Lunch results

Some attendees of UYSS' Sixth Annual Lunch-n-Learn pause for a moment on Saturday at the downtown Fremont agency More than 20 people attended to discuss what they see as community needs, including free bus service, free or reduced-cost driver's ed for youth, creation of a car sticker listing all personal health issues in case of an accident.

Robin Ritter describes the Sixth Annual Lunch-n-Learn as a success.

More than 20 people attended the recent event, which offered tours and a free lunch. The event took place at Uniquely Yours Stability Support, 240 N. Main St., in Fremont.

Those who attended had a chance to shop at the agency’s Unique Boutique. Attendees could obtain items for a freewill donation. Those who didn’t have the funds were able to shop for free.

Many bags of free clothing, bedding, books and household items went out the door, said Ritter, UYSS chief executive officer.

Besides shopping and being able to meet the UYSS team, attendees were able to express their thoughts about what they believe the community needs.

UYSS takes the attendees’ recommendations and includes them — if the ideas fit with the agency’s mission — in its Community Support Program.

All suggestions also are shared in a report to other community partners, including the Fremont Family Coalition.

The hope is to have collaborative ideas on how to address these needs and concerns.

Ritter said she was pleased with information shared at the recent event.

“Those who attended were eager to engage in conversations about what they need from our community,” Ritter said. “Their feedback, shared suggestions and dialog is what makes our Community Support Program on target with what they identify as gaps.”

She noted other benefits.

“This event gives UYSS the opportunity to share information about our partnering agencies and the great works they are doing,” Ritter said. “Those who came, left with lots of information and knew their voices have been heard! It is a blessing for our team to be able to offer a comfortable platform for families and individuals to share and be a part of change.”

At past events, participants have suggested the need for tangible items like laundry soap, clothing, use of a computer and reading glasses.

“Each year, we are surprised at what families and individuals share,” Ritter said. “We are surprised again at the outcomes.”

Requests at the 2019 event include:

  • Free bus service.
  • Driver’s education options for youth — that could include free or reduced costs.
  • More low-income housing and handicap accessible housing. Ritter said the Fremont is working on this.
  • Repair of potholes and cracks in store parking lots and also near railroad tracks on the south side of town.
  • More bicycle options for kids to get to school.
  • Educating business owners about differences between service animals and comfort animals.
  • Pet food and supplies.
  • More options for gas vouchers.
  • Reliable supply of work uniforms.
  • More medical care options for pets.
  • Creation of a sticker for the car that identifies all personal health issues in the event of an accident — maybe a form at the Department of Motor Vehicles that is attached to information on car license plates.

In past years, Lunch-n-Learn attendees also have asked for various services including:

  • Bullying resources for school-age children during the summer.
  • More in-store scooters.
  • Preparation education for food box items.
  • Handicap parking in the downtown Fremont area.

UYSS is a Fremont-based agency that works to prevent homelessness or help people get out of this situation. FCC works to create community partnerships to help people improve their quality of life.

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