Hancock Resource Center and Hancock Youth for Positive Efforts hosted a Community Resource Fair for Hancock County residents on April 06, 2017. Local organizations and non-profit agencies with information about their no-cost or low-cost services and programs were on hand. Many community members came out for a day of free food, door prizes, education and awareness. The Easter Bunny came out to visit the kids and assisted with children's activities. HRC and HYPE were able to make this event a success by organizations attending and donations provided by local businesses. HRC and HYPE would like to send a special thank you to Little Caesars Bay St. Louis, Dominoes Bay St. Louis, Pizza Hut Bay St. Louis, Subway Bay St. Louis, Claiborne Hill Supermarket Waveland, Beacon Theatres, Beacon Wacky Wings N' Things, St. Rose De Lima Church, Southern Care Hospice Picayune, American Red Cross Southeast MS chapter, MS State Health Department, The King's Kitchen, Bay St. Louis Lions Club, Gulf Coast Health Educators, Southern Mississippi Planning Development, Renaissance Community Loan Fund, Gulf Coast Mental Health Center, Catholic Charities Diocese of Biloxi, United Way of South Mississippi, Feeding the Gulf Coast, MS Center for Legal Services, Alcoholic Anonymous, Children's International Medical Group, Pearl River Valley Opportunities, INC Bay St. Louis and Hancock County Emergency Management Agency.
Hancock Resource Center and Hancock Youth for Positive Efforts is hosting a Community Resource Fair for Hancock County residents. Local organizations and non-profit agencies with information about their no-cost or low-cost services and programs will be on hand. Join us for education and awareness, free food, door prizes and kids activities with the Easter Bunny. Admission is Free. Looking forward to seeing you on April 6th!
Hancock Resource Center is a Nonprofit Community Development Corporation with a mission to stabilize families and strengthen the community by addressing obstacles and barriers to housing. HRC is currently looking to fill volunteer board positions with community members who share an interest in Hancock Resource Center’s mission or have a particular interest in one of Hancock Resource Center's programs.
Homebuyer and Mortgage Preparation Counseling- Clients that are purchasing or refinancing a home receive one-on-one counseling from nationally certified Housing Counselors to determine affordability and mortgage readiness. HRC is a qualified provider of high-cost mortgage counseling, required by HUD before a high-cost mortgage can close.
Nationally Certified Foreclosure Counselors- HRC works with families to help navigate the default and delinquency process helping them to determine what default resolutions are available.
Post-purchase Home Maintenance and Energy Counseling- HRC’s certified BPI Analyst provides one-on-one customized counseling and education specific to the energy-efficient features installed in the home or energy-savings measures that can be instituted.
Homelessness Solutions- HRC is part of the MS 503 Continuum of Care (CoC) serving the Mississippi Gulf Coast and works through a Coordinated Entry System to identify those that are literally homeless, prioritize the needs and serve those individuals and families with a number of resources.
Rental Assistance with Case Management- HRC helps eligible families with an array of services, including financial assistance, budget counseling, advocacy services, referrals to needed services, and housing search assistance with limited financial assistance to prevent homelessness. Rental counseling assist clients to locate affordable rental housing and provides tenant education.
Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)- Very low-income eligible Veteran families receive a host of supportive services and case management, including temporary financial assistance, to promote housing stability on a sustainable basis. In 2015, HRC was recognized with the CoC by the Veterans’ Administration and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness for effectively ending Veteran homelessness on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. SSVF staff continue to work to limit Veteran homeless episodes to infrequent, rare and short durations.
Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP)- Eligible Veterans receive employment counseling and job-driven training services as well as job placement and follow-up assistance to help maintain housing stability over the long term.
Transitional Housing for Domestic Violence Survivors- Victims of domestic violence can get help with a temporary safe haven, childcare, education, legal and transportation assistance, while housing counselors help you find and maintain long-term housing.
Family Advocacy Navigator Program- The Navigator program is family-centered, recovery-oriented (from the crisis causing the children to be removed) service delivery model to help families stabilize, prioritize their children and focus on the importance reunification. Hancock Resource Center’s Navigator program works with parents to help them navigate the CPS and Youth Court systems. Case managers assist parents to develop a prioritized list of tasks and then connect with community resources to get these tasks accomplished.
Housing Rehab and Repair- Provides grant and low-interest loans and construction management to complete exterior and interior repairs such as roofing, siding, painting, plumbing, electrical, and heating systems for elderly, disabled or very low income homeowners. HRC improves about 40 homes per year in primarily Hancock County, but can also serve some areas in Harrison County.
Energy Wise Weatherization Program- Helps low-income residents reduce energy costs including improvements such as weather stripping, insulation and other repairs/upgrades that may reduce energy bills.
Hancock Youth Leadership Academy (HYLA)- Empowers today’s youth to be the leaders of tomorrow, promoting the development of character, courage, and service through civic commitment. Separate programs for eighth grade and eleventh grade students are offered each year by the Hancock Youth Leadership Academy and focus on preparing youth for leadership roles and opportunities, now and in the future. There are 22 eighth graders and 25 high school juniors in the 2017 class.
Drug Free Community Support Program and Hancock Youth for Positive Efforts (HYPE)- Hancock Resource Center works as part of the Hancock Community Coalition to combat substance abuse in our community through awareness and prevention programs for youth. Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in 2017, this program seeks to decrease substance use in the next generation through leadership and positive social norming with youth in grades 6-12.
Holiday Assistance- By partnering with The Salvation Army, the United States Marine Corp Toys for Tots and Hope Haven Children’s Services, HRC provides help with Christmas gifts and food for eligible families. In 2016, HRC served more than 300 children in the community.
Disaster Readiness & Response- Provides the tools, emergency numbers, evacuation routes, and CPR training to help save lives and minimize property damage. HRC has been designated as the county’s Disaster Recovery Organization (DRO). After a disaster, the Hancock Resource Center works closely with the Emergency Operations Center to provide damage assessment, emergency supplies such as food, water, and tarps, and to coordinate the volunteer response.
Community Education Classes offered include
First-Time Homebuyers- Assist the homebuyer through the entire process, from potential down payment assistance to the best type of loan, including how to hire a home inspector and the “must do’s” of a home inspection, as well as how to budget to maintain the new home.
Credit Counseling- Good credit is needed for just about everything; from buying or leasing a home to educational loans to landing that new job. Household Budget- Certified counselors can teach ways to manage income and expenses.
Maintain your Home- Teaches how to make necessary repairs, and prepare for the ongoing cost of homeownership. A properly maintained home is safer and requires fewer repairs, saving tons of money in the long run. Other topics include: how to prevent foreclosure and how to be a good neighbor for a more enjoyable homeownership experience and sense of community.
GET A JOB--Resume Writing and Interview Skills- Learn how to build your resume to best represent yourself in this increasingly competitive job market and how to improve your skills throughout the interview process.
Basic Computers Skills- Build knowledge and skills with computers and the Internet. This course is divided into four separate modules: Computer Skills; E-Mail Skills; Word Processing Skills and Web Skills.
HRC has a particular interest to include those that have been homeless and Veterans as part of the governing body. Anyone interested in working toward a strong community through service on the HRC Board, please send any questions and qualifications to Rhonda Rhodes at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Rhonda Rhodes at 228-463-8887.
The Hancock Youth Leadership Academy (HYLA) held a graduation ceremony for its fourth class of high school seniors on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at the Bay St. Louis Community Hall. Dr. Samuel Jones, Dean of Students at Jones Community College was the guest speaker. Dr. Jones is also the author of two books and an inspirational speaker. The graduation marks the end of a year-long program that the students began as juniors in high school. Over the course of the past year, HYLA students developed and sharpened leadership skills though training sessions that included such topics as how to affect change, civic engagement, career planning and budgeting, economic development and entrepreneurship, college planning on an overnight "college cruise,” community assets, and diversity, safety, and wellness on campus.
“We are always amazed at how different each class is! This was an incredible group of students that we will miss greatly. Watching them grow and develop leadership skills over this past year has been very rewarding," said Rhonda Rhodes, President of the Hancock Resource Center, who founded the Hancock Youth Leadership Academy in 2012.
Brooke Ladner and Dimetri Lyons were the recipients of $250 scholarships that will be paid to the participants’ colleges once enrolled. Brooke Ladner attends Hancock High School and plans on attending Mississippi College in the fall. She credits HYLA with “allowing her meet new people and helping her to get out of her comfort zone.” Dimetri Lyons attends Bay High School and is undecided at this time on which college he will attend. He learned “how to work with others in difficult situations.” Pictured from left to right, Dimetri Lyons (Bay High), Rhonda Rhodes, Director, and Brooke Ladner (Hancock High)
The 2016 HYLA graduating class are pictured from left to right: (Front row) Claire Lundgren (OLA), Talia Jackson (Bay High), Haley Akers (Hancock), Ariana Rusher (Hancock), Abby Ladner (OLA), Dr. Samuel Jones, Amy Keith (Hancock), Aidia Suter (Bay High), Marie Konopacki (Hancock), Adara Rutherford (Hancock). (Middle row) Dimetri Lyons (Bay High), Jill Seymour (Bay High), Jasmine Martin (Hancock), Kloe Lloyd (OLA), Jordan Ladner (Hancock High), Tarah Necaise (Bay High), Katie Ladner (Hancock), Morgan Lacoste (Hancock), Elora Pierce (Bay High), Minerva Alonso (Bay High), Cooper Compretta (Bay High). (Back row) Drew Burnett (SSC), Seth Taylor (SSC), Brooke Ladner (Hancock), Tim Papania (Hancock), Bradley Lewis (Hancock), Andrew Elkins (SSC), Corbin Blanchard (SSC), and Cody Peranich (SSC).
The Hancock Youth Leadership Academy is the first county-wide youth leadership program in Hancock County and is a program of the Hancock Resource Center. Founded in 2008, the Hancock Resource Center (HRC) is a local nonprofit and HUD-approved counseling agency that works to improve housing conditions throughout Hancock County by fostering affordable homeownership, helping to repair or replace damaged homes, and providing foreclosure and homelessness prevention counseling. HRC also fosters community development programs, including HYLA, and provides counseling and case management services and assistance for a variety of community issues, including domestic violence, debt counseling, and disaster recovery.
HRC is a 501(c)(3) public charity that accepts donations to further its mission.
Hancock Resource Center extends a sincere thank you to those who made Operation Chicken Drop such a a success! The fun-filled afternoon would not have been possible without the support of our Event Sponsors:
Buoys Bar & Grill
We also wish to acknowledge the generosity of the following individual and/or business donors who gave of their time, talent, or treasure:
Island Strikz Bowling
Uncle Joes’ Pizza & Wings
Altitude Trampoline Park
ZIP'N Fun Adventure Park
Cuz's Old Town Oyster Bar & Grill
Third Base Bar & Grill
Waveland Discount Wine
Italian Garden Restaurant
Pharmacy in Diamondhead
Pharmacy in the Bay
Silver Slipper Casino
Ray’s Quick Lube
Bert Burr Photography
32 Degrees Yogurt
Roger's Sports Bar & Grill
Knock Knock Oyster Bar
Sideways Sport Bar & Grill
Margaritaville Resort Biloxi
Marble Slab Creamery
Amy Lynn Photography
Hancock County Youth Court Judge Elise Deano
Ruth’s Roots Community Garden
Spacewalks of Bay St. Louis
And a great big THANK YOU to all who bought squares on the chicken drop board. We can't wait to see you again next year!!
Registration for The 2016 Salvation Army Angel Tree Christmas Assistance Ministry Program will take place from October 25-27 and from November 1-3 during the hours of 10am-4pm at Hancock Resource Center offices, located at 308 Highway 90, Suite D in Waveland (behind McDonald’s and facing the movie theater).
Families with children from live birth to 12 years of age (at the time of registration) are eligible for the Christmas gift program. A parent or legal guardian must apply for their own children (documentation is required if not listed on birth certificate) and the person applying must bring a valid photo identification card and proof of Hancock County residency. State-issued, certified birth certificates for all children are required at time of registration. Applicant must bring documented proof of income and expenses.
Interested families should call HRC to make an appointment; walk-ins will be assisted based on availability. Families who received assistance through the 2015 program must attend one of HRC’s community education classes before their angels go out for adoption; applicants will receive the class schedule and be able to choose a class and time that is most appropriate to their needs. To view the class schedule in advance, please visit HRC’s calendar at http://www.hancockhrc.org/calendar.html or call the office to inquire.
The Salvation Army Angel Tree Christmas Assistance Ministry Program in Hancock County is made possible through the coordination provided by Hancock Resource Center and Hope Haven Children’s Services and by the generous donations of time and treasure by the many volunteers who work tirelessly to bring a bright holiday season to our county’s children. If you are interested in volunteering to work registration, distribution, or adopting an angel, please contact the Hancock Resource Center at 228-463-8887.
The Hancock Youth Leadership Academy (HYLA) High School Program Class of 2016 embarked on a college cruise on September 20th and 21st in order to tour state colleges and universities and get a glimpse of higher education opportunities in the state. “The college cruise provides our young leaders with the opportunity to see what Mississippi has to offer in the college arena. Many of the students have not yet had the chance to visit or tour the campuses and learn about their programs,” says director Rhonda Rhodes.
On September 20, 2016, the group traveled to University of Southern Mississippi where they met with counselors to discuss the admissions and scholarship application process. They also met with faculty from the College of Nursing and then toured the Clinical Simulation lab. There, the students were faced with a mock “code red” and were able to resuscitate the SIM back to life. The visit was complete with a tour of the entire campus and lunch at the Fresh Food Company.
From Hattiesburg, the leadership group traveled to Oxford and spent the night at The Inn at Ole Miss. Students were able the walk around The Square and ate dinner at the Old Venice Pizza Company. The next morning the group met with University of Mississippi Admissions Director, Whitman Smith, who stressed the importance of choosing the right college based on the students’ needs and highlighted what the university has to offer. Students were treated to a campus tour which included an up-close look at The Center for Manufacturing Excellence and the Meek School of Journalism.
From Oxford, the tour continued on to Starkville to tour the campus of Mississippi State University. Admissions greeted the students and introduced them to the wide variety of programs offered by Mississippi State. Students then toured the College of Veterinary Medicine where they were able to see firsthand how a high quality learning experience is balanced with advancing research while simultaneously serving the community through clinical care. The Leo Seal, Jr. Football Complex was next on the tour, where students were able to walk through the locker rooms and workout facility and observed the Bulldogs on their practice field. The day ended with dinner at the Fresh Food Company.
The 2016 HYLA High School Class is comprised of twenty-nine high school juniors from Hancock County who represent all four area schools. Applications for the 2017 junior high and high school classes are currently being accepted. Applications are available through all area schools, on the Hancock Resource Center website, www.hancockhrc.org, or by calling 228-463-8887. HYLA staff will hold a workshop for interested high school applicants on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. in the Hancock Resource Center office, located at 308 Highway 90, Suite D in Waveland (behind McDonald’s, across from the movie theater). This workshop will cover in detail the application and interview process as well as expectations for personal statement submission. The deadline for submission of applications for both the junior high and high school programs is no later than 4 p.m., Monday, October 24, 2016. Contact Rhonda Rhodes or Paige Lundgren for more information, 228-463-8887.
Picture: HYLA students at the Meek School of Journalism at the University of Mississippi.
Front row (left to right) – Ed Meek, Rhonda Rhodes (Director), Amy Keith (Hancock), Marie Konopacki (Hancock), Abby Ladner (OLA), Haley Akers (Hancock), Ariana Rusher (Hancock), Jill Seymour (Bay High), Morgan Lacoste (Hancock).
2nd row (left to right) – Jasmine Martin (Hancock), Brooke Rasco (Hancock), Katie Ladner (Hancock), Talia Jackson (Bay High), Tarah Necaise (Bay High), Paige Lundgren (Program Coordinator).
3rd row – Aidia Suter (Bay High), Elora Pierce (Bay High), Jordan Ladner (Hancock), Minerva Alonso (Bay High), Claire Lundgren (OLA), Brooke Ladner (Hancock)
4th row – Adara Rutherford (Hancock), Cooper Compretta (Bay High), Dimetri Lyons (Bay High), Bradley Lewis (Hancock), Drew Burnett (SSC),
5th Row – Tim Papania (Hancock), Seth Taylor (SSC), Cody Peranich (SSC), Corbin Blanchard (SSC), Andrew Elkins (SSC).
The Hancock Youth Leadership Academy (HYLA) held a graduation ceremony for its fifth class of junior high students on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at St. Clare’s Community Center. The graduation was the culmination of a program that began in January. Twenty-two bright young students displaying strong leadership potential from all four area middle schools were chosen through a rigorous selection process to participate in the program. Over the course of the last few months, HYLA students engaged in a series of sessions that developed and strengthened their self-awareness and leadership styles, exposed them to local government and county and municipal administration to promote civic engagement, increased their awareness of the importance of small business and industry to the health of the community, and demonstrated the role of the arts in sustaining a community’s culture.
The graduation ceremony was held immediately after the final session of the program. To start the day, the young leaders completed service projects that they planned. One project included a pet supply drive for the Hancock County Animal Shelter. The students presented the goods collected to the shelter and then helped clean kennels while providing affection to the animals housed at the shelter. Another group of students travelled to Buccaneer State Park and cleaned the “Pirate’s Alley” nature trail. The students picked up trash, trimmed bushes, and moved fallen branches from the trail. The third group of students made blankets and delivered them to senior citizens at Dunbar Nursing Home. There, the visited with the residents and participated in exercise activities with them.
Also during this session, the students learned first-hand what services and resources were available in the community by meeting with agency representatives of local non-profits such as the Hancock Resource Center, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Gerard Community Outreach, Hancock County Food Pantry, The WIN Job Center, and Coastal Family Health Center. These middle-schoolers not only performed service in the community, but learned the value of that service by engaging with the agencies to understand the complex situations faced by the many families who interact with the social service system. This session’s activities provided the springboard to launch the students from the program, as they are now set to enter high school as young leaders with cultural sensitivity and a firm understanding of their community’s assets and resources.
“It has been such an honor to share this part of their journey in becoming our county’s leaders of tomorrow. Service is such an important aspect of leadership development and I could not be more pleased that they took their projects so seriously,” said Rhonda Rhodes, President of the Hancock Resource Center, who founded the Hancock Youth Leadership Academy in 2012.
The Hancock Youth Leadership Academy is the first county-wide youth leadership program in Hancock County. HYLA extends sincere appreciation to the generous sponsors of the 2016 program Alexander, Van Loon, Sloan, Levens & Favre, Susan Williams Allen, Friends of David Baria, Charles B. Benvenutti, CPA PA, Brehm Bell, Bell Electric, James J. Chiniche, P.A. Inc., Compton Engineering/Mickey Lagasse, JP Compretta, Diamondhead Dental Clinic, Dubuisson Properties, LLC, Edmond Fahey Funeral Home, Hancock Bank, Leslie and Mark Henderson, A friend of HYLA, Hope Haven Children’s Services, Keesler FCU, The First, A National Banking Association, Silver Slipper Casino, Southern Printing & Silkscreening, South Group Insurance, Triton Systems, Inc., Harrison Williams, Henry Winters, RPM Pizza LLC – Domino’s, Waveland Walmart, Bay Waveland Middle School, Hancock Middle School, Our Lady Academy, and Saint Stanislaus College Prep.
Picture: Joshua Cothen (B/W Middle), Sebastian Fausett (Hancock Middle), Alexa Hardie (Hancock Middle), Rose Khadaroo (Hancock Middle), Sophia Compretta (OLA), Brooke Rogers (OLA), Macie Firchau (Hancock Middle), Tommy Gilbert (Hancock Middle), Kyle Capo (St. Stanislaus), Drew West (St. Stanislaus), Parker Quandt (St. Stanislaus), Olivia Dosda (Hancock Middle), Samantha Broussard (OLA), Sidney Henry (B/W Middle), Amelia Haynes (B/W Middle), Hayden Matheson (OLA), Emily Perniciaro (OLA), Isabella Clogher (OLA), Camille Schafer (OLA), Landon Ladner (Hancock Middle), Easton Logan (St. Stanislaus), and Riley Welsh (Hancock Middle).
The Hancock Youth Leadership Academy (HYLA) High School Program Class of 2016 spent their most recent session learning about local governments in the area. They visited with elected officials of Hancock County and its three municipalities and learned important lessons regarding congressional politics.
The 2016 HYLA High School Class is comprised of 29 eleventh graders from Hancock County who represent all four area high schools. On Wednesday, May 4th, the high school leaders embarked on their fifth session, sponsored by Compton Engineering, by meeting City and County officials in the new Annex Building. The students interacted here with Chancery Clerk Tim Kellar, Mayors Les Fillingame (Bay St. Louis), Mike Smith (Waveland), Thomas Schafer (Diamondhead) and Supervisor Blaine Lafontaine. The students submitted questions in advance which the mayors and supervisors addressed and also took questions from the floor. These young leaders learned about the intricacies of local government directly from city and county leaders.
Next on the agenda was a visit with Retired (US Airforce) Master Sergeant David Motz and Retired (US Airforce) Major Dick Brown who gave a moving presentation about their years of military service to our country. They both impressed upon the young leaders the necessity of service both locally in their community and nationally.
HYLA students were then immersed in an active learning process conducted by Tyson Elbert, research associate at the John C. Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development at Mississippi State University. Mr. Elbert engaged the young leaders in a simulation of the congressional election process. By using this simulation, the students gained a solid understanding of how congressional elections are conducted and of what determines who wins and loses these contests. By "playing along" with the election, they learned to choose among different strategic options for the campaigns, affording them the opportunity to understand the complexities of the election process and how decisions made throughout the course of the term ultimately affect the next election’s outcome. At the end of the process, students anxiously awaited election results to find out if their candidate would be heading back to Washington or remaining in their home district.
After visiting the Mississippi State Capitol in February, HYLA students further enhanced their knowledge this session of how government works on the local, state, and national levels and increased their understanding of how the political process affects decision making in the various contexts.
The Hancock Youth Leadership Academy is the first and only county-wide youth leadership program in Hancock County, and is a program of The Hancock Resource Center. Moving forward, local community sponsorships are needed. Please consider sponsoring a session or making a general donation to support the ongoing operation of the Hancock Youth Leadership Academy. Invest in Hancock County’s future by cultivating its next generation of leaders: visit www.hancockhrc.org or call 228-463-8887 to learn how.
Picture -- Back Row (left to right): Cody Peranich (SSC), Corbin Blanchard (SSC), Tim Papania (Hancock), Seth Taylor (SSC), Bradley Lewis (Hancock), Drew Burnett (SSC), Andrew Elkins (SSC).
Middle Row: Jill Seymour (Bay High), Kloe Lloyd (OLA), Morgan Lacoste (Hancock), Minerva Alonso (Bay High), Katie Ladner (Hancock), Jordan Ladner (Hancock), Adara Rutherford (Hancock), Brooke Rasco (Hancock), Aidia Suter (Bay High), Claire Lundgren (OLA), Cooper Compretta (Bay High), Tarah Necaise (Bay High), Elora Pierce (Bay High), Dimetri Lyons (Bay High).
Front Row: Abby Ladner (OLA), Ariana Rusher (Hancock), Haley Akers (Hancock), Marie Konopacki (Hancock), Amy Keith (Hancock), Talia Jackson (Bay High), Jasmine Martin (Hancock) and Brooke Ladner (Hancock)
Seated: Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame, Hancock County Chancery Clerk Tim Kellar, Hancock County Supervisor Blaine Lafontaine, and Waveland Mayor Mike Smith.