The Scott County Clearinghouse benefits yearly from an endowment fund at the Community Foundation, the Scott County Indigent Care Fund. The fund was established in 2000 on behalf of an anonymous donor, whose passion was helping the poor. Shown at left are Clearinghouse Executive Director Nelson Spaulding receiving a grant from Community Foundation board member Lisa Conder. Below are two stories of clients who benefited from the Clearinghouse?s assistance in 2009.
As a young mother going to school full-time to become a hairdresser, Jackie Brock of Scottsburg was barely making ends meet. Her husband, Bobby, was the main provider for their family, as she worked part-time at Forever Foto while attending PJ?s College of Cosmetology. Their family was hit with tragedy three years ago when Bobby unexpectedly had a heart attack at age 37.
While going through the yearlong process of applying for disability benefits after being told Bobby had 64 percent heart damage and was unable to return to his previous lifestyle, Jackie had to turn to assistance from others. Her sister helped as much as she could, and Jackie said she even picked up cans alongside the road to earn money, thinking they would eventually have to move in with her parents. But through her township trustee, Gordon Julian, and the Scott County Community Clearinghouse, she was able to stay afloat. They were able to help her with rent and utility assistance as well as food. Had she not received their assistance, she said she would have had to quit school to find full-time work, leaving her with student loans and no completion of school to show for it.
?They helped me get through that year?it was a horrible year,? said Jackie.
After her husband received approval for disability a year later, and Jackie received her Indiana state cosmetology license, she was able to stop receiving assistance from the Clearinghouse. Now the 31-year-old mother of four currently works as a hairdresser at Perfectly Polished in Scottsburg and is trying to fulfill her long-time dream of joining the U.S. Navy, which would provide insurance and stable pay.
While she is still building her clientele base and struggling to pay bills, she still finds ways to give back. She has referred other people to the Clearinghouse, and has donated clothing to the organization, which uses the profits to assist with food and other needs.
?I think it?s wonderful that there are places out there that can help,? said Jackie. ?When you feel like there?s nothing else you can do, there?s somebody to reach a hand out to you.?
While the road has been long and hard for Jackie, the circumstances have opened her eyes and made her more empathetic. She explained that now when she sees a homeless person on the street, she will stop and buy a sandwich. She shared a story how a resident at her uncle?s nursing home needed larger sheets for his bed, so she went home and brought back sheets from her closet, much to the gratitude of the man.
?It felt good to see how much he truly appreciated it,? said Jackie.
The kindness of Nelson Spaulding, the executive director of the Scott County Community Clearinghouse, has given her hope. Things that she took for granted before, she does no longer.
?I would like for people to know that when you think there is no hope, there is somebody out there that is willing to lift you up,? said Jackie.
Holly Ross, 48, of Blocher said she was used to working. The mother of two and grandmother of five has been in the medical field most of her life but has worked other jobs to get by.
?When you?re in between jobs, you think ?Well, I?ll get a job,?? said Holly, but about four years ago, when she found herself without a job for a month, she soon realized she needed help.
She applied for food stamps and then went to the Scott County Community Clearinghouse for assistance with food and rent.
?The Clearinghouse is nice because you go in and they get what you need,? she said, without making a person jump through hoops. ?When you?re down, it?s not a good feeling anyway, so it helps when they can get you through the system,? she added.
While she was only without a job for two months, the assistance she received from the Clearinghouse was appreciated.
?At the Clearinghouse, you don?t feel degraded,? said Holly. ?The people make you feel like they really care. If you?re upset, they?re always there to talk to. They?re the nicest people!?
Holly is now employed as a phlebotomist for Lab Corp, based in Louisville, where she has been for three years. She works out of St. Luke?s Medical Ministry in Scottsburg.
Holly has always liked to help people and said sometimes people are just down on their luck and need help. When she comes across someone who needs help, she refers them to another organization that can lend a hand.
The assistance she received at the Clearinghouse has helped her to be able to help other people with her clothing ministry that she operates out of her home. She receives donations of clothing and toiletries from the community, and in turn distributes to those in need, such as people from the halfway houses.
?The secret is helping them with the love of Christ,? said Holly. ?The people are so thankful for what they get.?