Community navigators are ready to help

Community navigators are trained volunteers who connect people to community resources. They connect families and individuals to the services they need to build a better life. The Community Navigator initiative of United Way of Kaw Valley’s GROW program has navigators available at several community locations including the library.

You’ll find Navigators at the library in the Community Resource Office located in the southeast corner of the Movies and Music Lounge just outside the Learning Center.

What community navigators do

United Way of Kaw Valley Community Navigators can guide you through the applications for many types of community services and assistance:

  • Housing issues
  • Trouble paying rent
  • Can’t pay electric, gas or water bills
  • Can’t afford a doctor or dentist
  • Food, clothing and diapers

How community navigators help

If you need extra help completing an application or gathering necessary documents, community navigators can help! Navigators will make sure clients have the documents they need for a meaningful encounter with an organization. This reduces the frustration of having to return again by explaining program requirements and helping clients complete necessary forms in advance.

Community navigators can also help you connect to other community resources inside or outside of Shawnee County. They are trained to identify additional needs and services the person may not have realized were available. Navigators can refer clients through the WellSky system or other communication methods.

Navigators also listen to, advocate for and act on behalf of the communities they support. In this way, they help social service organizations develop and improve services that better address the needs of the community.

“We want to help connect people in our community to resources that they may need – whether they need help with food and the application for that, or need help finding housing and help filling out an application or making an appointment. We can help with all of that” – Tasha, Community Navigator

Where community navigators help

Community navigators are available for walk-in assistance at several locations in the community. More locations will be added in the future. Check for updates on the times and locations of community navigator at the library on our daily events calendar.

Other ways to access resource information

United Way of Kaw Valley also provides access to resources and information through 211, available through phone and text.

Anyone can search directly for resources on Wellsky Kansas Community Network.

For questions about community navigators at the library, email Lissa at

Lissa Staley helps people use the library. She is a Book Evangelist, Trivia Emcee, Classics Made Modern book discussion leader, NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison, and frequent library customer. She loves her kids, being a librarian, living in Topeka, and helping people form connections and community. (She's the Community Connections Librarian!) She reads a new book every few days, but is enjoying the audiobook of "Empress of Forever" by Max Gladstone, the ebook "When We Were Magic" by Sarah Gailey and is eagerly awaiting John Scalzi's "The Last Emperox" in April!