Community Champions: St. Joseph’s/Candler African American Health Center

Community Champions: St. Joseph’s/Candler African American Health Center

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - There has been an increased need for health and social services during the pandemic.

The WTOC Community Champions at the St. Joseph’s/Candler African American Health Center have put thousands of people in Chatham County in touch with the agencies that can provide help.

“We’ve tried really hard over the last 21 years to connect people to the necessary resources so that they can make the right decisions for their families.”

That work became easier at almost the exact time it became more important with the timely introduction of the St. Joseph’s/Candler African American Health Center’s Hero Help Me database.

“In January of 2020, we launched the Hero database. And in March, we were in a pandemic.”

And the need for the hundreds of local health and social service agencies listed on the website grew, which was evident through the sudden traffic to the database.

“We saw the utilization go from 600 visitors per month to 1,500 visitors per month ... the services that are most used on our resource database is rent and utility assistance, housing assistance, financial assistance, food assistance and childcare.”

The center has remained open the last 10 months and has also offered online educational programs and computer classes. But the resource database has helped them assist an additional 9,000 individuals in Chatham County during the pandemic.

“If you connect people to resources, you spread good health. And so that’s always been the running theme with the African American Center is to make people know where health and social services are in the community.”

And the WTOC Community Champions at the African American Health Center that has been making those connections for 21 years, has gotten even better at it in the last 10 months.

“We have hundreds and hundreds of health and social services and organizations in this community, but a lot of times people don’t know how to connect to those services ... a lot of people because of job layoffs and just having a really difficult time have been searching for services. And so, through our research database, we have been able to continue to help people by connecting them to resources.”

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