The last two years have been tough for Robert Chavez and his non-profit, Veterans Unidos. The Coronavirus pandemic forced a lot of people to cut back on their spending, meaning donations to his organization dropped.

"We had to start asking the hard questions on what did we need to do to get ourselves back to where we were pre pandemic?"

Chavez turned to Sedgwick County Commissioner Lacey Cruse, who told him about a county program, Recover Connect. It helps connect people to resources out there, from housing assistance and daycare, to job training and grant writing.

Cruse says "We can't have a healthy community if we don't have healthy people, and healthy in mind, body and spirit and so people are seeking these services that will help get them back on their feet."

The program launched last December and is funded through the American Rescue Plan through 2024. 

Abigail Hammack, who helps facilitate recovery connect, says with all these local, state and federal programs available to help people, it "can be very complicated and finding help can be complicated. In general, it's just difficult to navigate, especially when you have so many other things going on in your life or you're recovering from a global pandemic."

Hammack says so far, the program has seen requests for in several areas. 

“Grant writing that has been highly in demand, whether that's how to write a grant, or just tips on how to find them where to connect with funding. So we help people connect in those ways. Other in demand ways that people need assistance are through child care assistance, as well as housing or helping their mortgage or rent or utilities.”

Chavez says through Recovery Connect “we were allowed to speak with grant writers, grant reviewers, we were allowed to go to classes, the webinars. We were allowed to find the necessary tools to get our nonprofit back to where we need to.”

Cruse adds that a lot of people need help. “Our lives were uprooted and there's a lot of people struggling and we want people to reach out and know that those resources are there. Don't be afraid to reach out you know, it's okay for you to need help because help is there for you."

If you would like to learn more about Recovery Connect or apply to get help, you can do that in several ways.

Call (316) 978-6737