Residents of the Columbus area will have a chance to grab a bite to eat and check out the resources available to them at an event taking place this Friday in Frankfort Square.
District 5 Probation is hosting “Burgers & Brochures” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 22. The meal is free and includes a burger, a bag of chips, a cookie and a bottle of water. Several different agencies will have booths available for people to learn about the different resources available in the community.
District 5 Chief Probation Officer Carrie Rodriguez said it stood in part because this week was pretrial, probation and parole week.
“Probation and parole officers across the country celebrate the work our staff do in our communities, and we wanted to involve the community in our celebration this year,” Rodriguez said. “We thought a great way to get the community involved would be to host an event that would allow people to learn about all the services in and around Columbus because there are so many resources available for families. “
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Rodriguez said Burgers & Brochures is funded by a grant and the meal was intended to entice people to stop by.
Agencies present include Mediation Center (Fremont), Head Start/Early Head Start, CASA Connection of Platte and Colfax Counties, Department of Health and Human Services – CPS, Platte County Juvenile Services, Columbus Area United Way, Family Partnership, Big Pals- Little Pals of Greater Columbus, East-Central District Health Department, SNAP & Workforce, Nebraska Department of Labor, 211 Helpline Coordinator, Midland United Way, Platte County Victims Assistance, Good Life Counseling, COR Therapeutic, Colegrove Counseling, and the Center for Survivors.
“There’s information on everything you can think of, whether you need housing help, mental health help, addiction help; any type of services in the Columbus area that can help people who may not be aware of what services are available,” Rodriguez said.
For the Center for Survivors, Burgers & Brochures is one of many events the nonprofit tries to attend regularly, according to outreach coordinator Tlalia Garcia.
The organization often participates in county parades, where it distributes candy and awareness items.
“Just so we can spread our information,” Garcia said. “Usually we have our office number and crisis line that we run 24/7.”
There are two purposes behind attending these community events, she said, one of which is to continue to build relationships with other agencies.
“We are a non-profit agency, so in terms of funding there is not much we can do. It needs to be within our scope of domestic violence or sexual assault so we can really, really help,” Garcia said, noting that the Center for Survivors always provides other resources when unable to help. ‘to help someone. “With this event, there are going to be 15 to 20 other agencies where we are missing somewhere, we can reach out to one of them. And we can always help our clients in any way.
The other, Garcia added, also builds a relationship with community members. People can put a face to a name instead of defenders being a random voice on the phone, she noted.
Outreach events also help humanize people who work for agencies like DHHS or East-Central, she said.
“We don’t always just deal with crises… There’s a program in place,” Garcia said. “So it kind of shows that we’re not just here. We’re seeing so much. It’s kind of opening up that relationship to building relationships with us here in the office or in one of the agencies.