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Mayors Conference Organizes Riverbank Non-Profit Groups
Non  Profits 1
Riverbank Mayor Richard D. OBrien hosted his third conference for local non-profit community partners recently at the Community Center. Participants included representatives of area churches and other organizations, city staff and elected officials, with the discussion centering around efforts to help local homeless people. Ric McGinnis/The News

Riverbank Mayor Richard O’Brien continued his efforts this past week to coordinate local non-profit organizations so they might work together and avoid duplicating their work. It was the Third Annual Non-Profit/Community Partner Roundtable that the mayor has hosted.

Representatives from those organizations included people from local churches, community service groups, city staff and elected officials, as well as everyday citizens.

Although there were differing interests expressed by participants, most of the discussion focused on local homeless issues. The speakers mentioned how their groups help out, but noted there has been no focused effort in the county.

Some pointed out that governmental services seem concentrated in Modesto, with people in Riverbank who need them having no way to get to them.

Mayor O’Brien told the group that the county, which receives funding from the federal government to meet these needs, is working to expand what it offers to outlying towns.

What stands out as an accomplishment from this most recent meeting, especially compared to the previous two, is a recognition that these groups need to work together more often than just at a once-a-year meeting.

O’Brien scheduled a sub-group meeting on issues of the homeless and near homeless here for Thursday, Feb. 15, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., with another set for March 15 as well.

Another thing the group agreed upon was the need to stay in touch, coordinating calendars so that member events scheduled did not conflict with each other.

Carlos Verduzco, current president of the Friends of Jacob Myers Park, volunteered to start and maintain a Facebook page. By the next day, he had it up and running, called the Riverbank Community Involvement Group.

Next up for the Mayor will be his State of the City address, scheduled this year for Thursday, Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m. in the Riverbank Community Center, 3600 Santa Fe St.