- Associated Press - Thursday, August 20, 2015

NORFOLK, Neb. (AP) - The leader of a nonprofit wants to establish a community center in Norfolk to help families find the resources they need.

Oasis Counseling International’s founder and executive director Mark Stortvedt presented the idea to a group on Tuesday at a restaurant, saying that the center would be a hub for families to receive important information, such as where to get medical and mental health services or food, the Norfolk Daily News (https://bit.ly/1J75hd4 ) reported.

The community center would be a one-stop location to let families know where they can get help, and would give them a personalized plan after filling out a needs assessment. Agencies that provide the resources would be able to access the assessment, so individuals don’t have to continually give out the same information, easing their burdens.

Although an 18,000-square-foot former bank building has been acquired for the proposed center, funding for the project, which could cost up to $6.5 million, still needs to be secured. In order for the project to work, it needs support from Norfolk businesses, said Linda Esterling, a consultant for the Norfolk Family Coalition from the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation.

Some funds may be available through federal housing and urban development programs, along from the state. Several private foundations also have been identified as potential supporters of the project.

Stortvedt said that he’d like to determine if the project has enough of a backing from the community to continue by Oct. 1. He said if it does, the project could be completed by this coming spring or summer.

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Information from: Norfolk Daily News, https://www.norfolkdailynews.com

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