The Northern Lancaster Hub has had a busy 9 months since we began our Collective Impact Partnership through the United Way. We’ve laid much of the groundwork to begin offering full services within the next few months! Here’s a brief overview of our highlights:
Our partners celebrated the opening of the Hand UP Food & Clothing Exchange at Ephrata Area Social Services, a monumental task that involved not only changing the layout of the physical space but also a change in philosophy of service. Denver House on Main Street in Denver was taken down, and Declaration House was built in its place. This facility, which is slated to open this summer, will feature 10 affordable housing units, along with offices from Welsh Mountain Medical Center, REAL Life Community Services, Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership and services from other partners.The Community Commons at the Ephrata Public Library has completed renovations on the first floor of the building and will soon welcome Community Action Partnership’s Ephrata office when they relocate into the new building. CareerLink, the Literacy Council, VITA and other partners already offer services and Welsh Mountain Medical Center’s Mobile Dentist will pay us visits this summer.
Listening. Learning & Connecting
We’ve been learning a lot about our community and our partners in both formal and informal ways. We meet monthly as a Hub and we’ve also been holding community summits in both Ephrata and Denver to discuss the opioid crisis, homelessness, poverty and how we can maximize the opportunities we’re being provided. We’ve begun working together, coming out of our silos and finding ways to collaborate on projects from Afterschool Programs to Community Gardens.
We are also embarking on a pilot project with Community Action Partnership to train community representatives to become volunteer Navigators. We hope to eventually have Navigators in many congregations, at local social service agencies and within the community to help wrap clients with services they need in a local setting.
We’ve Got Wheels!
It is no secret that we have a transportation problem in Northern Lancaster County. While we work on a long-term solution, we have successfully put our Hub Shuttle on the road and are finding convenient ways to provide transport services. Residents who need to go to medical appointments or have other transportation needs can get a ride from the Hub Shuttle at no charge. We’ve also be using the Hub Shuttle to provide transportation for the Library’s Afterschool Program, a partnership with Ephrata Cares and CompassMark.
Penny Talbert (Executive Director: Ephrata Public Library)