By KERI STINNETT
For The Catholic Week
BAY MINETTE — The Family Service Center is a nonprofit community-based family resource center serving individuals and families in the North Baldwin County area.
FSC has been a ministry of Catholic Social Services in the Archdiocese of Mobile since 1996. The mission of the Center is to provide preventive and treatment programs which help to improve family functioning and protect children from child abuse and neglect. FSC offers a wide range of services including case management, parenting, budgeting, individual and family counseling. It also assists families and individuals with basic needs such as food, utility bills and medication assistance. Though the current climate of our nation is unusually uncertain for most everyone, a constant that remains is a willingness to continue to help the North Baldwin community and people in need.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Family Service Center has had the opportunity to aid in ongoing assistance for struggling individuals and families.
The most visible urgent need is those persons unable to pay their utility bills or put food on the table. Though the physical doors of the Family Service Center have been closed, telephone interviews and assessments continue to be conducted daily in order to help provide assistance with utilities as well as distribute food boxes during this crisis.
Many community members have been furloughed from their jobs or had to shut down small businesses due to the pandemic, leaving them unable to take care of themselves and their families. The Family Service Center, working in conjunction with Catholic Social Services in Robertsdale and other community providers, has been able to serve these members of the Bay Minette community as well as those persons throughout the North Baldwin County area.
Thanks to technology, parents can learn in a virtual setting with documentation that has been designed to adapt with this crisis. In addition to support with utility bills and food boxes, Case Manager Rhonda Tolbert is providing parenting classes to single mothers and parents within the Bay Minette community. Before the pandemic began, Tolbert taught this material in person. However, for the safety of everyone involved, this is not currently possible. Tolbert furnishes a power point presentation with needed material while working with parents to bring pertinent information in a virtual manner.