ARCH links community with human services

Residents can now link up with area support services such as in health, education, employment, shelter, food, senior services, mentoring, alcohol/drug abuse, education, transportation, veterans, legal/law enforcement and more through a new program called ARCH.

ARCH stands for Area Resource Community Hub and is under the Princeton-based Rum River Health Services (RRHS). People can access ARCH through clicking on the website – or can call 763-389-5080, ext. 143 to reach the RRHS Director of Community Health, Cindi Naumann.

The ARCH website, as of last week, has a menu of 27 categories and subcategories are linked to each category. Naumann says she welcomes feedback from users of the website and will speak with people with questions about any of the various community resources.

RRHS obtained a $49,240 grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation to start ARCH, and that made possible the hiring of Naumann.

RRHS launched ARCH this month and explained it to the approximately 40 people at the Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce’s dinner meeting in the RRHS office building Jan. 10.

RRHS Executive Director Jeff Larson first explained what RRHS is all about.

RRHS provides various community health services, gives counseling/treatment for alcohol and drug abuse and supports families of clients who have gone through chemical dependency treatment. One of the support services is housing at RRHS’ Belle Haven townhomes, usually for a period of 24-36 months.


How to use ARCH

At the heart of ARCH is the mentioned website which lists the various community services in Mille Lacs. Support services in Mille Lacs are the focus now, RRHS Corporate Operations Director Kim Young and Naumann explaining that in order to apply for the grant to start ARCH they had to start with one area. Naumann adds that she will try to assist anyone who calls.

RRHS plans to watch how the ARCH program works out and then it could possibly expand it to also list resources beyond Mille Lacs.


Transportation a big need

Transportation is the need that most callers to the ARCH office have mentioned so far, Naumann said last week. New Life Church, in Princeton, had taken over the volunteer driving coordination service last year, but decided last month not to continue that, Naumann said. Churches might also benefit from ARCH if they are ever victims of fraud in which some persons have gone from one church to the next to collect money, according to Young and Naumann. Churches can call the ARCH telephone number and refer persons who are seeking money to Naumann, who can then interview them to learn more about their background and perhaps help them find long-term solutions for their needs.

The idea of ARCH is to treat the “whole person,” Naumann said, adding, “I hope we can help people and make a difference.