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Social Services

@Decatur Public Library


Click below for a poster listing the 30 rights on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Universal Declarationof Human Rights

Previous Topics

Child Abuse Awareness

Combating child abuse is everyone's responsibility. In 2021, 3.9 million reports were made to child protective services. Take time to educate yourself on the signs of abuse and neglect. Learn to listen with empathy and acknowledge feelings. Avoid expressing anger, asking too many questions, and making promises you can't keep.

Some risk factors, such as substance misuse and poverty, increase the likelihood of abuse, but it can happen at any socio-economic level. So, acknowledge how you can be part of the solution. This can include volunteering your time and offering concrete support in the midst of hardship. It can also look like donating to agencies that support children and families. Or you can become a child advocate, sign up for Safe Families, and spread the word on social media or with families and friends. Don't be afraid to have difficult and educational conversations because it is critical to awareness and prevention.

For more information, visit:

Did you know that 1 in 5 people experience mental health each year? Mental illness affects more than 50 million people each year, and did you know that 60% of your health is determined by where you live? So what can you do to support your mental health and community?

  • First, take time to learn the facts, and Mental Health America is a great starting point:
  • You can spread the word about free mental health screenings online or in person.
  • Contact your elected officials and let them know why access and resources for mental health are essential.
  • Work toward secure and safe housing for all! Advocate for removing safety hazards in the home and community.
  • You can focus on your space. Keeping things tidy, sleep-friendly, well ventilated, and surrounding yourself with calming things.
  • Get outside! Just 10-15 minutes of natural light is proven to impact overall well-being positively.
  • Connect with the community. Support your local businesses to challenge gentrification, be a friendly neighbor, and identify safe places in your community (cafes, parks, places of worship, libraries, etc.).
  • Learn more about how your environment impacts your mind and what you can do at

This issue strikes a nerve for me. I lost a loved one to the horrible disease of Alzheimer's. No person or family should ever endure the pain and heartache this disease can cause. The sad reality is that 6.7 million people are living with Alzheimer's and Dementia; it is listed as the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. It kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. This disease not only takes a toll on the individual but also on caregivers. I have experienced this firsthand, and it is an arduous journey. So, what can we do?

On a macro level, we can advocate and be the voice of many by urging Congress to increase research funding and contacting elected officials about the bipartisan Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer's Act. You can act by going to You can sign up for the Decatur Walk to End Alzheimer's. You can visit us at the library! We will have books available if you want to know more about Alzheimer's and Dementia.

You can also support yourself and encourage others by learning to love your brain! Growing evidence suggests that people can reduce the risk of cognitive decline by incorporating critical lifestyle practices. This includes healthy eating habits, physical and mental exercises, good sleep patterns, and community. For more tips on how to love your brain, go to

For more information please visit:

Often Overdose Awareness is seen as a taboo topic and something we should not discuss, but is that benefiting anyone when an overdose is a leading cause of death for people ages 18 to 45 in America today? Recent increases have been largely driven by illicitly manufactured fentanyl and altered forms of fentanyl. Here are some important things to know:

1. We first need to create a space to allows those to grieve who have lost a loved one to an overdose without fear of stigmatization.
2. Everyone should educate themselves on the signs of overdose. It could save a life. A few to look out for are small "pinpoint" pupils, falling asleep, heading nodding, unconscious, cold skin, and discolored skin (lips/nails).
3. An opioid overdose can be reversed with Naloxone (Narcan). It is easy to use and small to carry, and anyone can use it without medical training or authorization. Naloxone won’t harm someone if they’re overdosing on drugs other than opioids, so it’s always best to use it if you think someone is overdosing. Please don't be a bystander. Take the time to learn so you can save a life.
4. Identify what community resources are available? Both Heritage and Crossings Healthcare have substance use programs.
Heritage provides free Naloxone and safe-use kits for the community.

Suicide is a serious public health concern. In 2021, 12.3 million people seriously thought about suicide, and 1.7 million attempted suicide. People who have experienced violence, including child abuse, bullying, or sexual violence, are at higher risk for suicide. Suicide prevention is everyone's business. You can be the one to help a friend, coworker, or loved one. Let's take time to look for the warning signs and how to get help.

Warning signs:

  • feeling like a burden
  • being isolated
  • extreme mood swings
  • increased substance use
  • talking or posting about wanting to die
  • looking for a way to access lethal weapons and making plans for suicide

How to get help:

  • Ask, keep them safe, and be there
  • Help them connect. Start with the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (call or text 988, or chat at
  • Follow up

Find out how these actions can save a life by visiting

Be sure to stop by the library and check out the display to learn more about how you can play a part in preventing suicide.

Ten million people suffer in silence yearly as an intimate partner in the US abuses them.

Myth: If a victim doesn’t leave, it must not be that bad, or they are okay with how they are being treated.

FACT: Leaving an abusive relationship is extremely difficult. On average, a victim will try to leave an abusive relationship at least eight times before they can leave successfully. Some of the things abusers do to make leaving hard can include creating financial dependence, using children as a coercion tool, making threats of violence or legal retaliation, or using the court system to keep control of a victim even after they leave.

So, what can you do?

  • Be an advocate and provide a safe space.
  • Volunteer at Dove Inc.
  • Take domestic violence prevention and education training through Dove Inc. Classes start in November.
  • You could attend the events put on by Dove Inc. throughout the month of October.
  • Most importantly, report if you see it. Help end the silence.

Myth: People who are homeless should get a job, and then they would not be homeless.

Fact: Many people who are homeless do have jobs, sometimes two or even three. As many as 40%-60% of people experiencing homelessness nationwide are employed. However, a paycheck does not necessarily solve homelessness or other challenges.

  • Many Americans are living on the edge, forced to choose between basic necessities like purchasing food, paying rent, or going to the doctor
  • 37.2 million Americans live below the poverty level.
  • 580,000 Americans are homeless on a typical night.
  • 44 million Americans are at risk of suffering from hunger.
  • 1 in 6 children in the U.S. live in poverty.

What can you do?

  • November 15th is an open house at Homeward Bound 788 E. Clay St.
  • Attend the Dine to Donate at Texas Roadhouse on November 16th
  • November 17th, attend the Walk the Walk by Dove Inc. Get a tour of the city through the eyes of those seeking services. While walking, you will learn about agencies and resources; we will each fill "care bags" to give back.

For information, please visit or Dove’s Facebook page

Local Volunteer Opportunities arrow_forward

Looking for a way to contribute your time and talents to our community? Find a list of local agencies here.

Meet with our Community Resource Coordinator

Looking for a dependable source of information about and assistance with healthcare, housing, food and more? Set up a confidential appointment with the library Social Worker today! All assistance is free and available to the public.

Assistance and referrals for the following:

  • Food
  • Housing
  • Legal Assistance
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare Rx Assistance
  • SNAP (Food Stamps)
  • Veterans Benefits
  • Vision/Dental Needs

Make an appointment

Laundry and Shower Facilities arrow_forward

OASIS Day Center currently provides laundry and shower facilities by appointment only. Call 422-3940 M-F 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Local Resources

Employment Resources

Find out all you need to know to find a job, including improving your computer skills.

Financial Resources

Find information about rent and utilities assistance as well as programs to help families get out of debt and poverty.

Food Resources

Find out when and where Decatur food pantries and soup kitchens are available.

Healthcare Resources

Medical resources in Decatur for hospitals, doctors, dental/vision, family health needs and department of health.


Housing Resources in Decatur for men, women, children and those needing transitional housing, emergency shelter or housing assitance.

Legal and Government Resources

Resources regarding legal services for low-income clients, legal assistance hotline, and local government information.


Local resources for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, all other sexual and gender minorities, their families and friends.

Mental Health Resources

Decatur has many resources and counseling services for those struggling with, or are family members of those battling substance abuse, domestic violence and sexual abuse.


Information on public transportation throughout Decatur as well as ADA accessible rides and medical transportation providers.

Seniors Resources

Local information for senior citizens looking for housing possibilities and other daily resources.

Edits to Local Agency Information

Please refer to the link below year round so that your organization can update us on changes to service offerings at any time. Find it here:

Submit Agency Changes