The Dannon Project and the Birmingham Public Library System have partnered to create opportunities for Birmingham citizens looking for a second chance at life.
Between early October through mid-December 2018, library patrons can schedule one-on-one sessions with a Dannon Project social worker to address personal barriers to success. Dannon Project staff then connect them to various service providers to assist with housing, employment, and healthcare, including mental health.
The Dannon Project began providing assistance for BPL patrons desiring social services at the Central Library in May of this year. During August and September, the Dannon Project and BPL partnered to provide one-on-one sessions with a social worker at five libraries across the city: Five Points West Regional Branch Library, Avondale Regional Branch Library, Southside Branch Library, East Lake Branch Library, and West End Branch Library.
Central Library manager Ka’ryn Davis-West has worked for BPL for years and seen many people in need of the services the Dannon Project is providing. She applauded the Dannon Project for partnering with public libraries across Birmingham to meet these needs.
“There are people who might not know or be aware of options, opportunities, and resources available to help them,” Davis-West said. “I feel that there is a great need in our area for someone to act as an advisor and advocate on behalf of others. Dannon has served as a strong bridge to help connect people to the best resources and options available."
Patrons are also informed of specific Dannon Project programs for which they qualify. “It is our goal to work with the community and reconnect citizens with the services they are seeking and badly need,’ said Kerri Pruitt, executive director of The Dannon Project.
Tenacaneskia Houston, a patron at the West End Library, said the program has been a blessing to her family. "The services provided by the Dannon Project and Birmingham Public Library will be a life saver for me and my children,” Houston said. “Put God first and you will never be last."
The Dannon Project social worker is available every Wednesday between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. at different BPL locations from October through mid-December to assist in the following areas: drug abuse, mental health issues, legal referrals, unemployment, healthcare, homelessness, domestic violence, and more.
The dates and library locations are as follows:
October 3, 2018 – Woodlawn Branch
October 10, 2018 – East Ensley Branch
October 17, 2018 – East Lake Branch
October 24, 2018 – Ensley Branch
October 31, 2018 – North Avondale Branch
November 7, 2018 – Wylam Branch
November 14, 2018 – Inglenook Branch
November 28, 2018 – Powderly Branch
December 5, 2018 – Titusville Branch
December 12, 2018 – Eastwood Branch