For many, navigating the numerous resources and services available to individuals and families in need can be a daunting task. Whether it’s healthcare, housing, employment, or education, the journey to securing assistance can often feel like a difficult maze. Recognizing this challenge, the Lealman Exchange is proud to introduce Monica Lueking, our dedicated Community Navigator who is committed to helping Lealman families find what they need to succeed.
The Community Navigator role was created through a partnership between the St. Petersburg Foundation and St. Pete Free Clinic to help people in the Lealman community get the support they need to access wrap-around services available through the Collective Impact Model at the Lealman Exchange.
“Our County, the Lealman area included, has many resources that benefit the community; however, often, people don’t know services that are available or, importantly, how they can access those services,” said Jennifer Yeagley, CEO of St. Pete Free Clinic. “Being embedded with other partners at Lealman Exchange demonstrates one way we can all collaborate to ensure community services are streamlined and as easy as possible for people to access. It’s beneficial when those who are already visiting one place can meet multiple needs at a time.”
One of Monica’s core responsibilities is identifying critical resources for clients. In an ever-evolving landscape of available services and support systems, knowing where to start can be overwhelming. Monica says she’s always been drawn to roles where she can help others, stating: “This role allows me to directly serve people in our community ensuring they can access programs and organizations that can help them in their time of need. I look forward to helping the Lealman community learn about resources and programs that they did not know about, and I am eager to remove barriers to services and assist our Lealman neighbors in their time of need.”
Navigating complex bureaucracies and service systems can be discouraging, even for the most resilient people. Monica’s goal as Needs Navigator is not only to connect clients to the right resources, but also to help them complete necessary paperwork, make appointments, and follow up on applications, ensuring clients receive the support they need in a timely and efficient manner.
“At SPFC, our values include Responsiveness, Integrity, Community, Empathy, and Equity,” Monica said. “I look forward to exercising these values as I serve our Lealman neighbors. I want them to know they are welcome in my office, and I am committed to helping them access the services they need so they can thrive.”
While immediate assistance is vital, Monica Lueking is committed to helping clients build the skills and knowledge they need to maintain their well-being independently. By addressing the root causes of their challenges, Monica hopes to empower the people of Lealman to build a better future for themselves and their families.
Monica’s office at the Lealman Exchange is open for walk-in appointments from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can schedule an appointment with Monica by calling 727-821-1200 ext 800 or emailing Lealman@thespfc.org.