18_14_03_HumanServices_Human Services Day, held February 19, provided Masters Class XVIII with an in-depth overview of social services offered in Collier County.

The day began and ended at the Boys and Girls Club and included a tour of that facility which serves 600 children daily with a wide range of after-school programs. Eileen Connolly-Keesler (Class XVIII) and Mary George of the Community Foundation overviewed human services needs in Collier County. A panel on children’s services followed, featuring speakers from Friends of Foster Children, Youth Haven, the Boys and Girls Club and Grace Place, including a touching testimonial from a mother whose family has greatly benefitted from Grace Place’s literacy services.

For the first time, presentations on senior needs and human trafficking were part of Human Services Day. These included a talk by Collier County Senior Services Department and a presentation by Jaclynn Faffer (Class XVIII) of Jewish Family and Community Services, which recently opened the county’s first senior center.

A highlight was a tour of The Shelter for Abused Women and Children and a client interview. The adult services panel had representatives from St. Matthew’s House and the David Lawrence Center, followed by a moving presentation from a DLC client.

The day showcased a few of the extraordinary people and programs dedicated to bettering the lives of Collier County’s most needy and vulnerable residents.

Mary Angela Smith