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S.O.S. answers call for helpful resource

A battered woman needs shelter. An elderly man needs meals delivered to his home because he can't cook for himself and his wife. A landlord is unjustly evicting a family, but the family can't afford to hire a lawyer and fight back.

Those problems, and others like them, are unfortunate parts of life. And Citrus County is rich with volunteers and professionals who help residents work through such crises.

But when you need the help, how do you find it? Look in the telephone book? Ask a friend?

Thanks to the Leadership Citrus Class of 1996, people now can look in one place: the S.O.S. pamphlet.

Short for "Source of Services," the S.O.S. pamphlet lists the names and telephone numbers of various social service agencies. The agencies are listed under categories such as "abuse," "bereavement," "delivered meals" and "legal services."

The pamphlet is free and is available _ or soon will be available _ at many food and thrift stores. They also will be available at Citrus County Sheriff's Office substations.

Leadership Citrus is a program through which community leaders learn more about the county's history, education system, industry and other key areas _ and use that knowledge to improve their community.

When learning about social services, 1996 class members concluded that the county needed a comprehensive reference guide for people looking for help.

"If we're able to help one person at a point of crisis to have a way of knowing who to contact," then the project will be a success, class member Sally Long said.

The other class members are Virginia George, Sybil Barco, John Bowman, Darlene Dick, Norine Gilstrap, Bill Ladkani, Joyce Rogers, Kitty Barnes, C.L. Calloway, Pat Gaudette, Susan Gill, Ron Kitchen, Jim Langenmayr and Belinda Ramsey-Phillips.