Familias Unidas – A family resource fair

Anecdotal reports from various Sheboygan area service organizations, including Department of Health staff, indicate a “referral gap” in connecting Sheboygan residents with the many services available to them in Sheboygan. Barriers may include language, marketing/awareness, location/transportation, and multiple referrals in attempts to obtain the same service.

In response to this articulated need, the Positive Youth Development Educator has partnered with Sheridan Elementary School staff, Partners for Community Development, and Staff Management Johnsonville to create and coordinate “Familias Unidas”, a family resource fair event to be held February 17 at Sheridan Elementary School. Featuring bilingual support for and outreach to the LatinX community, but open to all Sheboygan school district families, the event will bring family resources to the communities they serve in a trusted and familiar setting in an attempt to close that referral gap.

Participating organizations include Mental Health America, Safe Harbor, Sheboygan Head Start, Sheboygan Food Bank, St. Clement’s Church, Lakeshore Community Resources, Lakeshore Technical College, Staff Management Johnsonville, and Partners for Community Development.

The Sheboygan Department of Health will be present to provide masks and vaccination opportunities. Social distancing and staggered entry will be observed. UW Extension will be represented by Positive Youth Development Educator, 4H, and FoodWise staff. Meijer has provided financial support.

Follow-up surveys or calls will be made with hopes of measuring referrals success. St. Clement’s has offered to host the next event, which we intend to plan with youth in a youth-adult partnership modality. A waitlist to participate in the next event has been started due to lack of space for interested organizations. Many organizations will provide bilingual support. Sheridan School has coordinated robocalls to families throughout the entire district to create awareness of the event.