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Community Resources

Community resources are the businesses, public service institutions and charitable organizations that provide assistance and services to the people in their communities. The range of services touches the lives of everyone who lives in a community. Some services impact large parts of the population, such as those provided by public libraries, churches and the post office.

Here is a list of resources that are often found in most communities. Many of these offer free resources.  They all require you do a bit of investigating to find out where they are located.


Food Banks

In many communities there are places that you can go to get free food. They often have certain days or times a week or during the month that you can come and receive help with food. Each food bank may have different requirements such as showing how much income you have or restricting food help to certain populations such as families with small children, etc. You can ask around in your community or use the internet and search for Food banks using the following terms: Food banks or food assistance and then typing the name of your town and state. Example: "Food bank, Springfield, Illinois".

It is often helpful to get familiar with the types of places. Many times they are through churches who offer other types of programs of assistance. With resources now available on the internet often the name and phone number and address of the place will be shown on a map in Google.


Clothing Resources

Another very helpful resource to find in a community are second hand stores. These are places where items are being re-sold that have been used already. So many second hand stores have clothing, items for a house such as bowls, and pots and pans, shoes, and much more. They can also be called Thrift Stores. Make sure that you do a search or ask around for these. Often you can get clothing at a very affordable price through these resources. Also churches sometimes have clothing give-aways at a certain time of the year. You can also find these resources by using the internet and Google resources. If you want to do an internet search for these resources the following key words are helpful. Example: "Springfield, Illinois, thrift stores, second hand shops".


Health Departments - Primary Care
In many health departments, medical staff are available for diagnosing and treating acute and chronic illnesses, and also provide diagnostic testing such as blood pressure screening and pap smears. Special health counseling is provided as needed.


Family Planning
Patients receive a complete physical exam and all appropriate lab tests. Patients are also taught about birth control and may be supplied with a birth control method. Many contraceptive problems can also be treated at all local health departments.


STD Control
The health department provides confidential testing, treatment, and partner notification for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.


Tuberculosis Control
Diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up services for patients with tuberculosis, and their contacts, are provided at health departments. Medication, when needed, is also available.


A nutritionist is available to teach individuals or groups proper nutrition for everyday living. Registered dietitians counsel individuals with special dietary needs such as hypertension, diabetes and weight management.

Adult Education Classes

In most communities there are free classes for adults over the age of 18 that want to study to receive their high school diploma. Adult Education also offers English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Civics classes for those individuals who need to learn to speak, read, and write the English language. 
Programs vary in each area but usually there is some type of program in each community. This is a great resource to learn about and to try to visit if you can. How can you find where these classes are located? The internet is a great place to start. Example of how to search for it: Adult Education Classes, Decatur, Illinois. Make sure to use the name of your own town when you do the search.


Navigating the Community

Places in the Neighborhood Vocabulary



police station

fire station



health department



mechanic shop



post office


in the 

Asking Questions
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