GREENVILLE — Monday evening, members of the community, as well as county officials, gathered together for the Annual Shelter From Violence Banquet at Montage Cafe.
Commissioners Michael Rhoades and Mike Stegall, Greenville Mayor Steve Willman, and Police Chief Steve Strick were among the officials in attendance.
Coordinator for the Shelter From Violence Annie Sonner introduced this year’s speakers, Director Julie Lecklider and Deputy Director Carol Litman from the Darke County Community Action Partnership (CAP). They each explained the various programs available to the public through CAP.
CAP is a host of programs to help people in Darke, Preble, Butler, Greene, Warren and Montgomery counties with their needs. They assist with housing, prevention of homelessness, free tax services, summer camp, utility assistance, food and clothing.
An emergency homeless shelter is one example of this. It is an upstairs apartment, which has three bedrooms, and one and a half bathrooms.
“It’s full all the time,” said Litman. “We had 170 individuals up there last year, and 27 of them were children.”
With such a wide range of programs, CAP rely on employees and volunteers to run these programs for the community.
“We have 13 employees,” said Litman. She said a few volunteers help, too.
Transportation services for Darke County are available for seniors who are at least 60 years old and older, for rides to things such as the grocery store, the bank, the post office, and medical appointments. Residents less than 60 are able to receive transportation as well. For general transportation, there has to be a minimum of two people riding to the destination.
She said residents need to call ahead of time and give them a 24-hour notice. They ask for a donation of three dollars, but they will still provide transportation if they do not have this to donate. Litman said they make trips to Dayton every day and to Richmond, Indiana often. Three buses have wheelchair accessibility.
“We only have one bus that can go to Richmond right now, so we will need another one.”
Sonner spoke about an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) and Resilience test that determines a person’s childhood experiences, especially trauma, relating to why a person might be a dysfunctional adult.
An obesity clinic began running these tests on all their patients and found several of them are eating to deal with other issues stemming from their childhood. Sonner said these tests made it easier to relate to the actions of people because they are still coping from a childhood trauma.
“When I know what these people have been through, they are just handicapped.”
The ACE test is a good indicator of a potential drug user. It also shows elderly individuals who are more apt for chronic diseases.
In schools, she said various teams of teachers, resource officers, etc. are cutting through HIPAA laws (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information) to help children suffering silently or blatantly. She used the example of a child who has worn the same clothes for three days, saying situations like this need further investigating to find the dilemma underneath.
HIPAA laws shouldn’t apply, as long as it helps the welfare and safety of the child, Sonner said. “All HIPAA does is keep you from helping sometimes.”
She said childhood trauma affects the genes and can then be passed through generations. This is creating generations of abusers of drug users because the problem is not getting dealt with.
“We have so much stuff to fix,” she said.
For more information on the ACE tests, you can visit joiningforcesforchildren.org.