Merrill community agencies plan move
Six community assistance agencies in Merrill will soon have a new home thanks to the support of Ministry Health Care.
On Feb. 26-27, offices and programs of Comunidad Hispania, Merrill Community Food Pantry, Merrill Area United Way, North Central Community Action Program, St. Vincent de Paul Outreach and Merrill Salvation Army will move from the Community Care Center at 401 W. Main St. to the Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center Campus.
Ministry Good Samaritan leaders contacted the agencies about the need for new space as they were seeking funding for much needed repairs to the current location which they have called home since 2007.
Under terms of the agreement, each agency will be given space in the Menard Center with Ministry Good Samaritan also covering costs of utilities and maintenance as part of its regular operation of the hospital campus.
Plans are in the works to identify the area as the Menard Resource Center which is located next door to Ministry Good Samaritan’s Rehabilitation Services Department.
“We are excited to bring these vital community organizations to our facility and hope our support will allow them to continue and expand their services to people in need in the Merrill area,” said Mary Krueger, president of Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center. “Each of these agencies aligns directly with our mission to improve the health and well-being of all people, especially the poor.”
Dennis McCarthy of Merrill is involved with many of these agencies. He serves on the Ministry Good Samaritan Board of Directors as well as leadership groups for the Food Pantry, Comunidad Hispania and St. Vincent de Paul.
“This is really a godsend for all of the organizations involved and we are grateful for the support of Ministry Health Care,” said McCarthy. “By removing the burden of operating an aging building, we will be able to better focus our efforts and resources to helping those in need in our community.”
McCarthy estimates that the organizations will save nearly $30,000 each year as the result of the move to the Menard Center, which he adds will provide improved and increased space and accessibility for those who utilize the services.
Bridge Community Dental Clinic will continue to operate at the Community Care Center with discussions ongoing about a move to the Ministry Good Samaritan Campus at a later date.
McCarthy says that the St. Vincent de Paul Free Clinic will continue to operate at the Community Care Center until a new location can be found. He says they are working with a realtor to find a buyer for the property.
Here is a summary of the programs moving to the Menard Outreach Center.
Comunidad Hispania: Provides outreach, education and support services to Lincoln County’s Hispanic community.
Merrill Community Food Pantry provides supplemental food to those in need that fall at or below the Federal poverty guidelines. Recipients are able to receive food on a monthly basis as a supplement to their current Foodshare benefits, or on an emergency basis.”
Merrill Area United Way: Creates opportunities and support multiple organizations to positively change lives in three major impact areas: Income/Basic Needs, Education, and Health. Merrill Area United Way assists with the funding of 19 agencies providing programming in the impact areas with a focus on the building blocks for a better life and creating a community where people can succeed.
North Central Community Action Program (NCCAP) acts as an advocate, provider, and facilitator of programs and services for low-income individuals. Its programs create opportunities for people and communities to obtain skills, identify, and utilize resources and explore innovative options necessary to reduce poverty and increase self-sufficiency. This includes emergency rent assistance, Section 8 voucher program, Supportive Housing Program, Food Pantry Screening, Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing.
St. Vincent de Paul Outreach provides temporary/emergency assistance for shelter, food, emergency lodging, rent, transportation, clothing, utilities, and other financial assistance as needed based on funds available and level of need. St. Vincent de Paul works in conjunction with other community service organizations to meet emergency needs.
Merrill Salvation Army provides emergency financial assistance to those in the Merrill area.
The street address for these agencies will be 503 South Center Avenue. They will maintain their own phone numbers and internet addresses.