SOCIAL SERVICES - BEHAVIORAL HEALTH - PUBLIC HEALTH – CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES AND COLLECTIONS
A Word from the Health & Human Services Agency…
This month we share with you this year’s Agency Community Partner Awards nominees and awardees. These exceptional individuals and organizations have been wonderful partners, working together with our agency and the larger community to provide critical health and human services to county residents and working tirelessly to make our communities healthier places to live. I hope their stories and commitment inspire you.
Individual— Bethany Williams
As the Adolescent Family Life Program case manager, Bethany works closely with pregnant and parenting teens to help them to achieve health, educational and personal goals while developing parenting skills and support networks. Bethany has an uncanny ability to engage these youth and quickly earn their trust. This greatly enhances her case management efforts to connect these young families with essential medical, psycho-social and nutritional support. Bethany has a “never-give-up” attitude, which allows her to negotiate all barriers to ensure that the youth whom she serves receive the assistance they need to become good parents and self-sufficient members of our community. For example, Bethany worked with a set of young parents whose infant was not thriving. Bethany immediately recognized the problem as serious and connected the family with health care professionals for further assessment. She worked closely with the family, especially when the infant’s condition worsened, accompanying them to specialists, who ultimately performed a simple, yet life saving surgery. Bethany truly makes a difference in the lives of all she touches.
Business/Government— Nevada County Superintendent of Schools, Independent Living Program
The Superintendent of Schools Independent Living Program supports current and former probation and foster care youth ages 16-21 through the transition to adulthood and economic independence. The program provides assistance in the areas of life skills training, education, employment and housing. Our local program served over 135 youth this past year --- double the number of individuals served just four years ago. Program staff are passionate about the work that they do, always willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that program youth are successful, whether it is in a job training assignment or a college course. For example, they ensured that all program students eligible for the college Chafee grant applied for and received this aid. Due to their extraordinary efforts, more and more program youth are graduating from high school and college, finding jobs and becoming active, engaged citizens.
Community Organization— The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, one of our community’s most important safety net service providers, has a long history in Nevada County, opening its first program in Grass Valley in 1887. Since 2009, under the confident direction of Majors Don and Martha Sheppard, it has greatly expanded services to low-income and homeless individuals and families through a host of critical programs, including operation of the Booth Family Shelter, the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program and the Extreme Weather Winter Shelter. It coordinates both the county’s Homeless Management Information System and the Senior Housing and Resources for the Elderly (SHARE) shared housing program, as well as actively supports the Sierra Roots Program to serve homeless veterans, the Nevada/Placer Continuum of Care to End Homelessness and the Gentle Smiles Dental Clinic. Finally, the Salvation Army provides a host of family and youth services including summer youth camps, scouting programs, music lessons/camps, pottery classes and a coffee shop for young adults. This organization’s commitment to serving the less fortunate in our community and strengthening our local families is truly exemplary.
Youth— Jose Gamino
As a Friday Night Live Peer Advocate and student at Nevada Union High School, Jose Gamino has proven to be a great asset to his peers and the larger community. Jose has strived to create a safe environment for all students on his high school campus by promoting the values of equality, acceptance and self-respect. Jose is a natural leader, always willing to assume responsibility and do what is necessary for a project/campaign to be successful. For example, Jose led an effort to bring a program to his campus to raise awareness and create social norm change around the issues of bullying, intolerance and suicide. Furthermore, he spearheaded efforts to organize and conduct two successful school assemblies to promote student mental, emotional and behavioral well-being. Jose is always willing to support his fellow students during their times of need. His caring for and commitment to his family, friends and community provide inspiration for us all.
Community Partner Nominees
Gail Johnson Vaughan
Grass Valley Grocery Outlet
Truckee One-Stop Business and Career Center
The Co-Occurring Project Group
Food Bank of Nevada County
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Brandi McManus, Health & Human Services Agency