Representatives of various resource groups from across Kenosha and Kenosha County shared information Thursday on where residents can get help for addictions and other advocacy services.
They discussed the increasing demand for such services locally as part of an informal discussion hosted by the Kenosha Human Development Services.
“It’s a myth that we don’t have resources in Kenosha,” said Patti Hansen with the KHDS, which hosted the meeting. “We have plenty of resources. If you call the county, they’ll figure out where you need to go, or call the Hope Council. Just call and ask.”
Those working in centers in both the city and county say they see a growing need for their services to help the homeless and those battling drug addictions.
At the Sharing Center on Highway C in Trevor, director Sharon Pomaville said the need continues to grow.
“We now help 3,500 people on a regular basis at the food pantry,” she said. “We are probably giving 130,000 to 140,000 things a year. We stopped keeping track of how much clothes we give away.”
Emergency shelter demand is high
She also has seen an increase in families in need of emergency shelter.
“In August, we had more families sitting in our parking lot, sleeping in their cars in one week, than we had seen in all the other months combined,” she said. “Last week we had the same thing. We had seven, eight families in a week’s time. Something is happening in the community and we’re not sure what it is.”
The same goes for food, Pomaville said. “Last year, we had 76,000 servings of the healthy snack program at schools,” she said. “Most of the schools in the county, the caterers are for-profit. The kids are not getting enough food. They wouldn’t be hungry by nine. We have to go in and challenge them.”
Help with addictions
For those seeking help with addictions, there are a number of resources that can help.
Fredo Camacho with the Lifepoint Needle Exchange 1212 57th St., said the agency is now assessing the need for a van to help reach those within 25 miles of Kenosha who can’t make it downtown. In addition to needle exchanges, the agency offers HIV and Hepatitis C testing, naloxone (Narcan) training, treatment referrals and community outreach.
Free Narcan training takes place the first Monday and third Thursday of every month. The first Monday trainings are held at the Job Center, 8600 Sheridan Road, and the third Thursday trainings are held at the RKCCA/WIC office, 2000 63rd St.. Both trainings begin at 5 p.m.
According to their website, there were 54 toxicity deaths in 2016, with the rate of opioid deaths doubling in the last five years.
In response, Bethany Lutheran Church will begin hosting Nar-Anon meetings 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Wednesdays beginning March 13 at 2100 Seventh St., Kenosha. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The opioid problem is such that Hansen said she stays prepared by carrying Narcan with her.
“I’ve knocked on the window of a car when I saw a man lying back,” she said. “He was only tired and said he’d been with his family at the hospital. Again I knocked on a window and asked a woman if she was all right. I would’ve not felt good if I’d come out after grocery shopping and an ambulance was there and I wouldn’t have tried to intervene.”
Wisconsin Sen. Robert Wirch said his office is also available to help with other situations, from tax and employment problems, to consumer ripoffs and back taxes.
He also said someone in Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s office can help with immigration questions.
“There are a lot of things my staff can answer for you,” he said. “Sometimes when a state senator’s office calls, they snap to attention and we can get an answer for you.”
ELCA Outreach Center, 6218 26th Ave., 262-652-5545, offers a free clothing closet, summer camp for kids, to Spanish-speaking GED classes and job center workshops, among other services. They also will be seeking high school and college-age kids to work in their seven-week summer camp program.
Hope Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse is offering Moral Reconation Therapy, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, 5942 Sixth Ave., 262-658-8166. This is a cognitive behavioral program for substance abuse treatment and offender population. They also offer a Friends Give Hope Program to connect with others, 5 to 6 p.m., Thursdays.
Kenosha County Health Department, Narcan training and education, 262-605-6741. See http://www.kenoshacounty.org/1916/Narcan-Distribution-Program.
Kenosha Human Development Services, 5407 Eighth Ave., 262-764-8555. Crisis Line (24/7): 262 -657-7188.
Lifepoint Needle Exchange, 1212 57th St., 262-657-6644. Open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4: 30 p.m.
Outcasts After Bar, 1310 63rd St., 262-605-3610, offers 12-step recovery, Narcotics and Alcohol Anonymous meetings, Monday through Thursday.
Sen. Robert W. Wirch, 888-769-4724, toll free hotline, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sen.Wirch@legis.wisconsin.gov.
The Sharing Center, 25700 Wilmot Road (Highway C), Trevor, 262-298-5535.