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By Nancy McHugh
Over the last few months people throughout the country have found themselves in difficult situations on many levels. Our economy has had an impact on all of us in one way or another.
In the Mad River Valley, we are fortunate to have a number of local resources where support and direction are available for those who find themselves in a critical situation. The Mad River Valley Interfaith Council (made up of local religious organizations and churches) recently met with our town service officers, who are elected at town meetings. The district director for the Vermont Department for Children and Families was also in attendance. In this meeting we discovered that there are many avenues within our area that can be explored for people and families in the midst of a crisis.
The local service officer is someone who can connect you with other
state or regional organizations and agencies that can offer short- and
long-term support services. They can also provide emergency shelter
overnight if necessary. Each town has a Service Officer and they can be
contacted at the numbers listed below. It is also possible to contact
our State District Director Craig Comstock if you are unable to connect
with the local person. Another means of finding what support is
available is to go online and Google: 211 Vermont. Or simply dial "211"
to reach the state support information office.
The Mad River Valley Interfaith Council and the Mad River Valley Community Fund are also resources for emergency funding. These two organizations provide emergency relief for an assortment of situations, for example, fuel assistance, unexpected medical expenses or car repairs that put you in a position of losing your employment. Contacting one the members of these groups can help you pull together emergency assistance when you have no place to turn. Our mission is to empower people to get back on their feet with limited assistance and support. Financial counseling is also available through the MRVIC at no charge.
If you find yourself or someone you know in a critical situation please keep these numbers by the phone, as one of these contacts may be able to help you or point you in a direction of those who can. We want everyone in the Mad River Valley to live life to the fullest and we do not want to neglect our neighbors in need. Calls are kept as confidential as possible as we seek to provide you with assistance.
Local Service Officers
* Evelyn Goss, Moretown, 496-3601 (no email);
* MRV Interfaith Council contacts
* Pastor David Peterson, Moretown and Middlesex Methodist Churches, 496-8934;
* Rev. Susan McKnight, pastor at Warren United Church, 496-3870;
* Rev. Nancy McHugh, pastor at Waitsfield United Church of Christ, 496-9511;
* Rev. Steve Young, assistant pastor at Community of the Crucified One, 496-4516.
* Mad River Valley Community Fund
* Debi Spinosa, 496-3638;
* VT Department for Children and Families
* Craig Comstock, toll free (800) 499-0113; office (802) 479-1041
McHugh is a member of the Mad River Valley Interfaith Council.