Meet Alea Surender, Director of Public Health Services at the Northeast-based Mattie Rhodes Center. Alea is responsible for Mattie Rhodes public health initiatives, along with rent and utility assistance work.

As spring approaches, our team here at the Mattie Rhodes Center is continuing to focus on the health and wellness of the community that we serve here in the Historic Northeast. Among her new initiatives will be health literacy education, especially in our African, African American and Asian communities.

For job seekers, we’re launching our four-week Digital Skills for Job Seekers program that coaches those new to the job market or those unfamiliar with basic computer skills in getting through the job search process and securing that important new career. The program is free and, upon completion, participants will receive additional course benefits and a $50 VISA gift card. Contact Sierra Faust for more information at

On March 5 and 26, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., we’ll be continuing COVID-19 vaccination clinics in partnership with the Center for Neighborhoods, offering Pfizer, Moderna and J&J vaccines, and booster shots for adults and children. No appointment is necessary and we’ll be offering other forms of assistance for those that need them.

Need rental or utility assistance? We anticipate offering a new round of rent and utility assistance to those in our community who are at risk of losing their housing or struggling to pay their skyrocketing utility bills beginning in March. If you need assistance in this area, call one of our bilingual service coordinators today at 816-581-5623.