Resource center for the needy proposed

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

CONYERS -- A new push is beginning for a one-stop community resource center that officials believe can help those in need.

Michael Hutchenson, executive director of the Rockdale Coalition for Children and Families, said his organization hopes to start up talks in the community to have Rockdale Emergency Relief's Community Food Bank, Community Clothing Closet and other resources under one roof.

Speaking Wednesday to the STARS Council (Support Team for All Rockdale Students), Hutchenson said there is a need for such a facility.

"It would be a central location for those resources but not just a welfare center where people can get clothes and food," he said. "It would be a place for people to receive job training and necessary parenting training, so they can become self-sustaining."

A facility has been

discussed for years locally, but funding and finding a suitable site have grounded efforts in the past. The United Way of Rockdale County and the Coalition for Children and Families led past attempts with the primary focus toward meeting family needs and targeting education, homelessness, health and self-sustainability.

Hutchenson said grants for such a facility are available but it will take a collaborative approach to attract attention for any funding.

"There are great opportunities for funding out there," he said. "We just have to get our act together. It can't be only one entity."

In other news, the Coalition for Children and Families will host a Rockdale Community network meeting at noon Monday, May 2, at the county government annex located at 1400 Parker Road.

The mission of the Rockdale Community Resource Network is to bring together community organizations and individuals for the purpose of making contacts, building relationships, identifying needs, sharing resources, and providing solutions to assist those in need in the community.

The lunch meeting is open to concerned individuals and organizations looking to help out. The meeting is facilitated by Hutchenson and United Way Area Director Claire Cline.

For more information, go to www.rockdalecoalition.org, or call 770-761-9244. A PDF information form is available on the website to fill out and bring to the meeting.

Also, a Cyber Safety Workshop is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, May 9, at the Rockdale Career Academy, located at 1064 Culpepper Drive in Conyers.

The workshop is hosted by Rockdale County Public Schools and includes discussions on cyberbullying, texting, use of Facebook and Twitter and setting parental controls on gaming devices. RCPS attorney Jack Lance is scheduled to speak. Cyber Safety presenters certified by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation will also be available to assist in group discussion.

The event is open to the public and admission is free. For more information, call 770-761-1446.