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  • Megann Horstead

New services aim to support residents of Riverwalk Homes


To help support residents of Riverwalk Homes, Holsten Human Capital Development (HHCD) is offering a series of new services.

New to residents is the food pantry through the Northern Illinois Food Bank, a GED program through Joliet Junior College, and the Junior Achievement program.

Holsten Human Capital Development also anticipates launching a Bridge program and an After School program at a later date.

Elizabeth Protich, project manager for HHCD—Riverwalk Homes, said this is all made possible thanks to community partnerships.

“Riverwalk provided us with a unique opportunity to offer more, but we couldn’t do it alone,” she said. “Area providers were eager to join us in raising the dignity, and offering more opportunity and hope to the residents.”

Protich said HHCD prides itself on working to help build confidence among the residents.

“The enthusiasm and ownership of programs by the residents has dramatically increased,” she said.

Utilization of HHCD services has increased among residents by approximately 400 per month.

“It is always a balancing act when introducing new services to program structure until we determine if all are needed or some have been outgrown, need to be replaced, or just discontinued,” Protich said. “At that time, we determine if we should increase staff, add interns, or invite volunteers.”

HHCD has increased its staff and added interns to accommodate the introduction of new services.

There are a number of benefits to making added supports available on site for residents.

“They no longer have to leave the site to get services that will enhance their skill set,” Protich said. “They can be proud of where they live.”

In recent months, the Joliet City Council has taken steps to narrow in on a redevelopment plan for Riverwalk Homes.

Members of the community at public meetings have expressed concerns over the possibility of future relocation and its impact to residents.

The hope, Protich said, is that offering new services reminds the residents that they matter.

Protich said that “by changing Evergreen to Riverwalk they can look forward and not backwards, and just like the pantry, they can lead healthy lives.”

HHCD is seeking volunteers to help with events or programs.

For information or to get involved, call 815-770-5672 or stop by the office at 350 N. Broadway St. in Joliet.

#Joliet

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