LIMA — A $101,000 grant from the Healthier Buckeye Council will allow the Allen County Department of Job and Family Services, along with Coleman Behavioral Services, help qualified individuals navigate through the various programs and services available to help them become self-sufficient.
The grant, running through June 30, will fund the creation of two new positions, aptly titled “navigators,” who will work on a contractual basis through Coleman to work with qualifying candidates applying for cash assistance through the Department of Job and Family Services.
“A navigator will be someone who works with our clients and works closely with other community social service agencies to help the client become self-sufficient,” according to Allen County Job and Family Services Director Steve Barker. “This would help them find work, and it would help them remove barriers, as far as such things as child care, transportation or mental health issues.”
Having a central point of contact for both clients and agencies would help prevent overlapping of work on behalf of the client, Barker said.
“We find there is a need to coordinate so that when one agency does something, another agency does not do the same thing,” he said. “It keeps the client moving forward, with self-sufficiency, again, being the ultimate outcome.”
Navigators are being used by Allen County Children Services and the Allen County Child Support Enforcement Agency. Barker is hopeful to have these two navigator positions filled by the end of September.
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.