By Andrea Goff
Program Coordinator, The Heart Network
Thankfully, our partners and friends at the Joint Council for Economic Opportunity (JCEO) operate Community Outreach Centers across Clinton and Franklin counties. These centers provide a multitude of services and reach individuals and families in need year-round. Locations include Altona, Keeseville, Black Brook, Champlain, Chazy, Churubusco, Dannemora, Ellenburg, Peru, Saranac, Schuyler Falls, Malone and Saranac Lake, as well as two centers in Plattsburgh, serving both city and town residents.
JCEO’s Community Outreach Centers provide people with confidential information, referrals and a wide range of services. Food pantries are offered at nearly every location, with produce from greenhouses run by JCEO’s Food Services Program as well as food recovered from local grocery stores and Feed America. Individuals can get up to three days worth of food eight times per year. The Veterans Feeding Veterans also provides food assistance for veterans in both Clinton and Franklin counties.
Transportation is another significant hurdle for people with limited income and mobility. JCEO provides rides to and from medical appointments for Medicaid recipients anywhere in Franklin and Clinton counties.
Centers also offer basic school supplies for kids in need, application assistance for services like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) — both of which are crucial this time of year. Housing assistance for those facing eviction and/or homelessness is also available.
The Heart Network has long partnered with JCEO, the Mobile Farmers Market being our most recent regional collaboration. We cannot praise this organization enough — the staff and volunteers are humble and selfless. If you or someone you know needs a helping hand, we encourage you to visit jceo.org/community-outreach to learn more.