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Opinion

Street Cards being distributed in Akron

1/20/2011 - West Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

The 2011 Street Cards are currently being distributed throughout Akron and Summit County. The Street Card is a pocket reference guide to more than 200 community resources from pregnancy services and counseling to meal sites and medical care and much more. The first Akron Street Card (fashioned after the Cleveland Street Card) was originally developed in 2000 by Project RISE of Akron Public Schools in collaboration with AmeriCorps’ VISTA program and the Veterans Service Commission to assist families experiencing homelessness.

The new version this year has been updated by a committee of representatives from many local agencies, including: Sandy Waino and Penny Riley, Summit County Health District; Timothy Sullivan, vocational rehabilitation counselor for the state of Ohio; Pat Westfall, Summit County Children Services; Catherine Stratis, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (AMHA); Beth Cardina, Summit County Juvenile Court; Willette Riley, city of Akron Department of Planning and Urban Development; Robyn Vittek, Akron-Summit County Public Library; Colleen Koladzinski, The Chapel; Lorraine Ellithorp, Greenleaf Family Center; Laura Williams Dunlop, veterans; Evelyn Stokes, Job and Family Services; Lauren Green, Fair Housing Contact Service; Lisa Karas, Summit County Juvenile Court; and Tim Hite, InfoLine. Jennifer Sullivan, of Akron Public Schools Project RISE, chaired the committee. The Street Card is published by APS Printing Services, facilitated by Jerry Yaceczko.

One hundred fifty thousand copies of the Akron Resource Directory for families are printed and distributed at a cost of approximately $10,000. The project counts on donations to meet the cost each year. This year the following donated to continue this important community resource: Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron Community Service Center and Urban League, Akron General Medical Center, Akron Pregnancy Services, Akron Summit Community Action, Alliance for Healthy Youth, AMHA, Catholic Charities Health and Human Services, Child Guidance and Family Solutions, city of Akron Department of Planning and Urban Development, Summit County, Fair Housing Contact Service, Greenleaf Family Center, Haven of Rest Ministries, Hope Homes Inc., HM Life, InfoLine, Legacy III, Planned Parenthood, Pregnancy Solutions and Services, Shelter Care, Summit County Department of Job and Family Services, Summit County Health District, Summit County Juvenile Court, Summit County Children Services and The Chapel.

The Akron Street Card assists many community members and helps identify resources to those in need. All in all, this initiative helps to improve the quality of life in our community. If you would like to donate toward this worthwhile cause or if you would like to obtain copies of the Street Card, please contact Project RISE at 330-761-2969.

Debra Manteghi, program manager and Akron Public Schools District Homeless Education liaison

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