CRI seeks to expand reach in Wirt County

Clothes and household items from Kelly’s Closet WV are available for community members. (Photo by Candice Black)

ELIZABETH — Community Resources Inc. (CRI) is working toward expanding its efforts in the Wirt County area, according to Kay Honaker, CRI director for the county.

In order to meet the specific needs of the county, CRI made the services more readily available by allowing a representative to be in the office for more than one day of the week.

Honaker explained that the CRI presence was “always a big deal. Community Resources was only open on Wednesdays. Everything (in) Wirt County was going to (the) Parkersburg office if it wasn’t a Wednesday.”

She said locals are becoming more aware of the services offered.

“You can’t really help people if you’re not around to help,” Honaker said.

These items are available at Community Resources in Elizabeth. (Photo by Candice Black)

While CRI is in this transitional period, the numbers are low in terms of the amount of people that come in for help. However, Honaker tries to look at it from a different perspective. “It gives me more time to work with that person,” she said.

Other nonprofits in the area work together to ensure that any need in the community is met. Honaker works closely with the Senior Center and the Department of Health and Human Resources.

Honaker was seeking information on applying for grants that would allow for home repair to the locals as needed and was given a list of community members that have that need.

“(There are) wonderful resources out there that I didn’t know about and I’m so happy that Community Resources is here to gather all that information,” she said.

Providing a food pantry is one way that CRI serves the county.

Honaker said an issue is that some are only given a small amount of food stamp benefits a month and toward the end of the month, they may not have enough to get by.

Funding for the pantry is through CRI and the purchasing is done through Mountaineer Food Bank. Four options of food pickup locations are available. The Hope Shop at 558 Court St. in Elizabeth, Community Resources, located next to the Senior Center, Spring Valley and New Philadelphia are available for a visit once a month.

“There may be a strange variety of food, but you’re not going to go hungry,” Honaker said. When the services were limited to Wednesdays, the food pantries weren’t offered anymore. Schools and personal donations help contribute to the food pantries.

Another service offered is weatherization which helps to make a home “smart.”

“If your home isn’t energy efficient, then our weatherization program helps for it to become energy efficient,” Honaker said. After sealing up the house, a computer program analyzes the property and provides information on what needs done to make the house energy efficient.

This program is primarily for anyone with unusually high utility bills.

The hope is to grow the program by obtaining grants. Honaker said she spends a lot of her time researching and developing proposals to receive funding.

“As long as Community Resources is able to grow with its presence or if (people) see me walking down the street (and) they feel comfortable talking, I would love for that to be able to happen,” she said.

Clothes, home decorations and other household items are available for the county along with help paying utility bills. For anyone needing services in the Wirt County area, contact Kim Honaker at 304-488-3198.