If you’ve heard of Tableland in Somerset County, you may have also wondered about the origin of its name. The name ‘Tableland’ stems from President Johnson’s War on Poverty in the 1960s. When Somerset residents got together to establish the organization at the time, the word ‘tableland’ was commonly used and fit the Somerset geography perfectly. If you fly over Somerset County, it looks like a high level, flat plateau – otherwise known as a “tableland.” Today, Tableland also goes by the name Community Action Partnership of Somerset County. In the early 2000s, there was an attempt to brand all Community Action Partnerships the same, but as Tableland Executive Director David Mrozowski says, the name Tableland was already well known in the community, so it stuck.
Tableland has become known as a one-stop shop for human services in Somerset County because they provide residents with everything from food and housing assistance to early childhood education and transportation. “Our mantra is “How can we help you?” for anyone who comes through the door,” says David. “They may come into register their child for Head Start, but as we start talking to them, we realize they aren’t in a stable housing situation or they need help with utilities.” Tableland is the first place people go if they need assistance, and if Tableland cannot provide the service, they know exactly who can. Tableland would not be the operation it is without the collaborative nature of their partners. “Somerset County is very unique because we have wonderful partnerships with the business community and other social service providers. The county really works together well,” David says.
David leads approximately 105 staff at Tableland and has resided in his position for the past 10 years. When asked about Tableland’s greatest successes over the past decade, he responded: “We’ve had a few folks that have started their children in the early childhood education programs and then we have ended up hiring the mothers to work in those classrooms. They get their start as classroom teachers.” That progression of someone coming in for services and walking out with those services and a self-sustaining job is at the heart of Tableland’s mission to “help people and change lives.”
Ten years from now, David sees Tableland further evolving into a one-stop operation that serves all populations, especially more diverse populations such as the emerging Hispanic population in Somerset County. The Community Care HUB is proud to partner with Tableland for the benefit of Somerset County residents. The active cross-referral relationship between the HUB and Tableland ultimately contributes to helping the residents of Somerset County obtain the assistance they need and live healthier lives. To learn more about Tableland and the services they provide, visit their website: http://www.capfsc.org/Home.aspx