LAUGHLIN — Town constable Jordan Ross recently became a member of the Neighborhood Council of East Valley Family Services, a group he's already familiar with through his own work.
"East Valley Family Services has really gone above and beyond to help people," said Ross.
The group had been helpful prior to the recession in 2008, but afterward they've continued to work hard to provide for others even once the funding collapsed, he said. They operate on a part time basis, coming down to Laughlin once every other week, he added.
The council consists of members from throughout the community including those from public agencies, former clients who successfully improved their lives and additional volunteers from across Clark County. The council supports staff and the board of directors.
East Valley Family Services is a nonprofit organization that helps families in need. The group helps with Medicare/Medicaid, a family resource center, employment assistance and more.
That's where Ross can help.
As constable, Ross's position is to be a civil enforcement officer. He handles things such as serving jury summons, civil subpoenas, notices, enforcing wage garnishments, evictions and more. He and his staff do work with the justice, state and federal courts.
While that's the focus of his work, he ends up doing more than is planned.
"I roughly spend about 20 percent of my work week on social services," said Ross. "It ends up being mostly helping seniors."
He's worked with with East Valley externally up to this point and has helped the organization with referring people to them if he thought East Valley could help, said Ross. He would send preliminary welfare reports and additional information for his job and has worked cooperatively with East Valley.
His first real assignment with the council is to develop a model for making the most of East Valley's limited resources, said Ross. This means working with public and nonprofit human services organizations.
"East Valley provides an invaluable service," said Ross. They are able to help people in a variety of ways but the biggest obstacle is the fact they can't be in rural locations, like Laughlin, on a daily basis.
The goal with Ross' work is to try and connect East Valley with other rural communities but also with other similar groups and organizations to network and develop work relationships to help residents, said Ross.
"For the foreseeable future we need to work within the budget we have," said Ross in a prepared statement. "There are many valuable programs across numerous human services agencies that rural residents may not be aware of."
While Ross is developing those work relationships, he'll be coming up with a protocol for the agencies and social workers on how and when they can or should connect, he said. It will become a model that East Valley and others can use when working with residents of rural communities.
This process will be beneficial for Ross' work and for East Valley but it's the residents who will really benefit, he said.
"It will be really beneficial for residents because it will mean they will have more information and resources about existing services that can help them," said Ross.