Whether you are a citizen looking to volunteer or an agency looking to get connected, there are many ways you can engage with the local community. This quick guide will provide some resources and direction on how to participate with the Human Services Alliance to improve quality-of-life for all Beaufort County residents.
What are human services?
The National Organization of Human Services (NOHS) defines human services as anything that 1) meets human needs through an interdisciplinary knowledge base, 2) prevents and remediates problems, 3) maintains commitment to improving overall quality-of-life for service populations. Basically, if it helps someone, we consider it a human service!
The Human Services Alliance produces a weekly newsletter that contains the most up-to-date news from both the Alliance and the greater community. You can subscribe to this newsletter by clicking here. This newsletter additionally contains information about free services, volunteer opportunities, employment opportunities, and professional trainings occurring in the Lowcountry region. This newsletter also contains information about the Alliance Quarterly Meetings, which typically occur on the fifth Wednesdays of the month (of which there are roughly four annually). These meetings are great opportunities to network with other agencies and private citizens who care about our community. While this website provides a static online presence, the majority of our communication to the community and our colleagues occurs in the weekly Human Services Alliance newsletter. Receiving this resource is a great first step to getting connected to your community.
Where Can I Volunteer?
In addition to the volunteer announcements in the newsletter, there are many other resources in our community to help individuals get connected with a cause they are passionate about. Community Foundation of the Lowcountry operates a website that helps connect citizens with opportunities. This website is called Lowcountry Volunteer Connections. Additionally, there is a national website called Volunteer Match. Both are excellent resources for citizens to use to connect to local resources.
Together for Beaufort County Coalitions
All Together for Beaufort County Coalitions are FREE and open to the public. If you see a cause you are passionate about, feel free to contact Ben Boswell at the Alliance office at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Links directly to coalition websites are provided where applicable. (More information coming soon!)
Local Money Talks: Local Money Talks (L$T) works to strengthen the resilience of the local economy by empowering existing businesses and fostering entrepreneurship through advocacy, collaboration, and education.
Lowcountry Affordable Housing Coalition: The Lowcountry Affordable Housing Coalition (LAHC) is a group of governmental, non-profit, and private organizations working together to make housing more affordable for Lowcountry residents.
Lowcountry Area Volunteer Income Tax Assistance: Through the Volunteer Income Tax (VITA) Program, citizens can receive free income tax preparation. VITA assists working individuals & families to take advantage of all the tax credits that are available including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and several other credits.
Early Childhood Coalition & School Readiness Workgroup: The Early Childhood Coalition and the School Readiness Workgroup builds collaborative efforts to assist Beaufort County children to be healthy and ready for success upon entering school.
Partners for Adult Literacy: Partners for Adult Literacy (PAL) works to ensure that all Beaufort County residents will possess the reading, writing, math, technology and English-speaking skills needed to be a successful member of their family, workplace, and community.
Poverty Mitigation Initiatives
Adequacy of Prenatal Care Coalition: The Adequacy of Prenatal Care Coalition has works on increasing the percentage of births reported as having received adequate prenatal care throughout Beaufort County. Women who see a health care provider regularly during pregnancy have healthier babies, are less likely to deliver prematurely and are less likely to have other serious problems related to pregnancy.
Coalition for Aging in Place: The Coalition for Aging in Place strives to provide mature adults living in Beaufort County with a network of support that offers the practical means and confidence to enjoy life to its fullest in the homes and communities they value.
Community Services Organization: The Community Services Organization (CSO) is a countywide initiative that brings together government agencies, independent faith-based and nonprofit organizations in Beaufort County under the direction of a unifying authority to track emergency assistance. The mission of the CSO is to bring about coordinated communication, accountability measures and tracking information, and a collaborative, efficient service environment in Beaufort County.
Reducing Adolescent Pregnancy Alliance: The goal of this group is to reduce adolescent pregnancy through Positive Youth Development (PYD) and bring an awreness of teen pregnancy to the Beaufort County community. PYD activities include school involvement, community services/activities, positive peer groups, strong sense of self-esteem, making safe choices, and establishing values.
AccessHealth Lowcountry: AccessHealth Lowcountry is a new program to help citizens find medical care with providers who offer free or sliding fee scale services. They work with low income, uninsured adults, ages 19-64, in Beaufort and Jasper counties. In addition to helping citizens find a primary care provider, they assist with prescription drugs and transportation.
Disabilities Coalition: The mission of the Disabilities Coalition is to enhance the lives of persons with disabilities in Beaufort County by working together to provide, improve or expand needed services and opportunities for them and their families.
Eat Smart, Move More Lowcountry: This group works to educate, equip and motivate the Lowcountry to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Eat Smart Move More Lowcountry fulfills this through education, resources, advocacy and collaboration.
Mental Health Access Coalition: Their mission is to increase access to mental health services for adults and children.
Water Quality Coalition: This local work group, pulled together by the Beaufort Soil and Water Conservation District, involves numerous stakeholders in water quality issues both governmental and non-governmental who collaborate on problems and solutions. The "Next 10 Steps" was created which guides many of the decisions these entities make. This collaboration has led to developing the Intergovernmental Agreement Plan, the Storm-water Implementation Committee, and the County & Municipality Water Quality Monitoring Committee.