The Community Resource Guide is our way of giving back to our loving and generous community. Here’s a quick overview of what we’re about:
We are working to connect people to resources while illuminating the needs of Anderson County and collaborating with government, non-profits, businesses, and individuals to reduce or eliminate barriers for solving problems in our community.
Anderson County offers a temperate climate and many positive quality-of-life features for its nearly 190,000 residents…which includes nearly 31,000 people trying to support themselves and their families on incomes below the federal poverty levels, and another 42,000 who are near poverty. Over 1,000 Anderson County School students were experiencing homelessness last year and over 10,000 students were eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.
Connecting: One of the bigger challenges in providing help to those in need, especially when families may be experiencing need for the first time, is to provide information about services and systems available. Our Community Resource Guide (in print and online) seeks to help families find assistance immediately. With better information, not only can local communities use finite program resources more efficiently but also families’ needs can be matched more effectively. We hope to rapidly connect people in new ways to create real and impactful change, whether it be a streamlined way to find “where do I take my stuff” to quick and easy community engagements.
Illuminating: We also wish to create awareness of the rising need in our Appalachian community and to challenge presumptions about what it means to be in need or poor in Anderson County. For example, our local housing challenges. Our County has only 22% of the subsidized rental housing units needed for low-income renters and 45.4% of our housing stock is considered functionally obsolete and represents a public health risk to all who dwell within them. Overall, 30.6% of households in Anderson County experience a shortfall every month in their income to cover monthly costs because of the high cost of shelter (which includes insurance, utilities, and taxes as well as rent or mortgage).
Collaborating: We hope to shift thinking about need in Anderson from a “them” problem to a challenge for “us.” Local dialog between elites, advocates, and residents has the promise to build awareness and establish common ground. Conversations through our community engagement activities can help us identify any disconnect in how need-based problems are resolved. This interaction can create venues for discussion about alternative ways to allocate and use public resources. We seek to connect volunteers to service opportunities and invite them into broader community collaboration.
Future growth opportunities hinge on finding more collective approaches to social problems in the near term. Although there are many challenges, we are optimistic about our ability to meet them. A much stronger public safety net is in place today than fifty years ago, and local efforts are working to enhance the safety net’s ability to respond to need. Andersonians display compassion and commitment to charitable activities across more than 200 organizations to provide a strong foundation to strengthen our public and private efforts to address needs.
Printed for Ease of Delivery and Access
We have divided over 150 services into 20+ categories to give you a quick view of helping agencies you are most likely to need when helping yourself or someone else. This guide is designed to fold up and fit in your pocket and it’s printed on regular paper so you can write all over it. We probably haven’t captured everything, but our coordinators and curators are working hard to constantly improve both the online version as well as the printed version of the resource guide. We’re also working with the United Way to update their fabulous 2-1-1 resource.
Here are a few screenshots (click on each for a larger view), but don’t strain your eyes! We are happy to provide printed copies for your organization.
Please complete the form below to request your FREE copies. We’ll do our best to get copies to you, but supplies are limited.