Erin Wells, Community Resource Manager of ADRC (Aging & Disability Resource Center), and Lillie Coburn, executive director of Comunidad Hispana, will start working together in new assistance programs and activities. Ever since they met in a staff meeting Lillie organized to present Comunidad Hispana and its services to some of the Lincoln County agencies (which includes over 80 different organizations), as well as many other people, they shared ideas about how they could bring a lot more to the community.
“It’s eye-opening, the community that’s out there and their experiences,” said Erin of Lillie’s presentation, which took place in October 2016. Besides Lillie’s introduction, some Hispanic members of Comunidad Hispana participated and shared their challenges, but also the opportunities and services with which Comunidad Hispana has helped, or is helping them. Erin thought she had to bring that information to ADRC’s staff, wondering what her organization could do to coordinate with Lillie’s, and now their projects are finally beginning. Both ADRC and Comunidad Hispana will help each other and their members to know where to reach out for information and services such as health care, education, housing facilities, and many other needs.
“For example, if someone needs help with information about social security; she [Erin] helps you with that. Or if someone has a disability, she helps you with that,” Lillie explains.
“We are an open door for them to get information. We get lots of calls of older adults and children, questions about ill family members, immigration… We talk to them about what resources are out there,” Erin adds.
ADRC focuses on helping older adults and adults with disabilities all over Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon and Wood counties, stay in the community, to be able to live at their home. ADRC’s benefits specialist staff recommends different programs based on different needs, making sure people understand what they need to do; among other services such as helping to organize a patient’s paperwork or advocating in their behalf. Their mission is about giving resourceful information; healthy living and nutrition programs; support for caregivers; free medical equipment rentals and volunteer opportunities.
Erin explains, “We have individuals that come here and don’t have a home, or don’t have an income, and we try to refer them to the right resource. We want to be there for everybody who has questions or needs.”
Some of those in need, might also need the services of Comunidad Hispana.
Comunidad Hispana is a non-profit entity, whose purpose is to help build solidarity and identity as a community in Lincoln County. Also, Comunidad Hispana strives to increase the organization’s ability to address, in a meaningful way, economic, social and other important issues that affect the everyday lives of Hispanics; and to effect institutional changes to help alleviate conditions that cause poverty among low-income Hispanics. They welcome and embrace all cultures, understanding and respecting each other’s background, being open and caring for one another and the community. Furthermore, working as one cohesive unit, providing professional quality multiple services: food pantry; job placement services; legal clinic services; domestic violence counselor; advocacy and liaison support with external agencies; translation and interpretation of documents; transportation support; application support for affordable housing, food share and utility assistance. The staff helps firsthand those in need and answers questions at no cost in an efficient and organized way in order to improve the quality of life of members. This organization actively seeks out new ideas, venues and relationships to implement innovative approaches. This is why besides offering help services, it organizes different events through the year.
Now both ADRC and Comunidad Hispana are establishing a new path of communication, resources and opportunities. You can contact ADRC (607 N. Sales St., Suite 206, Merrill) at 1-888-486-9545 or 715-384-8479; and Comunidad Hispana (503 S. Center Ave., Ste 4, Merrill) at 715-539-8999.