New UCHRA Partnership Helps Serve Vulnerable Populations

The Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA) commodities distribution team and the UCHRA Community Corrections program have partnered to better efficiently serve the community. The partnership helps two segments in need: families in need of supplemental food and clients of the adult community corrections program in need of community service hours. Both, in need of a hand up, are finding help from the same agency.

“This is a wonderful partnership,” said LaNelle Godsey, Community Services Director. “This partnership not only helps the commodities program, it helps Community Corrections clients meet their [community service] requirements.”

Godsey’s department, Community Services, oversees programs such as LIHEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program), Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) programs and commodities.

Each month, UCHRA hosts commodities distribution events in at least half the 14 counties the agency serves, rotating to the remaining counties the following month.

While COVID-19 has created the need for a few minor adjustments, the commodities distribution team has remained relatively unchanged until last month. UCHRA staff members, including the local county coordinator, participate in the distribution, but additional support is needed to quickly and efficiently serve clients. With the start of the new year, UCHRA Community Corrections clients in need of community service hours are now helping out with distribution events.

Volunteers from the corrections program receive community service credit for their involvement. These volunteers are nonviolent offenders who are actively working to move beyond their sentence or conviction while assisting some of our region’s most vulnerable residents.

For more on this story, pick up a copy of this week’s Citizen-Statesman.

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