A quick Google search of “nonprofits” and “Tazewell County” reveals more than 800 organizations that help meet a wide variety of needs in our community alone. The spiritual, social, physical, emotional and professional needs of individuals and groups can be met when likeminded people come together for a common goal. All of these nonprofits help make Tazewell County such a wonderful place to work and live.
The Tazewell County Resource Center (TCRC) is one such organization that helps meet the needs of some of society’s most vulnerable individuals. Under the capable leadership of Jamie Durdel, TCRC endeavors to provide maximum opportunities to individuals with disabilities. The Tremont-based organization provides a wide variety of services, including residential services that offer a homelike atmosphere and 24-hour support for those with developmental disabilities. Each CILA (Community Integrated Living Arrangement) has an average of six residents, along with staff that promote daily living and economic self-sufficiency where possible.
TCRC also provides community-based day training and community-based employment opportunities that benefit both its clients and the community. In fact, I am personally impacted each week by the services they provide. First, TCRC has the custodial contract for Tazewell County’s McKenzie Building, and each evening, they come and clean our building—including my office. Secondly, they provide delicious meals every Thursday for the Morton Rotary, and I have yet to be disappointed by the food they serve. In addition, TCRC provides family services, early intervention for developmentally disabled children and sight services, filling many other important needs in our county.
The Tazwood Center for Wellness (formerly the Tazwood Mental Health Center), under the able direction of Dave Mingus, fills a need that most counties identify as their most underserved area. Mental health, addiction services and residential counseling are the three primary service areas provided by Tazwood.
Despite all the paperwork and complexity, Tazwood is known for processing new clients within 24 to 48 hours—something almost unheard of in this field. With its main office in Pekin, Tazwood also maintains offices in Woodford and Logan counties. Although primarily a community-based organization, Tazwood also has 30 residential apartments with supervised living arrangements to help those with more intensive needs. In addition, they have two contracted psychiatrists on staff to help individuals navigate through difficult seasons in their lives.
Tazewell County partners with Tazwood in a number of ways, including financial support through contracted services. Tazwood provides assistance with the Tazewell County Drug Court and the soon-to-be-added Mental Health Court, as individuals with addiction or mental health issues can often be handled more effectively through intervention, rather than incarceration. Access to quality, affordable and close mental health services is a recognized deficiency in many counties, and Tazwood has helped fill that void.
In an era of diminishing resources and increasing need, nonprofits have stepped up—and as the need continues to grow, so will the importance of organizations like TCRC and the Tazwood Center for Wellness. Tazewell County is blessed to have their help, and as you have the ability, please consider where you may be able to help these wonderful organizations. Who knows when you or I may need their help, too? iBi