By Ivan Everett
Pulse Staff Reporter
The Palo Alto College S.H.A.R.E. Center is a place for students and members of the surrounding community to receive various forms of help, including food, clothing, healthcare and utility assistance.
The S.H.A.R.E. Center is located in the Student Center adjacent to the cafeteria. It is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Students who have entered the center may have noticed the lack of personnel, but this is only a temporary situation. The center is in the process of hiring a project director. The S.H.A.R.E. Center is currently being managed by Student Life, who is providing assistance while staffing is being resolved.
According to Isidro Medina, administrative services specialist, “Final interviews are in progress.”
For now, students who are unable to find someone available in the S.H.A.R.E. Center are welcome to go to the Student Life Office. There, someone will be available to direct students to receive the help they need.
The clothing closet is a place where students can obtain clothes for job interviews and formal events. The service is free to those who seek it out. This service is available during hours of operation. The clothing comes from Goodwill. Should students be unable to find suitable attire for themselves, vouchers for gift cards are also available to use at Goodwill stores. Donations from the student body and the local community are welcome.
According to Alexandro M. Luna, a student ambassador at Palo Alto College, the center is always in need of men’s and ladies’ jackets, shirts and formal apparel. The closet does not provide shoes, nor does it accept them for donation.
For those who are in need of food assistance, the center has grocery items provided through the San Antonio Food Bank. This service is available on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
In cases of dire need, individuals will be able to seek assistance on an “as-needed basis,” said Medina. Those who wish to use this service need only to fill out a short form.
According to Luna, “It’s an easy process” that normally takes five to eight minutes. The food pantry is also accepting donations. Some of the most needed items include fruits, vegetables, canned meats and pastas. The pantry wants to provide people with foods of substantial nutritional value.
S.H.A.R.E has also partnered with The Daughters of Charity, who provide healthcare and utility assistance to those who need it. Often, they have a table set outside the center. Here individuals may receive information regarding health insurance and enrollment options.
Edward Castillo, navigator for the DOC, said that if students need direct medical assistance, the DOC has help with that, as well. The La Misión Clinic is located at 19780 South U.S. Highway 281. They provide a variety of medical services to those who are in need, including primary medical care, dental services, social services and even counseling.
Yet, many students are unaware of the S.H.A.R.E Center. Mikaela Duron, freshman pre-nursing major said, “I don’t know what the S.H.A.R.E Center is.”
According to Luna it is “an incredible asset to student success,” and he encourages everyone to tell their family and friends about it.