McHenry County community members are invited to register to become better informed of an abundance of resources and support for themselves and for others at the annual People in Need Forum from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28 at McHenry County College.
The forum features people and resources available in the area to help individuals in need through breakout sessions, panel discussions and workshops. Topics for the 2017 event include: homelessness, veterans services, suicide prevention, Alzheimers, resources for young adults, financial planning, “too much month at the end of your money” help, therapy animals, human trafficking, children and families in crisis, heroin in McHenry County, rape culture and cyber safety.
According to Bev Thomas, forum coordinator at McHenry County College, the People in Need Forum is a unique opportunity for volunteers, staff and professionals of human service, health facilities, government, civic and faith-based organizations to learn about important community resources. Featured this year are 75 exhibitors and at least 16 different workshops providing an opportunity for participants to take home practical information on how to resolve client and community member issues.
Thomas noted that attendance at the People in Need Forum has grown each year to more than 600 in 2016 and responses from participants that are “overwhelmingly positive.”
“We are excited about how the McHenry County community supports this important event each year,” Thomas said. “It has become a year-long effort to bring the best we can possibly offer to those interested in attending. “What makes this event so significant is the vast community support and involvement. From early October through the end of January, approximately 20 representatives from different social service agencies, county departments, schools and businesses come together to plan the People in Need Forum. Eight different committees are responsible for every facet of the event, including researching and determining best possible presenters on specific critical topics, approving exhibitors, producing the Resource Directory and implementing a large team of volunteers to work the day of the event.”
According to Robin Doeden, Executive Director of the McHenry County Community Foundation, “The People in Need Forum is the perfect one-stop-shopping for everything related to nonprofit assistance in our community. If you need help, agencies are here to provide services; if you are looking to volunteer, agencies are here to explore and get involved; and if you are here to learn more about your community and what is available for neighbors, family and friends, there is a wealth of knowledge to be had in a single room.”
Participants will receive helpful handouts, plus an updated community Resource Directory in both paper and electronic format, which is the only one of its kind in McHenry County.
The event is free and open to the public. Registration and continental breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. in the Luecht Conference Center in Building B at the college. Each attendee will receive the 2017 Resource Directory. To register or for more information, visit www.mchenry.edu/peopleinneed or call Bev Thomas at (815) 479-7792.