Seated in a conference room, Brittany Miller of the Women’s Rural Advocacy Program (WRAP) and Leeann Heimer and Nicole Wellendorf of Sojourn Counseling Group talked about the collaborative efforts the two entities have been able to provide to the Redwood area.

While having advocacy and mental health providers working together is not a new concept, the two local programs have intentionally offered something unique simply because of their location.

Both WRAP and Sojourn are providing services in Redwood Falls from a Second Street site, and for the two entities that space is a shared one.

The two programs moved into the new location on Second Street in May, and over the months they have been sharing the space those who are there agreed things have been working well.

According to Miller, many of the clients who come to the location for one service or another often find themselves meeting with the representatives from the other, as their needs are defined. However, added Heimer, both groups also maintain a level of confidentiality.

If a client of WRAP or Sojourn appear to be in need of the other’s services, the clients are encouraged to check the other out on their own.

Being in a downtown location in Redwood Falls is ideal for many of the people who are being served, said Miller, as it is also in close proximity to other services through the courts, human services, probation and public health.

That also works well for those who work for WRAP and Sojourn, as they are often working in conjunction with resources that are available in those areas.

Nicole Wellendorf of Sojourn added it is nice to be able to share resources between the two programs and to be able to seek advice about issues from each other.

Brittany and Mandy Heibel, who also serves as a WRAP advocate, have a greater sense of security in their new location, as it is in a much more public place.

While that can be a benefit for the staff, Miller said having both counseling and advocacy services available in both locations is also good for those who come looking for help, as no one knows for sure why they are there.

For those who may have a concern, Miller added there is also a back door to the building.

Sojourn Counseling Group has had a presence in Redwood Falls for some time, and it also offers locations in Litchfield, Willmar, Granite Falls as well as Nevada.

Miller said the new space will allow for additional programs and services to help those who come for help. One of those programs is a thrift store. Additional information regarding that program will be available later this year.

Donations to assist those in need can be offered through WRAP, and those who would like to know more about what is needed are encouraged to contact Miller or Heibel.

Sojourn offers a variety of services for people of all ages. One can learn more about Sojourn Counseling Group on its Web site at www.sojourncounselinggroup.com.

Information on WRAP can be found online at letswrap.com.