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Rise Up rental agreement with county OKed
Commission hears about services Rise Up offers
amy ferguson pic
Amy Ferguson, resource coordinator for the Barton County Health Department and Rise Up coordinator, explains to the County Commission Wednesday morning what services Rise Up offers.

The Barton County Commission Wednesday morning approved an occupancy agreement for the county building at 1806 12th St. for the Central Kansas Partnership taskforce Rise Up HEART (Health Equity Action Recovery Team) program.

“As a means of community support, the program is housed in the county office building,” said Operations Director Matt Patzner. The program will pay the county a $400 per month rental fee for use of the office space, internet and parking.

Amy Ferguson, resource coordinator for the Barton County Health Department and Rise Up coordinator, was present at the meeting to explain what services the organization provides.

“Basically we’re continuing to connect people to resources,” she said. “And one of the things that we’re highlighting is connecting people to COVID vaccination and COVID vaccination information.”

Quarterly, they partner with the Health Department to offer COVID and flu vaccination, and sexually transmitted disease testing at some of the recovery sites in Barton County. “It’s also that next level of recovery. It’s more than just providing information, we are able to remove that barrier of transportation. It’s just hard to keep moving forward when you’re always trying to find a way to get there.”

Since Jan. 1,  they’ve provided 38 rides to 12-step substance abuse recovery meetings. These are more than just rides, she said, since they include candid discussions about recovery, mental health and other concerns.

“So the time is well used while we’re in the vehicle,” she said. In addition, they’ve connected five people to intermediate treatment and six to COVID vaccinations.

“It’s very exciting removing that barrier,” Ferguson said. “And we’re excited to be in the community.”

Rise Up is a grassroots organization that includes community agencies and, most importantly, those with the lived experience of substance use disorder, mental illness, trauma and poverty.