Over the last few months I’ve realized the importance of being involved in one’s community. As we go through our day, we often find ourselves in situations where we may have a need and just don’t know which way to turn. There are a number of agencies here in Thurston County that offer aid; however, many of us are unaware they exist.
In most cases, resources are never discussed until a need arises – and then we generally hit many “brick walls.” This is why I dedicate this column today as an informational avenue to enlighten the community on available resources.
• Community Youth Services offers a variety of programs for young men and women between the ages of 12 and 21. Programs include but are not limited to foster care services, family services, job training, shelter, advocacy and life skills. For more information, contact CYS at 360-943-0780 or 888-698-1816 (TTY) or go to www.communityyouthservices.org. This is the largest agency here in Olympia for youths, and it also has a high success rate for individuals who have completed the program. Don’t sit and suffer in silence. Reach out and make that call!
• Partners in Prevention provides advocacy, therapy and support groups for homeless, at-risk youths and young adults, ages 12-30, who are affected by sexual and/or domestic violence. All services are free and confidential. To receive assistance, please call 360-357-4472 or 800-833-6388 (TTY) or go to www.youthchangeagents.org. If you are a youth that needs assistance or knows someone who does, I strongly encourage you to make a phone call that could lead to a positive change in your life. Don’t allow your abuser to determine who you will be and how you will live your life.
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Financial difficulties are becoming more the norm than ever, and we are finding it hard to maintain stable employment in a lot of cases due to major cutbacks in our economy. There are a few agencies that are offering assistance to those who are seeking employment. They may be able to assist.
• WorkSource of Thurston County: 1570 Irving St. S.W., Tumwater. Seeking employment? Get in touch at 360-704-3600.
• Manpower: 905 24th Way S.W., Olympia. This is a temporary labor agency. Call 360-357-5373.
• Tulip Credit Union: Located at the Eastside Food Co-op, 3111 Pacific Ave., Olympia, Tulip offers credit counseling and advice about the lending process and will work with members to find ways to improve their credit status and assist in securing loans that best fit their needs. The phone number is 360-570-2292.
• The Crisis Clinic of Thurston County offers crisis intervention and counseling as well as information and referrals to individuals 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It offers emotional support and help with decision-making and identifying steps to resolve problems. If you find yourself faced with a crisis, do not hesitate to call the clinic at 360-586-2800 or the youth help line at 360-586-2777, or go online to www.crisis-clinic.org.
In closing, I would like to reiterate the Safe Haven Law in Washington state that went into effect in April 2002, decriminalizing and making it a safe alternative to leave a newborn up to 3 days old with staff at your local hospital emergency room, federal designated rural clinic or staffed fire station with no questions asked. This may save your baby’s life and yours. For more information and questions you may have, call Safe Place for Newborns of Washington State at 877-440-2229.
My hope is that this information will help someone in need get the assistance he or she is seeking. I’ll be back next month with another hot topic.
Angel Roberson, mother and emergency room technician at Providence St. Peter Hospital for 11 years, is a member of The Olympian’s Diversity Panel. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.