FISH welcomed 44 participants to the meeting.
July was a great month for needs – 23 needs were filled with a value of $13,336.
Darcy Maskevich, Scott County Public Health nurse, led off the meeting by explaining the work of the Health Care Access Coalition, which is a subgroup of the Community Health Improvement Committee. They are looking for more community members for this subgroup. They asked FISH to send out a survey to our partners and affiliates last week to help plan for future work and improve access in the community. A second survey will follow, and they will share results and next steps. The first survey link is included on the attached PowerPoint and will be ending in two weeks (from August 13). In response to a question, the time commitment for the coalition is a one-hour meeting per month and one hour of work outside the meeting.
Maridel Sandberg, President of Together for Good, was the next speaker. She said social isolation is the top risk factor for adverse childhood experiences. Their organization is faith based – the church being the church. In 2019 they provided 5,000 days of care. They provide crisis care, respite care and come alongside parents. They partner with the Shakopee Women’s Prison and also get referrals from school social workers and hospitals. They provide supportive care and mobilize the local church. They are working to help families with education during Covid. People can help with rent donations or donating a car to their organization. In answer to a question, Maridel said their services are voluntary and private and not offered through the child welfare system. Licensed social workers do the home assessments. A video is attached that explains their work.
Elizabeth Beseke, Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter Director for Safe Families for Children MN, was the next speaker. This is a national organization. She also introduced Pastor Marcus Cage, who is our local contact. She shared her own family experience of a chaotic household in her early years and of a wonderful stepfather who made a difference in her life. She used the example of children in Haiti where children are raised by the community who help change the trajectory of their lives. Safe Families provide the framework for neighbors to be neighbors and communities working in communities. Each family is assigned a family coach to help families be safe and flourish. They have helped families get through Covid-19. They helped a family whose father was a veteran who committed suicide settle the estate and helped with the kids. They helped a homeless woman by placing her kids with host families in the community. They recruit through the faith community, civic and community organizations.
Melissa Gardner, Associate Director of Preventive Services at the CAP Agency, was our next speaker. CAP founded the Crisis Nursery in 1983 as a child abuse and neglect prevention program. More information is contained on the attached PowerPoint. They will also be overseeing the Together We Can program. These programs are a lifeline for Scott and Carver County families. They partner with licensed childcare providers for children 0-12 years old. They can place infants at 6 weeks of age. Services are voluntary and at no cost. During Covid there has been a slowdown in families requesting care. They expect with the learning options this fall there will be an increase in services. Families form lasting relationships with those who help them. There are parent support groups, Parents Helping Parents, available in Chaska, Shakopee, Waconia and soon in Jordan. Asking for help is a sign of strength. It’s hard to serve people remotely. The food shelf is one of the most important pieces of their services. Esperanza is now a part of CAP. In April two of five families with children under 12 experienced food security.
CAP recently received a $40,000 grant from United Way for domestic violence, food distribution and cash for undocumented families. Their backpack program will start August 25 to provide school supplies. There is also Hope for the Holidays which provides gifts for children. More information is on the PowerPoint. Children are struggling during the pandemic and parents are stressed. It is an unprecedented time. We need to support families wherever we can.
Heather Wilson, a Foster America Fellow working at Scott County Health and Human Services, commented that prevention is so important and is a community effort. She is glad to pass Together We Can to the CAP Agency, a community organization with years of experience.
Karen Jensen, Supervisor of the Scott County Mobile Mental Health Crisis Team, said they haven’t had a lot of calls lately and wanted to remind everyone that they are fully staffed 24/7 and currently provide telehealth services and community engagement.
Bethany reminded everyone to send information to FISH to include in our Community updates.
- Friendship Church in Prior Lake hosts a 2nd Harvest food distribution on the 2nd Thursday of each month from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. –
- Doorstep Dental is working with Public Health on providing services in Scott County. A flyer is attached.
- Samantha Roth, U of M Extension Educator in Financial Capability for Scott and Carver Counties, is available for educating community members on a variety of financial topics, including budgeting, debt management, credit reporting, saving, identity theft and other financial issues for all stages of life
- Kate Schaumann of Southern Valley Alliance announced their Golf Scramble on October 7 at Deer Run Golf Club in Victoria.
Aug 13 Scott Access CHIC FISH presentation
Aug 13 Crisis Nursery- FISH 2020