The Mandel Public Library in West Palm Beach recently expanded its range of free community resources and services to support the community amid the ongoing COVID pandemic. The library will help provide access to critical food and housing resources, job and interview training, homework assistance, weekend meals for families, and much more.
“Libraries have always played an important role in supporting literacy and academic achievement. However, we are further committed to support our community’s overall health and wellbeing,” said Lisa Hathaway, director of the Mandel Public Library. “From food bank partnerships to helping with housing, shelter and mental health services, we provide support at no cost when people need it most.”
For those who can’t make the trip to downtown, the library’s new WiFi-enabled MandelMobile minivan travels to communities in the north and south ends of the city, bringing connectivity and assistance to families in need. The minivan provides on-site broadband access, as well as laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots that can be borrowed. The mobile team also offers help with learning, providing area children and teens assistance and encouragement with their studies, along with nutritious snacks. Adults are able to take advantage of job programs that assist with job applications, resume building, and ESOL tutoring to improve English language skills. Check the library’s website for the latest schedule.
The City of West Palm Beach will use the library as an accessible space to offer consulting on key community resources, including housing, food, and mental health services. Kevin Jones, Coordinator of Community Initiatives, will be on the library’s fourth floor to help during the following hours: Mondays from 3-5 p.m., Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon, Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon, and Thursdays from 3-5 p.m.
To fill the nutritional gaps that children face on the weekends, the library has partnered with the Palm Beach County Food Bank Lois’ Food4Kids to provide children ages 5 to 12 with one bag of food that includes two drinks, two breakfasts, two lunches, two snacks, and one family dinner. Pickup is available on Friday afternoons in the library’s third floor KidsSpace. The food bank will also provide community benefits support to assist those applying for SNAP and Medicaid. Residents are welcome to schedule an appointment with Mario Mendez from the Food Bank, by calling (561) 345-5085 or email Mario@pbcfoodbank.org.
Career Coach Kathy Shabotynskyj will set up shop at the library to help visitors update résumés, get tips on interviewing, and plan for their next career move. The library also welcomes CareerSource on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. where bilingual (English and Spanish) staff can help with resume guidance, interview preparation, digital literacy, and more.
For more information and the latest schedule for these and more programs and services, click here or call (561) 868-7701.