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Discover Fauquier October 2019
30
Yesenia Reyes loves helping people, and
she gets to do that all day long in her role
as the PATH Community Link manager.
After five years of working in Community
Outreach at Fauquier Hospital, Yesenia
naturally transitioned into her current
position with the PATH Foundation,
a philanthropic charitable foundation
serving Fauquier, Rappahannock and
northern Culpeper counties.
Yesenia created and now runs PATH
Community Link, a free and confidential
call center that connects community
members with services and resources
available from local organizations. In
this role, Yesenia manages and updates
all of the information she gathers from
her forays into the community. "Since
our inception, we have consistently
heard that our community needed
one central location to call and find
out what resources are available,"
Yesenia explains. They launched the
Community Link call center in August
2018 to respond to that need so they
can connect community members to the
multitude of great resources in our area.
At the same time, they help nonprofit
organizations carry out their missions
by linking them to individuals in need of
particular services or resources.
Since January 2018, this George Mason
University graduate has been conducting
research, getting out into the community,
and networking with local nonprofits.
As the communication chair for the
Partnership for Community Resources
(PCR) committee, an informal group
of staff and volunteers from numerous
government, nonprofit, and for-profit
human services agencies in and near
Fauquier County, Yesenia attends
monthly meetings, gathers information,
and keeps up with everything that is
going on in our area. She also manages
PCR's email distribution list, which
contains over 300 contacts!
When not sitting in meetings, Yesenia
is busy taking calls from local residents.
"Most people call with a specific need,
but sometimes they just need to talk," she
explains. "My job is to listen, gain trust,
and dig deeper to get the whole story. I
would like to be able to meet all of their
needs rather than just putting a band-
aid on the problem.
Sometimes individuals
call about needing food,
but through the course
of the conversation,
I discover they also
need c lothing and
furniture. I direct them
to the best resources
for the help they need." Yesenia also
follows up afterwards to ensure all needs
have been met, a level of service that
surprises most people and shows that
she really cares.
As a bilingual first-generation American,
Yesenia speaks fluent Spanish, often
using it to help her clients in immeasurable
ways. If her caller speaks limited English,
Yesenia offers to make the follow-up calls
to assisting organizations herself, acting
as intermediary. She will even attend
doctor's appointments at the Fauquier
Free Clinic and translate as needed.
This added benefit is also great for the
organizations since she helps facilitate
the process.
The needs in our community are vast,
including finding support groups,
classes, healthcare, addiction support,
transportation, mental health care, burial
assistance, veterans' benefits, and aging
services. Yesenia notes that affordable
housing is the number one need in our
area; currently there is a three-year
waiting list for Section 8 Housing. In the
meantime, she does her best to search
for and connect community members
to affordable alternatives, including
shelters and private listings.
Sometimes the requests are completely
random. Yesenia remembers a call
requesting lice medication and detergent,
which she was able to procure. The
work keeps her busy, but she genuinely
enjoys helping people. "When I hear
about a need, I just keep digging and
researching to find a solution," Yesenia
says. "It is so rewarding!"
PATH Community Link is available
toll-free, Monday through Friday,
from 9:00 a.m.5:00 p.m. To learn more,
call (855) 495-LINK (5465).
~ Lynnette Esse
Community Link can provide
a number of resources on a
variety of topics, including:
Abuse
Access to Health/Healthcare
Addiction/Dependency
Animals
Art & Culture
Child/Youth Health
Childcare
Chronic Disease Management
Classes
Clothing
Dental Care
Developmental Disability
Education/Schools
Emergency Services
Employment/Job Training
Family Services
Financial Assistance
Food/Nutrition
Home Health/In-Home Care
Home Repairs and
Weatherization
Hospice Care
Housing/Homelessness/Shelters
Legal/Law Enforcement
Low Income
Medical Equipment
Mental Health
Physical Disability
Senior Services/Aging
Sports
Support Groups
Transportation
Veteran Services
Volunteering/Public Service
Women's Services
Youth Services
Yesenia Reyes
PATH Community Link:
Resources that are More than Just a Band-Aid
I f yo u h ave a
h o b b y -- a n d
who doesn't?--
m a k e s u r e t o
stop by Virginia
Hobbies Etc. on
Main Street in Old
Town Warrenton.
The shop moved
here nearly two
years ago after
five years in the
Warrenton Village
Center, and owner Burrell Spindel loves
the atmosphere.
Burrell grew up in Carmel, New York, which
at the time was "a one traffic-light town,"
he says with a smile. He has quite a few
hobbies himself, including toy trains, slot
cars, and radio-controlled cars. Burrell long
thought he'd like to own a hobby shop in
his retirement, but then realized he didn't
need to wait that long. His career in hobbies
began 35 years ago, and he has never
looked back.
Understanding that some hobbies have
a regular, long-term following and others
develop and become popular over time,
Burrell strives to be a full-service shop,
offering a broad range of items. From the old
(GI Joe dolls still in the box, antique fire truck
models) to the new (radio-controlled vehicles,
drones), you'll likely find something to pique
your interest here, whether you're into dolls,
science crafts, models, or something else.
The shop recently became an exclusive
dealer for Traxxas, a well-respected,
family-owned business that features radio-
controlled vehicles, including cars, trucks
(monster, short-course, stadium), and boats.
This means that the shop has access to
items that aren't available online. Burrell
notes that one of the hottest items is the
X-Maxx
, a two-foot-long 4-wheel drive
vehicle that can even tow a car!
If you want to add to a current hobby or
are thinking about launching a new one,
there's no substitute for seeing items in
person, especially with a professional who
can offer details and advice. Burrell will
be out on Main Street during 1st Friday
(October 4) demonstrating some of his
great products. To learn more, stop by the
shop or call (540) 347-9212.
Something for
Everyone at
Virginia Hobbies, Etc.
FOCUS
ON BUSINESS
Burrell Spindel
~ Nancy Griffin-Bonnaire
jar 1019
Discover Fauquier