Community Connector Training
Posted by frankieblackburn on March 2, 2009
In many ways, Friday was the true official kick-off of the Neighbors Campaign. Eleven community residents of extremely different backgrounds from Silver Spring, Wheaton and Gaithersburg ventured forth to begin a two-day session in preparation for their possible role as a Community Connector – in many ways the single most important lynchpin to this entire effort. They will staff the new Neighborhood Safety Net Centers on a daily basis. These connectors will serve as a human bridge to the residents in the targeted neighborhoods who either do not know about available services, or are afraid to go to a large government center, or give up when they encounter the many forms and questions asked in order to secure help.
Most of these courageous folks who have stepped forward have direct experience accessing social services at some point in their lives and have many stories to tell about the reasons why they and their neighbors might not venture forth to apply for HHS support. This first group of potential Connectors includes immigrants from Central America, East Africa, West Africa, Asia, the Middle East and long time African American residents, and represent a wide range of ages and educational/work backgrounds. Almost all are renters and live in apartment complexes located in an area of high need in the County.