OUR STORY

We thought you would like to know how and why the Helpers For Hire Program got started, what we are doing and how we do it. In other words, this is OUR STORY.

As is the case with many projects and programs, the Helpers for Hire Program started with a problem needing a solution. In this case John Page, Sheriff of Camden County, Missouri, at that time, brought the problem to the attention of one of our local citizens, who is active in community affairs involving neighborhood crime watch groups and Senior Citizens organizations. The problem was described as some of our local Senior Citizens being “cheated and ripped off” by some unscrupulous persons. The real problem arises when those victims could not give an adequate description to law enforcement officials, sufficient enough to locate the offenders. Indeed, the Sheriff noted that many of the unfortunate Senior Citizens, knew only the first name and a vague description of the vehicle used in the offense. At this time the Sheriff was invited to appear before the Camden County Senior Services Tax Board, designated to meet the needs and services for Senior Citizens, and describe the problems in more detail. After the Sheriff related, to this Board, various horror stories about many Senior Citizens who were scammed and cheated, resulting in considerable loss of their savings, the Board designated one of its Board members to work closely with the Camden County Sheriff’s Department to come up with a solution. Now, you may ask, what’s the solution? The Sheriff’s wish was to develop a list of people who, after a background check, including fingerprinting and pictures, could then be available for hiring to perform various tasks and services, in and around the home.

Thus, was born the Helpers for Hire Committee. Our challenge was to make this happen and make the Sheriff’s wish come true. As with all Committees, before such a committee can really get started, there must be a “Mission Statement”. Our Mission Statement can be found on the internet at, www.helpersforhire.com. Next, working closely with the Sheriff’s Department and various Community Organizations, a volunteer committee was formed. This Committee includes members from a wide variety of community interest groups and organizations, such as, Crime Watch groups, Senior Centers, Central Missouri Area Agency on Aging, (CMAAA), Camden County Senior Services Tax Board, the Tri-County Salvation Army, MOCA (Missouri Ozarks for Community Action), in home health care services organization, and last but not least, the Camden County Sheriff, and one of his Deputies, assigned to help administer the program. We, as a committee, are proud that we serve as volunteers and do not solicit funds. All of our service time and operating expenses are volunteered. As a Committee, we also realized that there are some aspects of this Program that must be considered by those who want to be hired and those in need of hiring for services. For example, negotiations for financial arrangements and terms for hiring are strictly between those in need of hiring and the helpers listed in this Registry. Indeed, anyone needing to hire someone for any of the various services described, can now call the helpers listed who provide the same services and hire based on the best price for services needed. Additionally, while this Registry cannot assure any citizen, who is unable to perform these tasks, that they will not be cheated, it will provide: (1) an added measure of reliability to assist their decision whether to hire for services and (2) an invaluable tool for law enforcement’s investigations of complaints.

Our next task, as a Committee, was to enlist the enrollment of helpers on the Helpers for Hire Registry. Toward that end, several tasks had to be accomplished. First, we created a “REGISTRY APPLICATION – HELPERS FOR HIRE”. Next we had to find a way to let folks know that we needed to enlist helpers for this program. Thus, we wrote a “Public Notice” calling for Helpers for Hire to sign up. Both of these items are found on the aforementioned Website. Before we could publish a Public Notice, we needed credibility. We realized that many people would presume that this program was just another “money making scheme”, which it is not. Thus we began a campaign to win the endorsements of various public interest groups and organizations. These endorsements did not include any requests for funds. This list of endorsements includes the local Chamber of Commerce’s’, the Lake Sun Newspaper, various Crime Watch Groups, and Senior Centers.

Once the Public Notice, calling for helpers to enlist, was periodically published in the Lake Sun, the response was slower than the committee desired. It was at this point that we realized we needed some “advertising”. Thus was created a one page flyer, entitled: “SIGN UP AS A HELPER FOR HIRE, IT’S GOOD BUSINESS” and a “HELPERS FOR HIRE Q & A”. Both of these items are found on the aforementioned Website.

It is interesting to note that although our original mission was to protect the interests of Senior Citizens, the Committee quickly realized that this type of program contained many inherent values beyond the scope of protecting Senior Citizens. We realized that this type of program will greatly benefit anyone who is not able or willing to perform various tasks and would prefer to pay for services, regardless of their age or physical condition. We also quickly realized that this program could be a much needed source of additional employment. There is no expense to the Helper to enlist in this program, other than for a background check which is paid to the “Missouri State Highway Patrol.” Indeed, if a Helper were to run an advertisement in the “Want Ads” section of a newspaper, similar to what is displayed in the Helpers for Hire Registry, we suspect his cost would be greater than the fee for a background check.

To obtain additional copies of this booklet for reference purposes or for the Registry of Helpers for Hire contact one of local Senior Centers, Laurie City Hall, and the Camden County Sheriffs’ Department.

Updates:

  • March, 2009: In November 2008, Dwight D. Franklin, was elected the new Sheriff of Camden County. Sheriff Franklin continued to support the Helpers for Hire Program and indeed, encourage new Helpers to sign onto this program that provides an added measure of protection for those in need of services.
  • January, 2017: Newly elected Sheriff Tony Helms, a long time Deputy with the Camden County Sheriff’s Dept., supported the Helpers for Hire Program from the inception of this program. Sheriff Helms continues to support this program, since it has proven to be an effective crime reduction tool for the county.
  • 2018: Tonia Bailey assumed the duties of the Administrator. Her contact information is located in several places in this manual for Helpers for Hire.

OBJECTIVES (MISSION STATEMENT)

Our objective is to establish, maintain, and make available a list (Registry) of “Helpers for Hire”, who, after a background check and finger printing by a designated law enforcement agency, would be available, to hire, for various services by those people who are unable to perform such services for themselves. These services may include various tasks in and around the home, such as house cleaning, errands, transportation, minor home repairs, meal preparation, yard work, grocery shopping, home improvements, personal grooming, and any other services that may be needed. Persons unable to perform these tasks for themselves, such as Senior Citizens or the physically impaired, may now decide to hire with the added assurance that those who have been selected to provide such services have been fingerprinted, picture taken and background checked by a designated law enforcement agency.

While this Registry cannot assure any citizen, who is unable to perform these tasks, that they will not be cheated, it will provide: (1) an added measure of reliability to assist their decision whether to hire for services and (2) an invaluable tool for law enforcement’s investigations of complaints.

SIGN UP AS A “HELPER FOR HIRE”

Visit our Website, www.helpersforhire.com or stop by the Camden County Sheriff’s Department to get more information and to pick up and Application Form.

ENDORSEMENTS/PARTICIPATION

At the time the Helpers for Hire program was started, the following groups, after either a Board of Directors meeting and/or a general membership meeting voted to allow the use of their organizations name as an endorsement for the HELPERS FOR HIRE  PROGRAM. No funds were requested or granted with these endorsements.

  1. CRIME WATCH GROUPS
    1. LAURIE 5-O Crime Watch
    2. Lake Rd. 135-3 Crime Watch
    3. Lake Rd. 5-33 Crime Watch
    4. Gravois Area Crime Watch
  1. Senior Citizens Groups
    1. Westside Senior Center
    2. Camdenton Senior Center
    3. Camden County Senior Services
    4. Central Missouri Area Agency on Aging, (CMAAA)
    5. Versailles Nutritional Center
  1. Law Enforcement
    1. Camden County Sheriff Dept.
    2. Morgan County Sheriff Dept.
    3. Laurie Police Dept.
  1. Chambers of Commerce
    1. Lake West Chamber of Commerce
  1. Community Action Groups
    1. Missouri Ozarks for Community Action (MOCA)
    2. Tri-County Salvation Army
    3. Morgan County Senior Services
    4. West Lake Newcomers
    5. Gravois Community Betterment Association

PUBLIC NOTICE OF ENLISTMENT – HELPERS FOR HIRE REGISTRY

This is to announce the opportunity for qualified applicants to be included in a Registry of persons who are available, for hire, to perform services for those who are unable to accomplish such services themselves. These services may include tasks in and around the home such as: errands, housekeeping, transportation, home repairs, meal preparation, yard work, grocery shopping, home improvements, personal grooming, and any other services as needed. To qualify, as a Helper, for your listing in this Registry, please pick up an Application Form at the Camden County Sheriff’s Dept., 573-346-2243, ext. or call Ruth Magill, 573-374-1594 to have an application mailed to you. Once you have completed the Application Form, go to the Camden County Sheriffs Dept. for fingerprinting, picture taken and a background check.

Please be advised that the terms and conditions for hiring and negotiations for financial arrangements are strictly between those in need of hiring and the helpers listed in this Registry. While this Registry cannot assure any citizen, who is unable to perform these tasks, that they will not be cheated, it will provide: (1) an added measure of reliability to assist their decision whether to hire for services and (2) an invaluable tool for law enforcement’s investigations of complaints. This Registry is endorsed by various community organizations, including various Crime Watch Organizations and local Senior Citizens Groups.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

You may have heard about a program where there is a Registry (List) of folks who can be hired to provide services for others who are unable to perform certain tasks for themselves and are in need of hiring someone to perform these tasks for them. Yes indeed, there is such a program. Since the “Helpers” listed in the Registry, have had their backgrounds checked by law enforcement agencies, those in need of services can now have more confidence that they won’t be cheated. Whether you are a potential “Helper” or someone who wants to hire, this Q & A is provided to answer some questions you may have.

Why do we need a Registry of Helpers for Hire?
According to the Camden County Sheriff’s Dept., too many Seniors and homebound citizens were being cheated after hiring someone to perform certain tasks for them. When reported to law enforcement, it was clear that not enough information, especially regarding individual descriptions, was available to find the perpetrators.

Does this Registry of Helpers for Hire then guarantee that those who hire will not be cheated?
No, since no list can provide such a guarantee. It does, however, offer assurances that: (1) those so inclined to cheat others will most likely not enlist in this Registry and (2) if someone is cheated, the perpetrator will be much easier to find.

Why would a cheater be easier to find?
Each candidate helper completes an Application, is fingerprinted and photographed. This information is then sent for a background check by a law enforcement agency. Upon evaluation of the Application and the results of the background check, a determination is then made whether to enlist the helper in this, “Registry of Helpers for Hire”.

How did this program get started and who is behind this Registry of Helpers for Hire?
Then Sheriff John Page, Camden County Sheriff’s Dept. presented a problem to some folks who are active with some of the Senior Centers and Crime Watch groups. A committee, (including the Camden County Sheriff), was formed to recommend a course of action. All members of this Committee served as volunteers and no money is collected nor provided to or by this committee. A number of community organizations endorsed the Helpers for Hire Program, including the Lake Sun Newspaper, various Crime Watch Groups, and Senior Centers. The full list of endorsements, to date, can be found on a separate listing off this booklet. [2081-Current Sheriff Tony Helms is pleased to continue his endorsement of this important program.]

Who really benefits from this Registry of Helpers for Hire?
Everyone!: (1) The Helper who is hired, (2) Those in need of services to be performed, and (3) Taxpayers. (1) The hired helper benefits since it will increase their employment opportunities, and customer base. Their customers will most likely be repeat customers which will then become their best customers. (2) Those who hire will have an added measure of reliability in determining who they hire. Additionally, since the Registry will reflect the services performed by all Helpers, the person in need of such services can now do comparative selecting and choose the most competitive bid. (3) The taxpayer will know that by helping those who are in need of various services, the one who hires can now stay in their homes longer and thus continue to be a tax contributor.

Are the Helpers who are hired expected to do charity work?
No. There is no expectation of charity. The terms for services charged are left to the discretion of the Helper. All conditions and financial negotiations, between the Helper and the one who hires, are based on mutual consent of both parties.

What geographical areas are included with the Registry of Helpers for Hire?
Upon review of the areas served by the enlisted Helpers, it is apparent that the entire Lake area, including Stover, Versailles, Camdenton etc. are included in this Program.

What does it cost a Helper to be listed on this Registry of Helpers for Hire?
The only cost to the Helper is a minimal fee of $20 (at this time) for a routine background check by a law enforcement agency. When you consider the cost of being listed in the “Yellow Pages”, or running advertisements in the “Help Wanted” section of newspapers, this expense is a real bargain.

In what format will this Registry of Helpers for Hire be available and where can I find it?
In printed form, the Helpers for Hire Program is available in booklets entitled: “Helpers for Hire Registry” and “Helpers for Hire Registry & Program”. We also encourage you visit the Website: www.helpersforhire.com for the most current information. The Website also offers the advantage of rapid searching using the key word search feature and is printer friendly. The printed booklets will be distributed to various public locations such as churches, Senior Centers, Camden County Sheriffs Dept. and Chamber of Commerce’s etc.

How often will this Registry be updated?
Since we will be using computers as our tool for maintaining this Registry, we will be updating the Website as soon as changes occur. Our current plans are to update and release the printed booklets at least twice a year.

As a candidate helper, where can I pick up an Application?
Applications can be obtained at the following locations, Camden County Sheriffs Dept., Camden County Court House. For more information you can call 573-374-1594, or 573- 346-2243, ext. 238.

Since a background check will be processed, should I, as a potential helper, be concerned that personal or confidential information will be disclosed in this Registry?
Absolutely not. The only information disclosed in this Registry will be your name, areas you will cover, the services you provide, and your phone number.

Will past offenses eliminate a potential helper from being listed on the Registry?
Not necessarily. The Application Form states: “……..(Convictions or arrests may not, necessarily, eliminate you from this Registry of Helpers for Hire.)”.