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People in Need Forum to Offer Valuable Social Service Resources for Everyone

[Friday, January 5, 2018]


People in Need Forum exhibitors from 2017 and 2016. 

McHenry County area community members are invited to register to learn about the abundance of resources and support for themselves and for others at the 17th annual People in Need Forum from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 27 at McHenry County College.

The forum features experts in providing important community resources that are available in the area to help individuals in need through networking, panel discussions and workshops. Topics for the 2018 event include 16 different workshops including: veterans’ services, suicide prevention, human trafficking, LGBTQ issues and challenges, student loans, Medicare, and opioids in McHenry County. Brought back by popular demand is an updated, two-hour, in-depth look at the Faces of Homelessness.

The People in Need Forum will again host more than 80 exhibitors, where attendees will have the opportunity to talk with agency staff, and pick up useful information.

According to Bev Thomas, coordinator of events and outreach for the Friends of MCC Foundation, which coordinates the conference, the People in Need Forum started as a way to match resources with needs in the community and has grown from 25 to more than 700 attendees each year.

Thomas said the event grew out of a small group of concerned church volunteers and MCC staff members.

“A small and dedicated group of church volunteers, along with staff at McHenry County College, saw the need for not only connecting our friends and neighbors with critical resources to help them live their best lives, but connecting professionals with each other and helping them to become better informed,” Thomas said. “This is why the forum was started and each year, we receive overwhelmingly positive responses from participants.”

“What makes this event so significant is the vast community support and involvement,” Thomas said, adding “plus we have a dedicated Steering Committee of more than 20 representatives from various social service agencies, county departments, schools and businesses who plan the People in Need Forum and volunteer the day of the event.”

“The People in Need Forum is by far the best place to learn about the resources that are available in our own community,” said Laura Crain, McHenry County coordinator, Substance Abuse Coalition.  “If you are helping anybody professionally or personally, then you’ll be able to see the largest gathering of caring agencies and organizations serving McHenry County.”

“Annually, People in Need offers a comprehensive opportunity to learn about the vast array of health and human services available in our community,” said Scott Block, executive director of the McHenry County Mental Health Board.

Attendees will receive a hand-out and a flash drive with a newly-expanded community Resource Directory, which is the only one of its kind in the Chicago metropolitan area.

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 2018 Resource Directory. To register or for more information, visit or call Bev Thomas at (815) 479-7529, or email at

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