The meeting which took place on Dec. 6 marked the one year anniversary and success of the Mesquite Interagency Meeting. “I’m so pleased at the turnout we’ve consistently had this year, the willingness of our attendees to get up and talk about our organizations (we’ve not had to repeat ourselves once), and our continued growth,” said Kimberly Gilbert, psychiatric caseworker at Mesquite Behavioral Health Center and facilitator of MIM.
Before the group was formed, Gilbert had spoken with many people from a variety of non-profit organizations in Mesquite and several agencies in Las Vegas. There was a plethora of information and resources available to the Mesquite community but not all the information could be found in one place. Everyone seemed to agree there was a need for some type of organized meet and greet. Gilbert said they knew networking was vital to effecting positive change in a community and they thought that “interagency meetings” might be the answer so MIM was created.
MIMs are held at First Baptist Church, 700 Hardy Way, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month and are designed to be a way of gathering information on resources that are available to the Mesquite community members.
Several non-profit groups and organizations attend each month, bring a sack lunch and listen to two or three short presentations from speakers who provide information on their organization. Information provided consists of many things such as the services the organization provides, how individuals access services, referral processes, upcoming events, and any needs or supports.
The group has been able to maintain approximately 16 participants each week. Gilbert said they aren’t always the same participants, and there’s sometimes more, which means there’s always variety in the type of information to be gathered at the meetings. Speakers have included folks from NAMI, the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence, Vocational Rehabilitation, Aging and Disability Services (Elder rights representative) and others that provide a plethora of resource information for everyone.
Gilbert and others are very excited that, from the MIM, a sub-group has developed which is working on creating a domestic violence shelter in Mesquite. Gilbert is on that committee along with representatives from the City Attorney’s office, law enforcement, the Salvation Army.
Gilbert said, “Safe Nest representatives have attended both the MIM and the DV sub-group meetings, so that shows the support Mesquite has from other organizations in the Las Vegas area, which is very encouraging; they’re not trying to take over but to support our growth efforts in this community.”
Gilbert says MIM is beneficial to everyone, not just those seeking help for being in a bad situation. Many other organizations and school personnel have found the meetings to be very helpful. The group has had much appreciated attendance and participation from the various organizations whose missions involving helping people in Mesquite gain employment, including Mesquite Works, Voc Rehab, and Workforce Connections (available through the Salvation Army).
Gilbert said, “Personally, I love the turnout that we’ve consistently had, and I greatly appreciate the folks who are regular attendees, as well as the encouragement and support we get from the court system here in Mesquite. I know there’s some work to be done, as there are some institutions who haven’t really responded, but there’s still time; it’s a process. I’m very grateful to First Baptist Church for providing meeting space for us and making us feel very welcome every month! I’m looking forward to another year of growth and connections being made.”
For more information on the MIM and how you can benefit, contact Kimberly Gilbert at Mesquite Behavioral Health Center, 61 Willow St., Suite 4 or by calling 702-346-4696. A copy of the current resource directory can be found online at www.mesquitelocalnews.com.