PIQUA — The Piqua Compassion Network (PCN) is rolling out some new goals for the new year, looking to deepen their impact on the community.
PCN has been at their new location, 531 W. Ash St., which is connected with True Vine Church, a little over a year. Executive Director Rebecca Sousek along with one other paid employee are both part-time, sharing office space in order to have more space to hold classes and connect with their clients. The rest of PCN’s help is volunteer-based.
“We like to be really good stewards of the money we receive,” Sousek said.
This past year, PCN has also been able to computerize documents the organization needs when conducting assessments or one-on-one interviews with clients to best determine their needs and how to meet them.
Going into the new year, PCN will be working with the Piqua Police Department’s Heart Program by hosting a 12-step program called Celebrate Recovery.
“It’s a faith-based support group,” Sousek said.
Celebrate Recovery will begin on Jan. 11, and will meet on Thursday evenings from 7-8:30 p.m.
“It’s really birthed out of Hope of Heroin,” Sousek said. “We wanted to keep the momentum going.”
Sousek explained that Celebrate Recovery is “the faith community coming together” to address the heroin and opioid epidemic.
Even if those interested attend other 12-step programs or other similar counseling sessions elsewhere in the county, Sousek said that Celebrate Recovery provides another night for those who may be struggling to receive additional support.
PCN is also looking to work more with youth and young adults in the 16-24 age range, noting juveniles aging out of the foster care system.
With young adults they currently work with, Sousek said that they will sometimes ask the young adults what their dream job is, but some do not have an answer.
“They don’t even have that,” she said.
Sousek explained that they hope to help those juveniles and young adults by connecting them to job training opportunities at educational facilities as well as providing them help with resumes and job interviewing skills.
PCN is also providing that same job readiness training to other clients seeking help, such as with their use of the Cincinnati Works Model, a job workshop to develop skills to gain and retain employment.
Additionally, PCN is hoping to expand upon services that they already offer.
“We don’t have an income requirement,” Sousek said. “We serve residents of Piqua and Fletcher.”
PCN is able to offer limited financial assistance for basic needs such as utility bills, medication, steel-toed boots for employment, diapers, state identification, birth certificates, and more. They even can fund a tank of gas for someone who needs to get to work until that person gets his or her first paycheck, Sousek said.
“We don’t give out cash,” she said. “We give out vouchers.”
Sousek added that they were able to help one family this past year get birth certificates after they lost their own copies in a fire.
PCN is looking to expand that basic need assistance while also providing paths to help their clients become self-sustaining. Sousek said they want to “meet people where they are” through one-on-one counseling sessions, classes, and a financial assessment through their Getting Ahead program, an anti-poverty initiative at the organization.
Even if there is a need that PCN is not able to meet themselves, Sousek explained that they like to “walk that journey” with the clients to help connect them to other agencies that can help them, as well as help the client follow through with goals.
Sousek is also celebrating almost one year under her belt at PCN. She explained that she moved home to Piqua after her father became ill so she could be nearby to help him. In helping her father, she was able to make connections with numerous organizations offering a variety of services within the county.
“Coming back and being able to help him put me in touch with a number of agencies,” Sousek said.
Sousek has a background working in the human resources field as well as working as a community-based chaplain for Hospice and in jail ministry before coming back to Piqua and starting at PCN.
PCN’s hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome and are asked to bring a photo ID, proof of address, and documents of need, such as utility bills, prescriptions, etc.
PCN can be contacted at (937) 778-8856 or PCNempowers@gmail.com. For more information, visit www.pcncares.org.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336