Whenever anyone asks me where I live, I answer Lamoille County. I don’t name my town, although it’s a lovely one. I want everyone to know that I come from Lamoille, a county so committed to taking care of one another that we have gotten national attention for being consistently among the most vaccinated against COVID-19. Where the schools and the health care professionals and the librarians and the human services organizations and the selectboards all pulled together to help all corners of the Lamoille Valley ride out the pandemic. I am wicked proud of how we helped one another across town lines.
There’s nothing quite like a global pandemic to lay bare just how interdependent we all are. Nothing, except perhaps the tail end and aftermath of a global pandemic, when the global supply chain is disrupted, employees are scarce, and an open child care slot feels like an urban legend. When suicide deaths in the state are up 24 percent over the previous three-year average.
The Lamoille Valley is one economy, with no regard for municipal lines. That economy is feeling the pressures that much of the state and nation is under, and the bumpy economic recovery is hurting.
If we’re to come out of this healthy and strong, we’re going to do it like the Vikings, all of us rowing together. Here are some resources to help us do that. All these resources and many more can be found on the United Way of Lamoille County resource page (uwlamoille.org/get-help).
Matching employees, employers
To strengthen our economy, here are a few places to post jobs:
• Vermont’s State Colleges System consortium website, collegecentral.com/vsc.
• The Nulhegan band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation maintains a job page at abenakitribe.org.
• Take 45 minutes to learn how to support employees in recovery with a virtual training, Recovery Friendly Workplaces 101: Essential First Steps for Employers, Thursday, Oct. 7, noon-12:45 p.m. More information at recoveryvermont.org.
• Check out job and career training opportunities at United Way, uwlamoille.org.
• ReSOURCE’s Construction 101 provides stipends to qualified students while providing a path to a well-paying career in construction. The six-week program starts Monday, Oct. 18. Find out more at resourcevt.org.
• The Vermont Transporation Agency, through Go! Vermont, offers a vanpool program for people to commute to work together. Go! Vermont matches employees with a similar schedule on a route, provides the van and helps customize the program for the workers and employers, all while covering half the cost. Reach out to Dan Currier at email@example.com or go to connectingcommuters.org.
• Sen. Patrick Leahy is hosting a Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference focusing on women-owned businesses that made it through the pandemic, balancing work and personal life and accessing federal recovery support that helped keep businesses afloat, Saturday, Oct. 23, 9-11 a.m. Check out the senator’s official website for more information.
Supporting each other
Moms in Recovery Support Program is designed for the specific needs of pregnant and parenting mothers through their journey in recovery from substance abuse as well as their families. (ncvrc.com/moms-program)
To reduce the risk of overdose, never use alone. Let family and friends know when you are using so they can check on you. If you don’t have someone to tell, visit neverusealone.com or call 800-484-3731 for someone who will stay on the phone with you while you use.
Learn how to use naloxone, commonly called Narcan, and keep it with you in case you encounter someone experiencing an overdose. Call 851-8120 for free naloxone.
Signs to look for when you think someone is experiencing an overdose. The person:
- Is unconscious or not waking up and doesn’t respond when you shout;
- Doesn’t respond when you rub your knuckles on their breastbone or between their upper lip and nose;
- Is not breathing normally or is breathing very slowly or not breathing at all; and
- Is making snoring, choking, or gurgling sounds.
I’ve been asked to remind everyone that the entire community needs to be attentive to those around us who are struggling with day-to-day life. If you or someone you know is struggling, call:
- Local: 888-5026, weekdays, or 888-8888 on nights and weekends, and ask to page the crisis team.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration national helpline offers 24-hour support for mental health and substance use. Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
- Call the state’s 2-1-1 number. As always, in emergencies, dial 9-1-1.
To learn how to prevent falls in older adults, go to bit.ly/3B6abcE.
Take care of yourself
The seasonal flu can have similar symptoms to COVID-19, so it’s more important than ever to get a vaccine. Call your doctor to schedule your flu vaccine or visit your local pharmacy. Children should go to their doctors. Vermont Department of Health local office can provide flu vaccines to those individuals who are uninsured, without a doctor or experiencing housing insecurity, on the third Monday of the month. The next one is Oct. 18, 3-4 p.m. Call 888-7447.
Money conversations is a free course to improve money management skills, with skills like spending plans, managing debt, credit reports and owning your financial future. Capstone Vermont hosts Thursdays, Oct. 7 to Nov. 4, noon. More at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-636-7752.
Lamoille Area Youth Council promotes youth well-being and equity. Leadership opportunities and new skills for 6-12 graders in Lamoille Valley at email@example.com.
Lamoille Area Coaching Collaborative is launching a new Lamoille Valley Youth Sports Community Directory. This list is being shared as a service to the community. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lamoille Housing Partnership has just one vacant apartment out of 280 units. All subsidized apartments are currently leased and have zero vacancies. The waitlist has 462 applicants; of these applicants, 335 are seeking subsidized housing.
Applicants typically wait one year minimum to be placed in Lamoille Housing Partnership housing.
The challenges that are facing the Lamoille area are sizeable, and they’ll require the same teamwork we have seen for the last 18 months, regardless of town, sector, business or organization. Fortunately, we’re Lamoille County, and we’ve got this.
Emily Rosenbaum is the project director of the Lamoille Working Communities Challenge, made possible through a grant of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, with partners Capstone Community Action and United Way of Lamoille County.