ECHO Grows With Client Service Center

A September ribbon-cutting is planned for the client service center at the Emergency Care Help Organization in Brandon. A room that once housed metal shelving for boxes of food is now a fashionable workspace for meeting the comprehensive needs of clients.

It’s been a long time coming, but Stacey Efaw, director of the Emergency Care Help Organization in Brandon, never doubted that the newly opened ECHO Client Service Center would, indeed, open its doors.

To celebrate that crowning achievement of a 25-year mission, volunteers, supporters and clients will be in attendance at the center’s ribbon-cutting Sept. 28.

There, starting at 3 p.m., a town will celebrate another grand step forward in the ECHO undertaking, started as a community mission to feed and clothe neighors who fall on tough times because of emergency situations.

“My vision was to have a one-stop place in Brandon to help them here or to guide them to the exact place they need to go,” Efaw said. “We can give them food and clothing but they have other needs and I felt at times that we were just shipping them off to some other place.”

At the center, Efaw noted, clients can learn about and sign up electronically for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps; the Temporary Cash Assistance Program; Medicaid; and Healthy Kids insurance.

In addition, the plan is to work with Hillsborough Coummunity College and others to provide workforce training and classes and to provide counseling and assistance to better meet the needs of clients who find themselves in dire situations because of tough times, emergency situations or an ailing economy.

There are two main reasons why people come to ECHO….



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