Social worker serves Orange County library members for free

Services include counseling, reemployment guidance, food stamps and immigration

The Orange County Library System has a full-time social worker on staff, providing services to members.
The Orange County Library System has a full-time social worker on staff, providing services to members.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orange County Library System has a full-time social worker on staff, providing services to members.

Andre Morris is a licensed clinical social worker providing members assistance with things like affordable housing, counseling and mental health resources, healthcare, immigration and reemployment guidance.

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“They need the support, a little guidance, and they don’t know how to find the resources so it can be very complicated,” Morris said.

A social worker has been on staff at the library since 2017.

“I’m helping others to help themselves and giving them the tools they need by empowering them,” Morris said.

Frankie King has been working one-on-one with Morris for years. With a criminal record and probation period completed, he’s had a difficult time finding work.

“You’re just getting judged from what they see on your background. I’m willing to work, just give me a chance,” King said. “Morris has been helping me with resumes, applications with jobs and food stamps to help support my family.”

Morris helped connect King with a janitorial company that offered him a part-time job.

“It’s a true blessing. Something is better than nothing. I’m still looking for a full-time job for the morning shift,” King said.

Rebecca Pendleton had trouble securing a permit for roof repairs. She says she is not tech-savvy and doesn’t have access to a printer. She said the process was causing a lot of stress.

Morris guided her through the process, connecting her to the right county departments. He also helped her fill out the online forms and gather the proper documents.

“It’s been a lifesaver for me because I was just getting to the point where I was about to go nuts over it. It was so easy and so relaxed that that helps to move the process along,” Pendleton said. “You get to the point where you know each other and you become friends. We’re friends now.”

Morris said the pandemic has been a busy time for him, especially when it comes to unemployment.

“One of the main things since the pandemic, people coming in for unemployment. There’s a lot of delays and change in unemployment system, how to put in a claim,” Morris said.

Appointments with Morris are free and you don’t have to provide any personal information or documentation for his service. Due to the pandemic, Morris is only seeing clients at the main library in downtown Orlando but can work with clients remotely on the phone or via email. You’ll just need a library card to book the appointment. Click here to book an appointment.

“It’s strictly anonymous everything is confidential. I will never ask personal identifying information. We try to make it relaxing,” Morris said.

You can also find assistance for social and government services at rightservicefl.org.


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About the Author:

Crystal Moyer is a multimedia journalist who joined the News 6 team in February 2020. Crystal comes to Central Florida from WKMG’s sister station, WJXT in Jacksonville, where she worked as a traffic anchor and MMJ.