Thank you to Medina County voters for your support on the Social Services Levy. Every year, thousands of Medina County residents – including children, the elderly, and those battling addiction – rely on help from Job and Family Services (JFS), the Office for Older Adults (OOA), and the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board (ADAMH). Together, these agencies provide social services to thousands of vulnerable county residents. The 1-mill levy will generate approximately $5 million annually and target social services in the County. The three agencies will be benefiting over the next five years, but Medina County residents are the true benefactors. The money from the levy will be used to meet real needs in Medina County for families coping with the challenges of aging, poverty, hunger, child care, mental health, addiction, recovery and senior transportation. Each of the three agencies have seen increases each year in the services and programming they provide in the County. The money from the levy will make a real difference in the lives of residents.
OOA will utilize their portion of the funding, $1 million annually, to increase programming and services including home delivered meals, transit, congregate meals and Aging and Disability Resource Center Activities. OOA is hoping to build their volunteer services to include non-medical support in the home to assist people with tasks such as cleaning or transportation to the doctor, but would require the hiring of a volunteer coordinator to manage the program. Levy funding will also be used to make ADA improvements, replace flooring and update technology in the OOA building.
Job and Family Services will be utilizing levy funds, $2.5 million annually, to increase staff to do the work of the agency. They have been struggling with intake and when they get a report of abuse or neglect, having somebody who can respond quickly to the concerns is where levy funding will increase the efficiency of the office. Increasing staffing in investigations, Adult Protective Services and foster care will help the office to better serve the community. Once staffing issues are resolved, they will begin to look at things they historically haven’t been able to do such as 30 Days to Family and additional programming. This program is a very intensive look at permanent homes for children to lessen the time in foster care.
The ADAMH Board has more than 30 contracts with different agencies with a current staff of 4. The office is very busy and since the levy passed, the state has added four additional initiatives that the ADAMH Board has to implement. The levy money, $1.5 million annually, will focus on the need for crisis services and leverage dollars to increase the access, the capacity, navigation and linkages to these services. Levy funding will also be utilized on child focused initiatives and investing in high risk youth. Through targeting and reaching the youth early on when they experience trauma, the ADAMH Board is going to help families and increase the lifelong success for children. Through the ADAMH Board, a trauma informed Child Family Center will form. This will be a collaborative effort to develop an outpatient location where families feel comfortable and receive the intensive psychiatric treatment and other supports they need.
Through collaboration, these agencies will continue to work diligently to provide the best services to Medina County ensuring the best use of these levy dollars. Thank you for your continued support of the Office for Older Adults, Job and Family Services and Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board!