If there’s one thing we hope members of the National League of Cities’ Small Cities Council took home with them, it is the benefit of putting as many of the social service organizations in their community on the same campus, if not under the same roof.
Thursday, as reported in words and pictures on today’s front page and page 11, the Small Cities Council, chaired by Camden Mayor Alfred Mae Drakeford, visited the Holsten Center, Food for the Soul and Community Medical Clinic of Kershaw County.
The Holsten Center is home to the United Way of Kershaw County, Habitat for Humanity, Sistercare, First Steps, the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Mobile Nutrition Center, among others. Having these agencies right next door to Food for the Soul and, just beyond that, the free clinic (as the Community Medical Clinic is often called), is a boon to our community in Camden and out into the county.
As a number of these agencies’ representatives repeatedly told the more than 30 mayors and council members from across the country, this physical connection leads to better organizational connections. If someone visiting DSS needs something they can’t offer, a client need only walk a few steps to one of the other buildings for help.
One council member from Pennsylvania said they had only seen something like this in their state in one, large city. We think that says a lot about the level of caring we have in Kershaw County -- enough to make sure those who need help the most can get it as easily as possible.