This Hub’s for you

By on September 25, 2019

Council updated on new program organized by library

Ephrata Borough Council listened to an update on the Northern Lancaster Hub at its Sept. 16 meeting when Hub Coordinator Kelly Warner explained its services and mission in a detailed report.
She explained the expanding services and purpose of the Hub, an organization of 18 core partners and five associate partners, all agencies or businesses agreeing to work together to serve others.

The program is primarily funded by the United Way.

Members include Welsh Mountain Health, the Ephrata Area School District, Ephrata Area Social Services, Tabor, Wellspan Hospital, Career Link, and the area food bank, among others.
The lead organizer is the Ephrata Public Library, and many of the groups meet in the library’s Community Commons.

“People have an idea of what Ephrata is like and you are going to have the town that everybody already thinks you have,” Warner said. “We’re trying to remove barriers, prevent issues from escalating, and build trust for people who have been through the system and things haven’t gone very well.”

Needs assessment studies have found that some of Ephrata’s residents need help in gaining a hand up in the social spectrum.

The assessment showed that up to 43 percent of school children receive either free or reduced-price lunches.

Nearly half of low-income residents are uninsured when it comes to health insurance.
Across the country, the graduation rate for high school seniors is 84 percent, and Pennsylvania’s graduation rate is 86 percent, but that number is at 80 percent for northern Lancaster County, Warner said.

Regarding post-secondary degrees, the nation’s rate is 18.8, while the number falls to 16.7 for northern Lancaster County.

“These numbers challenge me; they don’t get me down,” Warner told the council.

The Hub already has some working programs in place, Warner said, including the very popular Hub bus, which runs on a two-hour schedule five days a week, and is free.

“It’s for anybody,” Warner said. “Some people have asked ‘why would you give us a free bus,’ and the answer is, because it’s important that we do.”

The Hub bus makes stops at Ephrata Area Social Services, the hospital, library, and Declaration House.

Monthly career counseling is also available through Career Link, and literacy classes are also on hand.

A monthly mobile dentist is available through Welsh Mountain Health Center, while financial counseling is available twice monthly through Tabor Community Services.

The community garden has produced more than 500 pounds of produce so far this year, which is given to Ephrata Social Services.

Warner also gave Council a look into the coming year’s programs, which include drop-in legal services and drop-in banking services, GED classes, and a growing Hub shuttle program.

Marylouise Sholly is a freelance feature writer for The Ephrata Review. She welcomes your comments and questions at weezsholly@verizon.net. 

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