DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - A position at the Decatur Public Library works to connect with Decatur's most vulnerable population.

Last year, the library added a social worker position to assist guests experiencing homelessness or food insecurity.

"We are here to serve the entire community, and that includes the most vulnerable, and in most communities that's people who are experiencing homelessness," said Rick Meyer, City Librarian.

The role has been held by an intern, Jessica Hill. Hill said her role day-to-day varied from walking around the facility to speaking with people from all walks of life.

"I just want to be that face that people know is the library as welcoming and neutral," said Hill.

The social worker role would provide vital information for most vulnerable populations who suffer from the economic hardship.

"COVID has made that even worse, and so I think it's really important for our community," Meyer said. "We are a very urban community and we are a small town, but we've got that urban aspect with poverty and disparity and we have a lot of folks who don't have a place to stay and this is a big issue and it's important for us to serve the entire community and these are people that need our help."

The library is working to secure a grant to made the role permanent.

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