Yell County nonprofit expands reach with grant

A nonprofit in Yell County has expanded its care and assist to those that have been affected by COVID-19.

Samaritan Outreach, which provides assist for survivors of home abuse, is being funded partially by the brand new COVID-19 Cares Act Grant, an emergency-solutions grant. The grant, which the group earned in October, will permit Samaritan Outreach to increase its homeless program by serving to these in want with discovering sources and housing and getting the homeless off the road.

“This grant additionally permits different shelters to increase their homeless packages, including extra beds and issues like that,” Govt Director Mary Thompson mentioned. “In our space, there isn’t a homeless shelter, however I do know who to refer [them to] in the event that they want quick shelter.

“[The grant] has opened quite a lot of alternatives for everyone within the state, for really homeless people.”

With the brand new grant for the road outreach, Thompson mentioned, people will need to have been affected by COVID-19 in a roundabout way. Both they misplaced their residence as a result of they couldn’t afford hire or pay their payments, or they misplaced their job because of the pandemic. She mentioned the grant offers Samaritan Outreach the chance to position people into accommodations or different kinds of shelter.

Previous to receiving this grant, Samaritan Outreach has had a homeless hotline, however the group didn’t have a technique to help purchasers after the telephone name. This grant permits the middle to arrange a case-management plan, and the hotline will nonetheless be in place as nicely.

“We’re simply getting began with it,” Thompson mentioned, “but it surely does offers us much more freedom in how we assist them and stroll them by way of the method, and assist contact these businesses they want.

“Earlier than, as soon as we hung up that hotline telephone quantity, we didn’t know if anybody else helped them or not.”

Thompson has been the manager director for Samaritan Outreach for slightly greater than two years. She began with the nonprofit about three years in the past as a sufferer’s advocate and later served as a authorized advocate earlier than being named government director.

“I used to be a survivor of home violence, and I knew of the assistance [the organization] offered,” she mentioned. “I got here in for an interview, and the manager director at the moment didn’t rent me at first as a result of she mentioned I had an excessive amount of training.

“However I knew what they did for the group, and I utilized for the advocate place as a result of I needed to be a part of this system like that.”

Brandi Everette serves as president of the board for Samaritan Outreach.

“Mary has run the shelter so long as I’ve identified her,” Everette mentioned. “She could be very skilled and goes above and past along with her attain in the neighborhood.

“She is a tremendous grant author and runs the middle proficiently. Something she wants, she lets me know. … I don’t assume I may ask for a greater government director.”

Everette mentioned Thompson has “realized all the things she will be able to to raised herself and the shelter.”

“She researches and pulls grants,” Everette mentioned. “She doesn’t simply sit again and watch for it to fall into her lap. She is a go-getter.”

Everette mentioned that with the brand new grant, the goal is to achieve out to the group and people who could not learn about Samaritan Outreach. She mentioned that in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, lots of people are quarantined to their properties, can’t go wherever and are presumably staying in a state of affairs that’s not wholesome or good for them.

“This permits us to achieve out to individuals who could not have the sources to seek out us and to seek out these people who could not be capable of do this in any other case,” Everette mentioned.

Samaritan Outreach has needed to decrease the quantity of people that take part within the group’s assist teams due to COVID-19. She mentioned some teams are providing courses nearly. Thompson mentioned the middle nonetheless gives protected short-term housing, with the primary aim of the shelter being security.

“We do present authorized advocacy and orders of safety, and we go to court docket every month in each Logan and Yell counties to help any new people who could not know what companies can be found,” Thompson mentioned. “Authorized advocates are at the moment not allowed within the courthouse, resulting from COVID-19, so we now have to achieve out to the victims earlier than they go into court docket.

“It makes it fairly a bit tougher.”

She mentioned that proper now, there are about six residents on the middle who’re making an attempt to get everlasting shelter.

“We needed to change the spacing of our rooms to ensure everyone may socially distance, and there are areas within the shelter for anybody who must be quarantined,” Thompson mentioned. “Now we have been fortunate, although, as we now have had zero [COVID-19] instances to date.”

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Workers author Sam Pierce could be reached at (501) 244-4314 or

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