BEATRICE – After being located on the Southeast Community College campus for over 30 years, Blue Valley Community Action celebrated their new location with Hope Crisis Center, on Thursday. The Beatrice Area Chamber Ambassadors helped hold a ribbon-cutting at the agency’s new home, the former Joseph’s College of Beauty building at the Indian Creek Mall.
Blue Valley Community Action CEO Shari Wurtz-Miller says, "We really wanted to be more centrally located for the clients and visible to the community...and then have the opportunity to partner with other service agencies in one location. We began the process of looking for a facility and Stan Meyer located this one for us...and the Crisis Center and Blue Valley were able to come together. He completely renovated the inside of the building to fit our needs. Blue Valley provides over 37 programs and we have over twenty staff housed here."
Carmen Hinman, Executive Director of the Hope Crisis Center says her agency is thrilled to have the new home to provide services. The non-profit provides help to victims of sexual and domestic abuse in several counties.
"This location, we're a little more accessible than out at the college. When we were out there, it was a little bit further out for individuals to get to our office space. We have a 24 hour crisis line....we're available every hour of the day, every day of the year."
Wurtz-Miller said Blue Valley’s emergency services and food pantry are very popular services. The agency also partners with Beatrice Public Schools on a Head Start zero to five program. Veterans services are offered and the Foster Grandparent program is housed in Beatrice.
"I would always ask that if you have individuals or family members that are seeking help with rent, utilities, nutritional needs, health needs...to have them call us and we will either be able to provide you with services, or be able to connect you with other services to help you out with your needs."
Wurtz-Miller says the needs for utility, rent and food assistance have increased during the coronavirus pandemic. CARES Act grant funding has aided the agency in developing some new programs to meet those needs….including a food voucher program.
"Just last month we started a one-time needs program. So, if there's individuals who have been faced with Covid...if they have maybe a car breakdown or a need to replace a water heater, they can actually reach out to us. They just have to have proof that they've had Covid or had to help somebody with Covid. Then we're able to help pay for that repair of the vehicle, or even medical."
Blue Valley Community Action serves between seven thousand and eight thousand persons across nine counties.