Neighborhood Liaison: Turning Times of Crisis into Stability

A woman walks into St. Stephen’s Community House, shaking and crying uncontrollably. She lets our receptionist know that she is facing an eviction, and that her and her children will be on the street next week. She doesn’t know if there is anything St. Stephen’s can do for her, but we are her last resort. She is immediately seen by Larrilyn, our Neighborhood Liaison, who meets the exhausted woman at a table in the lobby.

The woman explains that she recently lost her job and has not been able to find a new one. She is behind on her utilities and her rent and has run out of options for her and her two children.

By the end of their 30-minute conversation, the woman is no longer crying, and is visibly relieved. Larrilyn was able to pay her rent and utilities for the next month, giving her time to find a new job and get back on her feet.

For Larrilyn, this is just another day, and she will more than likely help many more people in the same

Larrilyn Benton outside of SSCH.

situation before she heads home for the evening.

Creating stability for residents of Linden is something that Larrilyn is especially passionate about, because of the deep roots she has here.

Larrilyn grew up on Joyce avenue, just minutes from St. Stephen’s and attended programming here as a child. She still lives in her childhood home, where she now raises her two sons. Larrilyn remembers spending her summers as a child playing with friends in her neighborhood and walking to Jordan’s Bait Shop to get penny candies.

Jordan’s Bait Shop and the penny candies are long gone, but those aren’t the only changes that Larrilyn has noticed in the neighborhood.

“The neighborhood isn’t the same as it was when I was growing up, I want my kids to have the childhood that I had here, and right now, they can’t.”

Everyday, Larrilyn’s goal is to support Linden residents however she can. As a Neighborhood Liaison, Larrilyn spends her days interacting with the community and providing resources to those in need. One of her most important jobs is making sure that she stays knowledgeable about the resources in the community. If St. Stephen’s does not have a program that a consumer needs, she is able to connect them to other agencies that can assist them. Larrilyn is constantly working in a high stress environment, and while her job can take a toll on her, she continues to serve her community in hopes that Linden can once again become the place she remembers.

“I know how hard-working my community is, and I’ve seen the obstacles they are facing first-hand. The important thing is to create stability so that each person I help can thrive,” said Larrilyn.

Individuals like Larrilyn are essential to our organization, as she not only provides resources but also advocates for those she serves. Because of her involvement with the community, she is able to bring concerns and needs to the attention of our agency, and can ensure that we are providing the necessary tools to create the stability that Linden is striving for.

We are grateful everyday that our agency is filled with compassionate employees that are proud to call Linden home and are invested in strengthening our community.

The following is required to be eligible for rental assistance:

  • Must have a minor living in the home or must be 6+ months pregnant
  • Must have past due rent, past due rent and utilities, or currently experience homelessness.
  • Must be TANF eligible

Please contact us at 614-294-6347 if you meet the above requirements.

Neighborhood Services are funded by Franklin County Jobs and Family Services.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *