Enews 8/3/23: New Episode of One Small Step; Perspectives on Homelessness; New Director of Policy & Planning; Community Health Assessment Survey

Listen In: New Episode of “JoCo’s One Small Step”

In this episode, we'll hear from Tom and Jon. Tom considers himself an "Eisenhower Republican," and was heavily influenced by the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Movement during his youth. Jon, who grew up with a more conservative mindset, has recently been re-evaluating his political beliefs after a major life event and isn't sure he fits into one political party. Listen in to their conversation.

This episode is presented by United Community Services of Johnson County with support from Resurrection, A United Methodist Church. One Small Step is a podcast framework provided by NPR’s StoryCorps in an effort to remind us of the humanity in everyone, even those with whom we disagree. Each episode brings two Johnson County, Kansas, strangers with different political views together to have a conversation.

For more information about One Small Step, visit storycorps.org/discover/onesmallstep.

Perspectives on Homelessness: Jarrod Sanderson

“The worst kept secret about homelessness is that it’s so much more expensive to do nothing and to allow the status quo to continue,” said Jarrod Sanderson, Chief Operating Officer of Nautical Manufacturing & Fulfillment. “The sheer cost of doing nothing stands on its own as a very compelling argument to act.”

Jarrod, who worked in social services for the better part of 20 years, says he’d like to see a realistic and comprehensive approach taken to address homelessness. “We need coordinated public and private interventions so that we don’t simply move the scope of the challenge from one bucket to another without ever addressing it on the whole,” he said.

“It’s more about a community’s philosophy toward homelessness than it is about programming,” Jarrod continued, sharing that if a community is more focused on deservedness than the understanding of need, too many resources will be spent creating systems where people must prove they have a need instead of allocating resources to addressing the need in a comprehensive way. “A lot of the lack of progress is that we don’t yet have a collective agreement that the need is worth addressing for *everyone* experiencing hardship, not just those individuals who we’ve deemed ‘worthy’ of helping.”

Christina Ashie Guidry Named UCS Director of Policy and Planning

UCS is pleased to announce that Christina Ashie Guidry will be transitioning into a new role as the Director of Policy and Planning. Christina has served as Director of Resource Allocation at UCS since 2020, where she has led the grant programs administered by UCS and supported by local jurisdictions, the Human Service Fund and the Substance Use Continuum of Care Fund, through periods of growth and expanded impact. Christina will continue to support these valuable support systems for Johnson County residents as she transitions into her new role.

“It’s a privilege to be able to collaborate with our amazing jurisdictions, community members, agency partners, and decisionmakers. I’m excited to continue work in our 2024 grant cycles for HSF and SUF – we have seen a huge growth in applicants and their beneficial outcomes for Johnson County residents,” Christina said.

With a career as an attorney and a policy analyst, Christina brings expertise in collaborating with diverse stakeholders to identify common ground, develop new policies and programs, and achieve positive systems change. As Director of Policy and Planning, Christina will lead UCS’ public policy and community planning efforts focused on advancing health and human service needs across Johnson County.

UCS has begun the process of recruiting our new Director of Resource Allocation. More information and application details can be found here.

2023 Johnson County Community Health Assessment Survey

In partnership with Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (DHE), UCS encourages you to participate in this year’s community health assessment by clicking on https://tinyurl.com/JoCoCHA23.

Johnson County depends on community responses to assure that its health improvement planning process is grounded in local priorities and informed by local assets and barriers to health and well-being. DHE conducts a survey every 3-5 years as part of its commitment to assessing and monitoring the population’s health.

Your participation assures that future planning reflects the Johnson County community’s perspective, and survey responses combined with other data will act as the foundation for the upcoming health improvement plan. Please take 15-20 minutes to share your insights and play a part in Johnson County’s future.

For additional questions about the survey and how data will be used, please contact Valorie Carson at valorie.carson@jocogov.org.

Comments are closed.