CSSMV committed to helping vulnerable individuals, families


SIDNEY — Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley (CSSMV) is a non-profit agency committed to helping vulnerable individuals and families in a t10-county region in southwest and west central Ohio. Founded in 1921, CSSMV has a faith-based mission to serve those in need regardless of religious affiliation, ethnic background, or socioeconomic status.

Elaine Schweller-Snyder, Marketing/Development coordinator for CSSMV Northern Area Office, has submitted the following report:

The Northern Office of CSSMV provides vital services to residents in Auglaize, Champaign, Darke, Logan, Miami, Mercer, Preble, and Shelby Counties. Our location in the Courtview Center in Sidney is in the heart of Shelby County, close to other social service agencies that serve the region.

CSSMV is a Single-Entry Point for Ohio Benefits and Long Term Supports, enabling us to field calls from individuals seeking available options for older family members and link them to resources and services. In 2023, CSSMV navigators handled 3,483 calls for Ohio Benefits and Long Term Supports.

CSSMV administers Ohio’s PASSPORT Medicaid Waiver program in six rural counties, helping older adults aged 60 and over age in place. Our licensed social workers and nurses conduct assessments, educate families on options, contract with service providers, and provide care management. With the support of the Shelby County United Way, we provide these services for older adults in Shelby County who may not qualify for PASSPORT.

In 2023, thanks to a grant from Catholic Charities USA, Northern Office Assistant Director Erin Meyer completed an Executive Certificate for Nonprofit Management through the University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Sciences.

Also in 2023, CSSMV hosted and participated in the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Symposium. CSSMV was chosen as one of six regional sites in the country for the symposium, an effort to study how transportation options impact diverse populations and underserved communities. Under the leadership of Mobility Manager Michelle Caserta-Bixler and Transportation Coordinator Heather Robison, CSSMV gathered a panel of 13 stakeholders in Shelby County that included transportation providers, community and human services organizations, and transportation users.

“We were very excited to be chosen to be part of this national symposium,” said Caserta-Bixler. “Because of our location, we are central to the pulse of the nation and our area is reflective of the typical rural setting and its challenges. We hope our discussion and strategies we identified will help NADTC find solutions to transportation problems throughout the country.”

In 2023, CSSMV’s RideConnect volunteer driver program onboarded eight new volunteers, bringing the total number of drivers to 24, representing nine counties. Drivers made 1,298 trips, covering 34,240 miles, and logged 1,560 volunteer hours.

Thanks to a partnership with the University of Dayton, CSSMV began using the ECHO counseling model at Houston Schools in fall of 2021. In 2022, we added Russia Schools. ECHO (Empowering Children with Hope and Opportunity) includes the use of a social and emotional learning curriculum in classrooms, focusing on emotion management, situational awareness, empathy, and problem solving. One-on-one counseling is also offered for students referred by school counselors. In 2023, CSSMV counselors reached over 400 students in classroom settings and provided 37 students with individual therapy. A third school – Jackson Center – joined the program in January 2004 – and we anticipate further growth.

At the close of 2023, CSSMV brought Life Essentials Guardianship Services to Shelby County in partnership with the Shelby County Probate Court. Life Essentials, which merged with CSSMV in 2020, represents around 200 individuals in Montgomery County who have been deemed incompetent by the court and have no one else to advocate for them.

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