Non-profits team up to deliver essential services to Midlands families

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – During the pandemic, people are still struggling to get through. Whether it’s getting a job or just getting to a doctor’s appointment. It can be a real challenge.

A new partnership is helping create a directory connecting nonprofits to people who need their services.

Monique McDaniel of Goodwill Industries in South Carolina strives to get people back to work and has helped nearly 11,000 people find jobs each year.

“We average about 29 people every working day who hear you got the job,” McDaniel said. “Sometimes you just need someone to say, hey, I’ll give you a hand. And so I’m going to help you get to the next level where you’re trying to go. And so Goodwill has always been proud of that.

McDaniels says they saw fewer job seekers last year compared to previous years. As many of them were looking to change careers and trying to figure out their next steps.

She says her centers like Goodwill provide space and services for people who need help.

“We believe that people can be independent and live prosperous lives. And so our focus is always workforce development. How can we ensure that more people are placed on living wages? said McDonald. “How can we expand partnership opportunities, Unite Us fits perfectly with our mission.”

It’s through a new partnership with Unite Us that Liz Walsh hopes to connect more people with nonprofits like Goodwill by finding them crucial services like transportation assistance, food pantry locators, employment, housing and other services.

Walsh is a Unite Us agent and says more South Carolina could use the help right now.

“People typically face challenges navigating services because they have to tell their story over and over again. And that can be incredibly exhausting and challenging,” Walsh said. “This network eliminates the need for someone to tell their story multiple times because all information is sent securely with this electronic reference.”

The services are connected electronically and people can be referred by any of the more than 100 organizations that are part of it. Walsh says it speeds up the process of meeting people’s needs and also keeps what they’re experiencing private.

“South Carolina has many agencies already helping people, but they’re struggling to connect with each other,” Walsh said. “It gives them a network where they can plug in and connect because they already serve the same people, they just don’t have the infrastructure to be able to collaborate more effectively.”

Unite Us is spread across 28 counties in the state, including Charleston and Greenville. With plans to expand throughout South Carolina by 2022. South Carolinians will now be able to access services such as scheduling transportation to a doctor’s appointment or connecting families to food pantries .

For more information on how you can connect with the group if you need service Click here.

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Michelle J. Kelley