commissioner’s report

There are times when a person or a member of their family may need help. Someone might be falling behind on the mortgage, or have an aging parent, or have just lost a loved one, or see their child struggling with difficult issues. There are many local organizations that can help, but people often do not know where to turn.

One of Mt. Lebanon’s volunteer boards, to which I serve as a liaison, is the Community Relations Board (CRB). In an effort to connect people with nonprofit entities that provide affordable social services, the CRB will present “Finding Help in Mt. Lebanon: A Better Living Forum,” Wednesday, November 12, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Commission Chamber of the Municipal Building. Mt. Lebanon resident and Emmy award-winning KDKA-TV reporter Mary Robb Jackson will moderate the program. Seven regional agencies will describe their services and answer questions from the audience: St. Clair Hospital Support Groups, Family Hospice and Palliative Care, Mt. Lebanon Village, Outreach Teen and Family Services, South Hills Interfaith Ministries, The Samaritan Counseling Center, and Gateway Rehabilitation Center.

Here is a general description of each group’s mission and programs:

St. Clair Hospital has many support groups, including those for people struggling with emotional issues surrounding specific medical conditions, for new and expecting mothers, for people dealing with mental health issues, people with breast cancer and many more.

Outreach Teen & Family Services provides confidential counseling to young people ages 5 to 21 and their families. Counselors see clients for a variety of mental health issues such as anger management, anxiety, depression, and self esteem. Mt. Lebanon residents get the first two sessions free, and Outreach will not turn away anyone who is a unable to pay.

Family Hospice and Palliative Care provides high-quality compassionate care for people who are nearing the end of life or are dealing with life-limiting illness or injury, and also offers support for their families. Hospice provides care at home, in hospitals, in nursing homes, and in its 12-bed inpatient unit on Moffett Street

The Samaritan Counseling Center uses a faith-based approach to help people achieve spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being. Samaritan, with locations in the Pittsburgh area, uses counseling and educational programs to help individuals and families cope with stress, trauma and other life crises.

Gateway Rehabilitation Center offers a wide range treatment options for drug and alcohol abuse, which they view as a chronic disease, rather than lack of self control. Their staff offers services such as detoxification, inpatient and outpatient care, extended care and youth services.

South Hills Interfaith Ministries (SHIM) serves at-risk and struggling families, with the goal of empowering them to achieve self sufficiency. Once funded by the interfaith community, today SHIM is funded mainly by individuals and foundations. This agency directly provides food and clothing and offers family support services including financial literacy classes and an early childhood program.

Mt. Lebanon Village, a member of the National Aging in Place Council, seeks to provide older residents the services and opportunities they need to enjoy life while staying connected to the community. Village members are part of a network that includes members as well as volunteers who enjoy intergenerational cultural events and social connections. Volunteers provide transportation for members when needed. Their slogan is: “Stay independent and in the home you know and love.”

I hope you will join the Community Relations Board on Wednesday November 12, at 7 p.m. for “Getting Help in Mt. Lebanon: A Better Living Forum.” The forum is free; no RSVP is necessary. Board members have prepared some questions for the panelists. The audience will be able to submit their questions confidentially on index cards. An informal reception will follow, if you wish to talk with our speakers directly.

Support is available for you or your family in your time of need. Please attend and find out where you can get that help.