POE: Resource Genesee - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

POE: Resource Genesee

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(02/07/14) - During Black History Month, the Genesee District Library honors local men, women and organizations in the African American Community.

This week, ABC12 news will highlight five honorees who come from different walks of life, but have one thing in common - the desire to make a difference in their community.

Friday, we honor Resource Genesee.

"We tend to operate under the radar screen. Sort of the best kept secret in Genesee County," said Lindsey Younger, president & CEO.

On the second floor of the G-CARD building in Flint, is where many go when times are tough.

"We had a myth for a long time that all the poverty was in Flint - and unfortunately, it's all over," Younger said.

Since 1997, Resource Genesee has been a helping hand in Genesee County. With a mission of providing human services that are consistently available, accessible and responsive to the community.

"If you remember whenever you were in a crisis, it's hard to think straight. It's hard to be sequential and linear and logical. So, our job is to ask those kinds of questions to help people figure out what the priority is," Younger said.

The organization serves the county in three ways - first by giving help and connecting volunteers to the community through http://www.handsongenesee.org/.
"Agencies put in their needs for volunteers. Volunteers put in their desires and skill sets," Younger said. "Through the magic of technology, they are then matched together."

Then by showing those who are down on their luck how to get help - most notably known by its 211 that answers questions from food assistance to counseling.

"We have folks who call because they need food. That's a big request. The utilities and shutoff notices," Younger said.

For those without a home, there's the Community Sourcebook - also known as the Yellow Book.

"They said, 'We know you have that great big binder, but we can't carry that around and we need those telephone numbers,'" Younger said.

Finally, Resource Genesee helps to lead by working with up and coming leaders in Genesee County - which is especially crucial as the need for help and guidance continues to grow in our community.

"I would say in 2008, 9, 10, and even 11, a third of the people who called us said, 'I used to be the one who gave the help, now I need the help. I don't have any food for my kids,'" Younger said.

It's estimated Resource Genesee answers about 22,000 calls a year - if not more. The President of the organization say one thing is for sure - Resource Genesee wouldn't be able to do the work it does without the generosity of the people in Mid-Michigan.

"Through this whole economic mess, I'm just blown away by what people give and don't think anything of it. They just do it because they should," Younger said.

The Genesee District Library will honor Resource Genesee and others this Saturday during the annual Black History Month Brunch. The brunch will be held at the Riverfront Banquet Center in Flint.

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