SIDNEY — The Northern Office of Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley (CSSMV) provides vital services to residents in Auglaize, Champaign, Darke, Logan, Miami, Mercer, Preble, and Shelby Counties. Its location in the Courtview Center in Sidney is in the heart of Shelby County, close to law enforcement, the court system, and other social service agencies that serve the region.

“The CSSMV mission is to strengthen individuals and families through actions of faith, service and charity. Those we serve do not have to be Catholic. We work with anyone in need regardless of religion, ethnic background, or socioeconomic condition. Our services impact all ages from preschool to the elderly. In Shelby County, we focus on senior services, counseling, parenting support, and transportation,” said Elaine Schweller-Snyder, marketing/development coordinator for CSSMV Northern Area office.

Her report continues:

In 2020, our office continued operations despite the pandemic. We scheduled face-to-face counseling and emergency appointments for seniors as needed as well as using alternate ways to reach clients through phone and video platforms. Our caseload of seniors stayed steady at roughly 1,100 seniors a month. Although in-home visits were generally suspended because of the virus, we did make emergency visits and worked by phone to conduct assessments and keep in contact with our clients. We also delivered PPE kits to make sure that our seniors had masks, hand sanitizer and other essentials to keep them safe.

CSSMV applied for emergency funding from several community foundations to help spread the available funds to people in need of food, supplies, or utility assistance because of the pandemic.

Since 1984, CSSMV has collaborated with the Ohio Department of Medicaid to administer the PASSPORT waiver program, matching individuals with long term services and support. Our licensed social workers and registered nurses conduct assessments, educate families on options, coordinate community resources and provide care management for seniors. With the support of the Shelby County United Way, we provide these services for Shelby County seniors who may not qualify for PASSPORT.

In 2017, CSSMV became a Single-Entry Point for Ohio Benefits and Long Term Supports, enabling us to field calls from individuals seeking available options for elderly family members and linking those individuals to services.

CSSMV offers professional counseling to individuals and families. Licensed counselors help clients deal with a wide range of issues including relationships, stress, grief, and depression. Our Navigating Family Life program provides home visits and workshops for parents, including the IMPACT program funded by the Shelby County United Way.

Our counseling team also provides counseling services to two local school districts – Houston and Jackson Center – a program we hope will see continued growth, thanks to funding from the Sidney-Shelby County Community Foundation and the Monarch Machine Tool Company Legacy Fund.

Our Mobility Manager has taken the lead in developing Coordinated Transportation Plans for Shelby and other counties. Thanks to the Ohio Department of Transportation, CSSMV has begun a volunteer driver program called RideConnect to expand transportation options. Although derailed for a time by the pandemic, CSSMV is again actively recruiting volunteer drivers for this program.

Our FoodSource program addresses food scarcity for our most vulnerable seniors. We deliver 40-pound boxes of staple foods once a month in Darke, Miami, and Shelby Counties. We thank our partners in this endeavor – Shared Harvest Food Bank, New Path Outreach, the Bethany Center, AGAPE, and the West Ohio Food Bank. Because of dedicated staff, this program continued throughout the pandemic.

Our most exciting news is that we are in the midst of a rebranding as we look forward to celebrating our 100th anniversary in 2021. Our new logo emphasizes the timeliness of our mission, our multi-generational services, and the energy and vibrance of our organization.