Online Program

Responding to the Challenges of Community Service Engagement: A Resource

Monday, November 2, 2015

Anna Johnson, MPH, College of Osteopathic Medicine-Master of Public Health Program, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Elliot Montgomery Sklar, PhD, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Kristi Messer, MPH, MSW, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Devra Cohen, M.P.H., College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Gursimran Reen, BDS, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Challenges: As a Master of Public Health student, member of the PH Student Association, and APHA Student Assembly Campus Liaison at Nova Southeastern University, we encounter challenges in accessing opportunities to provide volunteer service to those experiencing homelessness. Often contact information within community resource guides is incorrect or organization staff are overwhelmed in responding to the needs of their consumers, let along external community members. This has resulted in an initiative to create a user friendly resource guide for organizations as well as for the larger community to be able to provide their volunteer services. 

This poster will demonstrate a community service guide that was created for health profession students to facilitate access to community-based resources for the homeless. This will help to create connections between health professions students and a broad range of organizations geared toward supporting the homeless and to address the needs of this disadvantaged population. Often, supportive organizations rely upon the help of volunteers, but do not have the manpower to coordinate these efforts. This resource guide provides direct established contact points which will reduce barriers to student engagement with the homeless as well as to provide detailed descriptions of volunteer opportunities available to participants which best meet the needs of diverse communities.  Another result of this directory is to establish new relationships and open lines of communication between our university initiative and the included organizations as a model of streamlining these efforts and relationships.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the roadblocks which prevent community members from volunteering and becoming more involved within their community. Formulate a list of community non profit organizations, predominantly geared towards homelessness, as well as key contact points for interested volunteers to connect with for further coordination.

Keyword(s): Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My current research includes homelessness, aging and disease prevention. I will be completing a Master of Public Health degree in May 2015 at Nova Southeastern University.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.