Elk Grove Township Connects with Partners to Serve the Community
Elk Grove Township has created meaningful connections over the last several years between nonprofits, faith-based organizations, area school districts and other groups that serve the township community. These connections have been established through EGTAC -- the Elk Grove Township Agency Collaborative -- which aims at ensuring its members are aware of each other's areas of specialty to provide impactful referrals for a range of human and social service needs.
EGTAC was established in 2016, meets twice per year, and includes nearly 40 organizations. Member groups serve a wide variety of individuals and families in need of help. Examples of needs they address are homelessness, mental health, drug abuse, domestic violence and senior-disabled transportation. These needs are expanding as the Northwest suburbs continue to grow in terms of population and diversity. Elk Grove Township includes nearly 100,000 residents that live in portions of Elk Grove Village, Mount Prospect, Arlington Heights, Des Plaines and Rolling Meadows.
The most recent EGTAC meeting was held in late February, in the Elk Grove Township Town Hall, and member, Partners for Our Communities, presented to the group. The organization works with other agencies and nonprofits to help underserved people become more self-sufficient, with a goal to help them become community leaders. The presentation focused on the issues surrounding immigration and the resources needed to address the associated challenges. Those who attended also had the opportunity to network and share information about their specific services, so that if a need arises, they know to whom a referral should be made.
"Through EGTAC, we are able to get all of these different entities into one room and have real conversations that help us to stay up to date on each group's core competencies," said Corey Dewey, Elk Grove Township's director of Social Services and Community Outreach. "Through this collaborative effort, we can explore partnerships and provide vital referrals for residents facing different needs and challenges, in a more holistic way."
A recent example Dewey cited was when a young boy attending a District 59 school continued to come to school without completing his homework. The school social worker learned the reason why was that the family didn't have electricity due to unpaid bills, and had been experiencing other financial challenges after the father lost his job. The school district referred the family to the township to not only provide funding sources for electricity restoration, but also to connect the father with the township employment specialist to find work. The township then referred the family to a local church that had a clothing closet to help them provide clothing for their children.
Dewey added that she believes EGTAC's existence is vital to the effective use of available social service funds and to the ability of organizations like Elk Grove Township to provide immediate, comprehensive assistance to residents working to get back on their feet and become self-sufficient.
For information about EGTAC and how you can get involved, contact the Elk Grove Township Social Services Department at (224) 265-6111.