Photo Caption: Bethany Pitts, after-school director for the Rogue Valley Family YMCA, shows kids how to make bouncy balls at Hedrick Middle School in July. The YMCA is one of several partner agencies in the Rogue Challenge that aims to connect clients with a more holistic range of services. Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
Written by Kaylee Tornay of the Mail Tribune.
Health comes down to more than access to doctors at a clinic or hospital. Housing, nutrition, physical activity and employment are also closely tied to quality of life.
Sometimes people can’t access one or more of those, said Brad Russell, executive director of the Rogue Valley Family YMCA.
“Some folks just need a little bit of help for maybe a single thing, and others need multiple areas,” he said.
That’s why eight Southern Oregon nonprofits teamed up to help keep people who struggle to access more than one of those resources from falling through the cracks. Today, they’re looking to grow their reach with more partners and agencies.
The referral system, called the Rogue Challenge, includes the YMCA, Southern Oregon Head Start, Family Nurturing Center, Rogue Community Health, ACCESS, Southern Oregon Goodwill, Siskiyou Community Health Center and OnTrack Rogue Valley. It serves adults and families of all kinds, connecting them with housing help, food and preventive care, among other things.