WCC Urges Citizens to be Counted!

It’s that time again, and Westside Community Center is urging South Carolina residents to be counted for the 2010 Census.

Why do we conduct the Census?
The US Constitution mandates a headcount every 10 years of everyone residing in the United States. This helps determine the number of seats each state will have in the US House of Representatives. Also, every year, more than $300 billion in federal funds is awarded to states and communities based on census data.

Who is counted?
Everyone living the United States is counted. The correct place to count people is where they usually live. We also count special populations, such as college students, snowbirds, foreign residents, military barracks, prisoners, and those in homeless shelters.

Information gathered from the United States Census Bureau

Published in: on January 26, 2010 at 2:43 PM  Leave a Comment  

Anderson County Nurse Family Partnership Program

The WCC is the new home for the Anderson county Nurse Family Partnership Program (NFP), a nationall recognized, evidenced- based program for first time moms. The program, funded by South Carolina First Steps and Duke Endowmen, is being implemented by South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) Region 1 in collaboration with community partners. Founding community organizations include Anderson County First Steps, Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce, AnMed Health, SCDHEC Region 1, DocLink, Imagine Anderson, and United Way of Anderson County.

Under the program, first-time mothers who meet financial eligibility guidelines will meet with a registered nurse early in pregnancy. Nurse visits will continue until the child’s second birthday. Visits will focus on developing behaviors that support healthy pregnancies and children, school readiness, and self-sufficiency. In its 30-year history, NFP has shown substantial, consistent, and dramatic results:

  • 48% reduction in child abuse and neglect
  • 56% reduction in emergency room visits for accidents and poisonings
  • 59% reduction in arrests at child age 15
  • 72% fewer convictions of mothers at child age 15

Independent research shows that communities benefit from this relationship between nurses and first-time parents. Every dollar invested in NFP can yield more than $5 in return.

The six members of the NFP staff include Alice Bagby, Coleman Tanner, Catherine Jones, Wendy Wright, Chianti Banks, and Mary Beth Peurifoy. Referrals are coming in and the caseload is steadily increasing. The public is also encouraged to make referrals to the program.

Anderson County was selected as one of the first sites in South Carolina because it demonstrated strong community collaboration and had the capacity for being able to achieve the outcomes of the program. Call 864-716-3860 for more information.

An editorial in the Anderson Independent-Mail stated, “The money, time and effort expended for these families bear fruit in ways other than reduced personal hardships. As families become more independent and as their lives prosper, so do their prospects and the prospects of the next generation.”

Published in: on January 26, 2010 at 2:30 PM  Leave a Comment  

The Chair Speaks

As Chair of the Board of Directors, I feel that the WCC is one of the best-kept secrets of Anderson County. Guided by its vision of becoming a model of a healthy community, WCC has assembled an impressive host of partners who offer a wide variety of services from the campus of the original Westside High School. Having adopted the mission of “enhancing the quality of life of the citizens of the community,” WCC is truly making a positive impact on underserved citizens who live in Anderson County.

Over the past 10 years, a group of dedicated community leaders has transformed a campus that had fallen into a serious state of disrepair into a shining beacon that uplifts people. Numerous partners and donors have contributed time, money, and materials into making this transformation a regional model for revitalization. The programs that operate out of the Center serve citizens of all ages, from children to senior adults.

In the beginning, a group of concerned residents established a non-profit organization to spearhead this transformation. Private donors from across the county, including the city of Anderson and Anderson County, have generously provided funding for the Center. A Board of Directors provides management oversign and policy development. This Board consists of a broad cross section of the community, including the private and public sector, higher education, health care, and the all-important grass roots sector. The Board employs and Executive Director and staff to manage daily operations. Dr. Beatrice Thompson has served as the Executive Director of the Center since its inception.

The annual fundraising Gala is the place to be each May as the community turns out to learn of the latest enhancement and reaffirm their support for their community center. Other fundraising acivities are held throughout the year and numerous grants have expenaded program offerings over the years. Becoming a benefactor of the Center requires no special credential or criteria, just a willingness to share what you can to improve the quality of life for your fellow man. Anyone who would like more information on becoming a friend of the WCC, should contact the office for durther information.

While there has been great progress in bringing the WCC to its current state, I believe the best is yet to come. So, I invite you to join with the current partners and receive a blessing as we move formward into the future.

-Dr. Neil Lark

Published in: on January 26, 2010 at 2:11 PM  Leave a Comment