PRVO holds public hearing

Published 7:00 am Friday, August 9, 2019

Pearl River Valley Opportunity held a public hearing to announce its intent to apply for grant funding in order to continue offering programs to help those in the community who need it.

During the public hearing, the various programs offered through PRVO were outlined.

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Dawn Vosbein, Extension Agent for the Mississippi State Extension, said she regularly provides a number of programs at the PRVO office. Vosbein said those programs range from nutrition, food safety, home health and family and first aid training. Presentations take place monthly at the Picayune location of PRVO, located on the first floor of Chimney Square on Goodyear Boulevard. 

PRVO also provides people with the means to have their glucose, blood pressure and body mass index checked through Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative Inc.

Steve Reid with Pearl River County Hospital and Nursing Home spoke to attendees about various services offered at the hospital in Poplarville, such as swing bed services, wound care and an outpatient behavioral clinic. Reid said the staff at the hospital is preparing to offer transportation to the hospital for those dealing with depression or anxiety so they can attend group meetings led by a counselor. At press time he was unsure if that transportation would be offered to those living in the south end of the county.

Iliana Antunez, a social worker at the Picayune School District’s Early Head Start program, said that the program works with PRVO to provide educational opportunities for parents, such as getting their GED or high school diploma. There is also a program to help those who are interested receive certification in providing day care. Some of the people who receive the certification through the program are offered jobs at Early Head Start.

PRVO Case Manager Lillie Crawford said that PRVO partners with Feeding the Gulf Coast to provide food to those in need. The most recent event held last month provided 125 boxes of food to as many families in the Poplarville area. Crawford said she would like to host a similar event in Picayune, she just needs a venue to distribute the boxes of food.

So far this year through July, PRVO provided assistance to almost 500 families, she said.

PRVO also provides funding to the Senior Center of South Pearl River County to help the staff provide meals to those who attend the Center.

At the end of the hearing, Crawford read some of the needs established through an assessment compiled from responses of those served. Those needs included employment opportunities, education services, a credit rebuilding workshop and transportation assistance.

Crawford said that PRVO’s goal is to help those in need become self sufficient by helping them find employment, or receive education services.