CHNC meeting set for Feb. 21

    Barbara Wityczak will be the speaker at the Clearwater Human Needs Council general membership meeting at noon Tuesday, Feb. 21, at the Krystal Café.

    She will provide more information about the Orofino Clean and Sober Drop-in Center on Johnson Ave. Wityczak will particularly provide information about the history of the organization and their goals.

    Maria Ward (pictured with John Todd), founder of CHNC, was the speaker at the January meeting. She outlined the history of the organization which began in 2006. She became a Resource and Services Navigator with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in 2005. With that position, which was new to both her and the department, she was responsible to know the resources in the community and help people navigate their way through them. Ward found that the different individuals and agencies that served human needs were not communicating or collaborating well. As a result, CHNC came into being.

    The first meeting was held in February 2006 with about 60 people in attendance. From that beginning, it was decided to form the group and there was an executive board sitting by mid 2006. They decided that the community would be best served with a little more formal organization that some other communities had. CHNC gathered information and got it out members at meetings, on the email network and through the media. They help service providers to know what resources are available and what each organization in the group can provide.

    Ward said she feels really encouraged because the sharing and collaboration to meet needs continues. The organizations involved have “boots on the ground” serving people in Clearwater County, though they may not have full time offices here. She feels the biggest hallmark is the cooperation and collaboration. Now the organizations know more about each other and can better serve their clients.

    She recently took a position with the Child Welfare part of Health and Welfare and is no longer on the executive board having finished her term as past chair. However, she is still involved with CHNC as part of the general membership.

    She and several other early members of CHNC recently launched the Lifeline Food Bank, the first project of Clearwater Community Foundation, an organization that began with the CHNC Executive Board.

    John Todd, Health and Welfare Resource and Service Navigator, was introduced. While not directly Ward’s replacement, he will work with those in Clearwater County that have need of those services she provided. He can be reached in Lewiston at 208-799-4385 or through the 211 Careline. His territory covers Latah, Clearwater and part of Nez Perce counties.

    The CHNC no-host luncheon is open to anyone that is interested in learning more about the organization or would like to become involved.

    For further information about CHNC email