FREEHOLD – In an effort to better, and more efficiently, meet the needs of residents, Monmouth County recently launched its Monmouth ACTS program.
Monmouth ACTS stands for “Assisting Community Through Services.” In collaboration with the Human Services Advisory Council as well as local non-profit organizations, county officials created Monmouth ACTS as a way to enhance access to human services resources, such as those for addiction, mental health, and homelessness.
The public-private initiative was born out of a 2016 Monmouth County Human Services Needs Assessment. The assessment surveyed the needs of residents throughout Monmouth County, as well as “the strengths, capabilities and interests of service providers and community stakeholders,” according to officials.
The report following the needs assessment, entitled “A Call To Action,” worked on laying out a roadmap for filling in the gaps in human services identified in the assessment.
“We found out that many Monmouth County residents struggle to have their basic needs met,” said Monmouth County Freeholder Sue Kiley, liaison to the county’s health and human services division. “Challenges such as addiction, mental health needs, homelessness and food insecurity have become more commonplace, with many people feeling isolated and unable to find the right path for help.
“Through Monmouth ACTS, community groups are now working together to improve access, achieve social change and address specific problems. Working together, county non-profit organizations, along with the resources of the county, are now offering services in a cooperative way instead of working in isolated silos. This approach is already streamlining processes and access to care and is producing productive outcomes.”
Monmouth County ACTS works on addressing those needs through “hubs,” or key areas of interest identified by the Monmouth ACTS Steering Committee. The committee has determined eight major “hubs” that require more examination and streamlining by subcommittees.
Theses hubs include Early Childhood Success, Positive Youth Development, Aging, Homelessness, Transportation, Financial Empowerment, Mental Health & Addictions, and Communications.
“It is our ultimate desire to provide residents with easier access to human services and answer their behavioral health questions,” said Freeholder Kiley.
Monmouth ACTS will provide residents one access point for a variety of human services at MonmouthACTS.org.