SOMERSET – A program designed to assist Pulaski County families overcome issues such as poverty, addiction and conflict is still in need of additional volunteers.

To help reach its goal of mobilizing 100 families/individuals who would be willing to serve as mentors to other families, the Pulaski County Community Transformation Team, in partnership with the Focus on the Family organization, will hold a second training course on Tuesday, January 12.

The free “Thriving Families” class will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Victory Christian Fellowship and is targeted at those who were unable to attend the first training held this past November. Approximately 70 people attended that training session.

“This is a wonderful and exciting program for Pulaski County,” said Karen Engle, director of Operation UNITE. “Substance abuse is often the result of other, underlying problems faced by individuals and families. Pulaski County is striving to tackle identify the symptoms and deal with the root issues.”

Once mentoring families have been identified and trained they will be paired up with those in need of assistance.

Once a week for at least four months these families will conduct weekly meetings with struggling families to discuss issues they are facing and to provide resources that will help them work through their problems. A graduation ceremony for those completing the mentoring program will be held later in the year.

“Focus on the Family and the Pulaski County Community Transformation Team, in partnership with Operation UNITE, are excited to bring on the momentum rising in many Kentucky counties to experience a breakthrough in substance abuse and other high-risk family issues,” said Frank Johnson, director of community outreach for Focus on the Family.

“Mentoring hurting families is an amazing next step for your community – and one that most certainly will have eternal impact,” Johnson said.

Organizers stress that implementation of the thriving families program guidelines offer flexibility with a minimum number of restrictions, yet ensure confidentiality in a non-threatening, safe environment.

The Pulaski County Community Transformation Team was established during 2009 through collaborative efforts with the Pulaski County Ministerial Association, the Pulaski County UNITE Coalition, and Focus on the Family. Team members have identified several areas of concern that need a coordinated community effort to properly address and become a thriving community engaged in one united mission.

While churches are being asked to help identify potential families for mentoring roles, the initiative is open to any individual or group who would like to participate, noted Kathy Hall, chair of the Pulaski UNITE Coalition.

For details contact steering committee members Kathy Hall, 606-219-6218 or; Dale or Sue Kirby, 606-677-9079 or; Julena Edwards,; Mark Harrell, 606-677-1100 or 606-271-0720; or Joe Cox, 606-305-1605 or