS for increasing employability. The goal is to also make it easier for South County families to access critical employability programs closer to home.

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