Canopy provides families with the resources and support they need to successfully maintain their family safely in the home while increasing the resiliency and stability within the family. Canopy’s LINK program connects families to Family Navigators to help identify potential stressors, connect families with resources and implement education on teen pregnancy prevention, substance abuse, parenting skills and family stability. Canopy’s LINK program is offered in Greenville, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Jackson, Meridian and Olive Branch.

Yolanda Wooten, BSW, M.Ed, CHSP, Canopy’s Statewide LINK Coordinator, addresses questions many families might be facing:

I have struggled to find new employment during the COVID-19 crisis. What are some local resources I can turn to?

Canopy’s LINK program has established connections with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security and WIN Job Centers to help families to regain employment. We also link individuals to job training, career development centers and adult education programs. In the interim, we navigate the process of qualifying for benefits such as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Childcare Payment Program, Medicaid Eligibility and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIPS).

Since going back to work, my income has not been as steady as it was before. I need assistance with everyday essentials, who can help?

LINK has connections with community groups and agencies across the state who can assist families with acquiring home essentials as well as address food instability and affordable housing. Our Family Navigators can assist you with finding the resources in your local community.

My child has struggled being isolated during shelter-in-place measures and has not been the same since. Are there places I can turn to get my child help if I don’t have insurance?

Yes. Canopy’s LINK program provides referrals to behavioral services and educational resources through Canopy Children’s Solutions. Canopy offers Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinics for children and adolescents up to age 21. Canopy can provide assistance through LINK with applying for Medicaid and also connect the family to mental health clinics that offer sliding fees for uninsured children/adolescents in need of services.

I am worried my increased alcohol consumption is negatively impacting my work and home life. Where can I find help?

Canopy’s LINK Family Navigators can refer you to community partners such as the National Council on Alcoholism and other addiction/treatment programs. As you get help, we will support the family along the road to recovery.

My child has challenges requiring an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) at school. I miss a lot of work for school meetings and am worried I may lose my job. What can I do to protect my family?

Canopy’s LINK Family Navigators have connections with the Mississippi Society for Disabilities who can assist with advocacy services during IEP development. LINK can also assist with helping families file for intermittent Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits for parents to attend IEP meetings, therapy sessions and doctor’s appointments for medically fragile and special needs children.

Canopy’s LINK program connects struggling families to community resources. It is provided by a grant through the Mississippi Department of Human Services. To learn more about LINK, visit mycanopy.org/link.