In an effort to keep people who are interested in the South Central Community Action Program updated on the agency’s latest news, we’ve started providing some notes from the Central Staff meeting that’s held every other Tuesday. Here are this week’s updates:
- Indiana is the only state in the country that hasn’t yet had its plan for use of additional Community Services Block Grant funds from the Recovery Act approved by the federal government. It appears that once the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services approves the plan from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, SCCAP will receive about $647,000 in additional CSBG funds to serve people in poverty.
- SCCAP’s offices in Bloomington, Martinsville, Nashville and Spencer have been extremely busy with people seeking energy assistance and with people who have moved to the top of our Section 8 wait list and are in the process of being approved to receive their vouchers for housing subsidies. The staff members working in those programs are doing their best to help people as quickly as they can, but applicants are still having to wait in line for service because so many people are needing help. SCCAP has served 1,208 people through its Energy Assistance Program since its winter program began on Oct. 1. Energy Assistance Program Coordinator Mary Zimmerman described it as a very busy, very stressful time for those working in the EAP program.
- The Weatherization Program completed its first job with Recovery Act funding Monday in Bloomington (hopefully, we’ll have photos of that home here in the next day or two). SCCAP currently has about 40 Recovery Act weatherization jobs underway in Monroe County. The agency needs to have energy efficiency improvements completed in 45 homes by the end of November to keep pace with its goals for this funding source.
- SCCAP Head Start is purchasing a much-needed new play structure at its Lakeview site with about $11,000 in new grant funding. Head Start is also about to start the process of hiring employees for its upcoming program expansion with Recovery Act funds. We’ll have more information about that on Inside SCCAP soon. We’ll also have a story about Abbey Bonner, who has been hired as coordinator of SCCAP’s new Fatherhood Initiative.
- The Circles Initiative staff recently did its first Bridges Out of Poverty training at the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic. This training demonstrates the challenges that those from generational poverty face in moving out of poverty. By understanding these challenges and learning to suspend the judgments that often accompany interactions with people of a different economic class, participants can become partners in paving the way to economic stability that benefits low-income people, their own organizations and the entire community. SCCAP is looking to provide this training to other organizations and businesses.
- The Culture Committee will have an agency book sale on Nov. 2 and a Thanksgiving luncheon on Nov. 16 with employees invited to participate in both events. You can start bringing books to trade in the book sale to Kate Scales office now. The Thanksgiving luncheon will involve SCCAP providing turkey and employees bringing side dishes with a contest for the best one.