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Racine County has launched ‘Here to Help,’ a proactive effort to reach families who are facing barriers to services due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Starting Monday (May 4), staff from the Racine Family YMCA will be reaching out to families who have been involved with county assistance programs to address whether their essential needs are being met.

These needs may include rent, food, and other necessary financial assistance, access to resources such as shelter and free meals, mental health counseling, unemployment services, and – importantly – personal safety, including domestic violence and child abuse and neglect.

The Here to Help program is made possible by funding through the United Way of Racine County and the Racine Community Foundation.

The program was created in recognition that the COVID-19 outbreak has put many residents in isolation and interacting less with public agencies that assist with essential needs. Meanwhile, some residents are now attempting to navigate multiple programs for the first time.

“As we continue working as a community to overcome the coronavirus outbreak, we must ensure families’ and residents’ essential needs are being met,” County Executive Jonathan

Delagrave said in a news release. “The Here to Help program is another great community partnership to reach our most vulnerable population during this unprecedented and challenging time.”

Anyone with questions, or in need of services, is invited to email: HereToHelp@racinecounty.com. Also, the county offers RacineCountyFamilyResources.com, a one-stop website that contains a variety of information, resources, and a community directory for families and youth needing care.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.