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Marshalltown library providing visitors more than just books, now offers social services

The Marshalltown Public Library has a new program where a social worker is stationed at the library and helps connect people to different resources.

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — A new program in Marshalltown is helping those in need in at an unlikely setting: the library.

The program is called Community Connections River of Hope and utilizes a social worker to connect community members to what they need most.

It's a partnership between the Marshalltown Public Library and Iowa River Hospice.

Jennifer Ford, the licensed social worker who works at Iowa River Hospice volunteers her time to work on the program. She offers her services every third Tuesday of the month to those in need, from 2-4 p.m.

This includes counseling and connecting those in need to vital resources to help them move past the struggles they are facing.  

"Helping them find housing, helping them with filling out paperwork for Medicaid and Medicare," Ford said.

"Today's library is much more than the place where the books live We are a community center," Marshalltown Public Library Director Sarah Rosenblum said. "We are a community hub. We are, especially in our small towns."

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The program started last month and has helped a few people already.

Ford is hoping to grow this volunteer program into something bigger and help more people along the way. 

"Just to do holistic care and enabling the community with support and love, and then just trying to help each individual in our community become the best version of themselves," she said. 

Walk-ins are welcomed, but a reservation to see the social worker is preferred. To do that call 641-754-5738 and press 4.

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