Sedona News – In a collaborative effort between Manzanita Outreach, Yavapai County Community Health Services, and the Yavapai County Free Library District, a new website was launched this week to increase access to basic needs resources throughout Yavapai County. Individuals, social workers, and basic needs providers will use the site – MOHelp.org – as a simple process to find comprehensive support.
All three organizations independently received funding in 2022 to support such an initiative. Beginning last year, representatives from each organization began meeting to discuss how to collaborate with each other in lieu of producing nearly identical projects separately.
“Collaboration is necessary to solve some of the major issues facing the health of our communities,” says Heather Klomparens of Yavapai County Community Health Services. “We each wanted to utilize our resources the most effectively, and by combining our talents and efforts, we are able to produce something even better and more sustainable than what we could have done alone.”
The innovative and simple website is intended to service individuals, families, and basic needs providers looking for resources in the community. Yavapai County Health Services will also be producing a physical resource guide for those that request it.
Originally launched by Manzanita Outreach in 2019 to show food assistance availability, MOHelp.org quickly grew in popularity at the onset of the pandemic and has had over 23,000 unique visitors since it went live. The expanded version of the website will include information on all basic needs providers, not just food.
“Our vision is a world where the basic life needs of all people are met,” says Manzanita Executive Director Ben Burke. “There’s an abundance of resources available throughout our region, and now our community will have a simple way of finding resources, including transportation, health services, food, social support, and more.”
Input for the project came in part from 30+ interviews of basic needs providers and over 150 surveys from residents in the community conducted by Manzanita Outreach. The website also provides instructions for translating the information into any language and has been designed to accommodate the visually impaired.
“The role of libraries in our rural communities is expanding,” says Library District Director Corey Christians. “In order to tackle the challenges rural residents have in accessing resources, we decided to participate in the collaborative effort. We’re thrilled to be a part of making our communities a better place to live.”
Manzanita Outreach will staff the continued management of this community service project. The organization also believes that the site can be used as a tool to better identify gaps in basic needs resources.
Burke explains, “There is a logical movement to reduce redundancies and support community projects where organizations are working collaboratively to improve the lives of residents. MOHelp.org is a powerful tool to identify gaps in services throughout the region and for service providers to collaborate more effectively.”