When county departments presented their budget needs to commissioners, Library Director Trina Rushing asked for a position one may not associate with a library. It’s a position, however, that would help county residents in need connect to services that could make a difference in their lives: a social worker.
A wide swath of the community comes through the library’s doors every day, Rushing said, and many of them have a variety of needs. They could be homeless looking for basic needs like food, shelter and clothing, or they could have behavioral or mental health concerns, looking for where to go or what to do. Some folks could have substance abuse issues.
“We know that 211 exists and that the county is full of agencies and various services, but what we lack is the real knowledge and training and skills to serve those people where they are,” she said. “We don’t want to have to send them to the mission or give them a phone number and say ‘Hop on the bus.’”
[For more on this story by Derek Lacey, go to https://www.blueridgenow.com/news/20190217/library-social-worker-proposed-to-help-residents-in-need]