Helping the Community
Johnston Partnership for a Healthy Community was started over 25 years ago by a group of school nurses within the Johnston School District who wanted to help students struggling to get enough to eat. These nurses saw a need and they came together to address it.
In 2004; we established a school-based mentoring program. The mentoring program matches adult volunteers with students from the Johnston schools. The school based mentoring program is dedicated to engaging students in school and helping them reach their full potential through improved attendance, academic achievement, and improved relationships with adults. This program, established in 2004, currently serves 58 students in grades 5-10 who are experiencing issues that categorize them as at-risk for not finding success at school and/or in the community. We currently have 51 additional children referred who cannot be served until more mentors can be found. The Johnston School District has seen the positive effects of this program and has established a partnership with our organization by paying the salaries of our mentoring employees.
In April 2007, we collaborated with the City of Johnston and the Johnston Rotary Club to open The Johnston Clothes Closet. The Closet helps Johnston area families become economically stable by providing access to much needed clothing items. All items are donated and the Closet is operated by community volunteers. After four years of operation, we have a well established clientele of families who have become regular customers.
The Partnership held a Community Consortium in the spring of 2010, bringing many local service providers and community partners together to review current data and address the increasing social service needs of our community. As a result, in July, 2010 we opened a DMARC Food Pantry in the same location as The Closet. During the first two months, we established a steady clientele of over 40 families. Red Rock Community Action assistance program established an office in the Johnston Public Library one afternoon a week providing assistance in rent, housing, energy, food and health.
Our location at Crown Point in Johnston closed for remodeling in September 2010 and all of our services moved to temporary locations from October 2010 – October 2011. We developed stronger partnerships with our local churches and were blessed to re-open the Food Pantry at St Paul Presbyterian Church and the Clothes Closet at First Baptist Church in Johnston during that time. Then on November 15, 2011, we re-opened our doors at a facility the City of Johnston purchased. The City approved our operations at 5730 NW 64th Place, Johnston, until they began construction of their new public safety campus in August 2012. We currently have leased space near the Johnston Post Office at 5870 Merle Hay Road, Suite D. It is our goal to continue to look for additional opportunities to serve our families such as health screening and immunizations, mental health services, WIC supplements, etc.