LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Lincoln-area churches and state human services caseworkers have opened an online portal for people who need a little extra help.
The people’s needs are posted on CarePortal, and then the churches see whether their members can meet those needs. The requests might include rent money, beds and blankets for children, bikes, cars, clothes, furniture - things the state can’t provide.
The Lincoln-Lancaster County CarePortal program includes 14 churches and was launched Thursday, the Lincoln Journal Star reported .
Among the first requests posted was from a single mom of three who asked for help paying past-due electric bills and this month’s rent.
Meeting those needs will help the family maintain stability and remain in a safe, stable home, said Elizabeth Buhr, a child, family services specialist with the Nebraska Health and Human Services Department.
Caseworkers in Kearney, Hastings and North Platte and 24 churches have been partnering through CarePortal for a year and a half. The project has served 260 children with about $100,000 worth of donations, according to the department.
CarePortal is part of a Kansas City, Missouri-based national program that has helped more than 31,000 children in 20 states.
The state is working through Christian Heritage, a Lincoln-based children, adolescent and family welfare and fostering organization, to connect with local churches.
During a ceremony marking the program’s opening, Pastor Mozart Dixon with Citylight Church retold the proverb of giving someone a fish or teaching him to fish.
“Here’s the problem: The dude doesn’t have a fishing pole,” Dixon said. “This is an opportunity for us to give folks a fishing pole.”
Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com
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