Resources to be available online

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It’s official, the new centrally located Valencia County resource database has a home on the Share New Mexico website.

Residents will be able to access a page on the website devoted to Valencia County at www.sharenm.org.

The page is being developed to be a one-stop source for all the resources and services the county has to offer children, youth and families — everything from early childhood development services, to legal services, to emergency food supplies in order to make it easy for locals to find the help centers and social services they may need.

The goal is for the system to be accessible for all residents to reach needed information or assistance, said early childhood advocate Bart Regelbrugge.

Regelbrugge has spear-headed this most recent effort, but the idea is not new. In this effort, a website has been established, and Regelbrugge has pulled together some local service agencies to get it started.

The next meeting is scheduled at 8:30 a.m., Friday, Jan. 4, at the Partners in Wellness facility at 750 Morris Road SW in Los Lunas.

All county service providers are encouraged to attend to fill out a form for their organization.

During the meeting, a large, annual coalition meeting held in April will be planned.

The representatives and organizations who have been meeting include Regelbrugge, Lawanda Albright, Molly Grady and Wendy Wintermute of Teaching Solutions, a consulting firm contracted by Share NM, representatives from St. Joseph’s Community Health, Ambercare, Valencia County Juvenile Justice, Valencia County Community Development, Midwest-Cap New Mexico Head Start, Ginny Adame, director of the village DWI program; Hilary Maez, president of the Community Wellness Council; Rev. Robert Mundy from St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, and others.

Because the Share NM website is already being developed with a page for each county, the group decided it was the most logical and expedient place for the Valencia County database.

A resource guide booklet and a phone line were considered at an earlier meeting for people without computers, but at this stage, the focus is on getting all the information from all the service agencies and organizations for essential connections on the website.

Belen and Los Lunas libraries offer public computer access and can help people access the Valencia County website and its material content, said Maez.

The main concern is the long term commitment required to maintain the page with up-to-date information.

“We keep seeing that groups come together with a great deal of passion, and then have a lot of difficulty sustaining themselves,” said Grady.

Studies show that sustainability is the key, she said.

Teaching Solutions has grant funding that enables them to help the county establish an organization, group or individual whose job it is to maintain the web page, and keep the information current on a regular basis, said Wintermute.

Teaching Solutions can provide tools that facilitate collaboration and other help for the county page on the Share New Mexico website, she said.

It is also offering training and support to advocates and community leaders for effective use of the website, and can facilitate meetings and events.

Much of the emphasis is on early childhood development and youth services for county families, but there is a wide variety of resources including free clothing, job hunting assistance and many others.

The whole point is to help people find what they need when they need it. There are many free and sliding-fee scale services in the county and state that people aren’t aware of.

For information about the next meeting, contact Bart Regelbrugge at 565-5913, or email him at regelbrugge.bart@yahoo.com.


-- Email the author at dfox@news-bulletin.com.