One-stop-shop event brings resources to Southside residents
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook Staff Writer
There was a definite one-stop-shop feeling in the Piggy Wiggly parking lot. Volunteers and professionals had plenty of information on healthcare and several other resources.
Folks could have gotten sickle cell screening, too. Information on voter registration, vendors were also telling attendees where they could get on a meal program, get housing assistance or even free childcare.
Information on those and a lot more was available under varying size tents in the Piggly Wiggly Parking lot on Tallahassee’s Southside. The community engagement event this past Saturday was the second time this year that the Urban League brought it to the Southside.
“We’ve recognized that there is a tremendous need in the neighborhood for different kinds of services,” said Jerome Jones, chairman of the Urban League board of directors. “We know that traditionally our people have had poor healthcare, as an example, and many of them do not have health insurance to be able to deal with their health issues in an effective and timely way.”
Several elected officials showed up along with others who have announced their intentions to run for office in 2024. Plenty of hot dogs and hamburgers were served up at no cost. There was also live entertainment, including an appearance by singer Anthony Williams.
Pastor Rudy Ferguson said the event was appealing, especially because it focused on the essential for people who live in an area populated by marginalized individuals.
“This is a beautiful moment because when you have something like this, people realize that someone is paying attention and someone actually cares about what’s happening,” said Ferguson, a candidate for Seat 1 on the City Commission. “This resonates everywhere. The event comes to them where they don’t have to spend money. They can come and get education information, stop by booths and vendors. This is something we have to do to keep things going.”
Throughout the four-hour event, the crowd was steady although there were times when it fluctuated. City Commissioner Curtis Richardson lauded the Urban League for creating the opportunity for residents to see there are services that could improve their lives.
“That’s what this is all about today, bringing those services to individuals and families and letting them know what services are available to them and how to access those services,” said Richardson, an incumbent in the 2024 election. “This is something that (the Urban League) routinely do. They bring services to the Southside community where the needs are great in so many instances.”
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