Josh Ireland, Hamilton Heights SRO and Deputy for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department helps MaryAnn Haymaker provide for  district families in need. 
Photo provided.
Josh Ireland, Hamilton Heights SRO and Deputy for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department helps MaryAnn Haymaker provide for district families in need. Photo provided.
The work of Hamilton Heights Youth Assistance Program never stops and is ongoing whether the school buildings are open or closed. The program, now in its sixth year at Heights, has been and continues to be, a lifeline to services for district families in need.
Mary Ann Haymaker, Youth Assistance Early Intervention Advocate, spearheads the program at Heights and has become the “go to” for connecting Husky families to resources for food, clothing, financial assistance, mental health counseling, medication management, parenting support and a little bit of everything in between. She is supported by a vast network of compassionate partners in every sector of the county. She works in tandem with other in-school advocates serving schools in Hamilton County.
“The harmful effects of this pandemic have not been distributed equally,” said Mary Ann Haymaker, of this universal crisis. “The socio-economic impact and, in some cases, by mitigation measures, are resulting in additional hardships for families, many who are already struggling. The needs and our caseloads are increasing.”
During this period of off-site instruction and physical distancing, Haymaker has been made it a point to reach out and keep in touch with the families to make sure they know this program services are not shuttered and to make sure they are doing ok. She also checks in regularly with program supporters. “Our families are extremely grateful to continue their connection to the program and we are extremely grateful to our supporters who are there when we need them,” noted Haymaker. “Our County Youth Assistance team meets virtually each week to discuss the needs and progress of our communities to stay in close contact to make everyone who needs assistance receives it.”
Haymaker has been appreciative of the help from the community to help to keep the shelves full at local food pantries to ensure local children get fed over the summer. “Our community partners are some of our local heroes,” she said. “They do so much and then find a way to do more. While our program is supported by many, I want to share my deep appreciation to our Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department SROs, The Cicero Market, Delullo’s, The Boat House, local food pantries, Jackson Township Trustee’s and the Good Samaritan Network whose contributions, support, and involvement of late have helped ensure no one goes without.”
“Aspire and Hamilton Professional Services, our mental health partners, are continuing to serve students and are working with families,” she continued. “I am especially thankful for the leadership and dedication of the Hamilton Heights School Corporation and Hamilton Heights Youth Assistance Board Members, who have faltered in their support of the collaborative community effort from day one. #WeAreHuskies