The Community Resource Coalition has wrapped up its first year in action. The group spent its last 2019 meeting recapping the successes achieved and suggested improvements moving forward.
“The whole intent here is to bring all of the nonprofits, faith-based communities, social service agencies together to collaborate and share resources on what their organizations do for our community,” Mayor Cal Sheehy said. “So the city kind of acts as the conduit to keep those conversations alive.”
Staged in the Aquatic Center, the coalition sat at round tables on Tuesday morning to discuss what they believed worked and what opportunities for growth are present.
Jennifer Harrold, Lake Havasu Municipal Court supervisor, said one of the big takeaways from the year was the collaboration of the team. She suggested that subcommittees be created in order to directly and efficiently address specific issues, such as housing, food and shelter..
Several other tables around the room echoed that same suggestion, along with detailing the need for more discussion about Havasu’s youth, mental health focus groups, affordable housing, and gathering correct information for the creation of a community resource guide.
“At our very first meeting, we said we were going to create a community resource guide,” Sheehy recalled. “We don’t have the guide yet because we don’t have all the information. There’s about 30 organizations we don’t have.”
The goal of the community resource guide is to detail all available resources and services for residents and organizations in one place, with updated and accurate information, such as phone numbers for various groups or services in town.
A student at the Havasu ASU campus involved with Changemakers is working on the database currently. According to his notes left for Vice Mayor David Lane to read at the meeting, he is consistently running into incorrect phone numbers for organizations. Lane urged everyone that has correct and updated information for either their nonprofit organization or any others to call ASU Changemakers at 928.854.9752.
Positive change and progress was also highlighted during the meeting. Sheehy said some “wins” discussed included the creation of a day center at Solid Rock Christian Ministries, a resource office at ASU in the works and the progress made on the community resource guide.
Representatives from the Lake Havasu Unified School District and the Department of Public Health also provided an update about the Mental Health First Aid training program, “which is aiming to train 50,000 residents in the five northernmost counties in Arizona… in the next five years,” Sheehy said. Additionally, a new hospital called Talas Harbor was built in Bullhead City to specifically serve the county’s psychiatric needs for those 55 and older.
To cap off the last meeting of the year, Sheehy said, “We all have a story to tell, but we forget to tell the story because we’re just doing our day-to-day lives. But what each of you do every day and the passions that you have,” he said, speaking to the coalition, “you guys are making a huge difference.”
While the coalition celebrated success and identified opportunities for change, Sheehy reminded its members, “We are building this coalition together. We really are doing some powerful things for our community.”
The next Community Resource Coalition meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on April 2.