March 3, 2010
Katie Hopkins (left) with SCCAP staff members Linda Patton and Christine Combs
The South Central Community Action Program recently appointed a new member to its board of directors.
Katie Hopkins, a 28-year-old student and mother, took the position and attended her first board meeting Monday, March 1. Hopkins fills the seat left by Jonathon Williams, who passed away in October.
Hopkins has three children, two of whom are enrolled in Head Start. She became a Circles Leader in August, and she is a member of the Community of Teachers Program at the IU School of Education.
The SCCAP Board By-Laws state that at least eight members of the board must be representatives from the lower-income group. Hopkins serves in one of these positions.
“As a Circles Leader, I’m passionate about doing my part,” she said, “even if it’s just a small part, to end poverty—for me, personally, for my children and their children, for my community, and for my world.”
March 1, 2010
The Weatherization team once again met and exceeded their goal of homes completed with Recovery Act funds.
Every program around the state was given a goal based on the amount of funding it received. With SCCAP’s funding, the team was expected to complete 36 homes from December 1 to February 28.
They completed 55.
Director of Operations Chris Myers said that the goal of 36 completions would have left the team with more than half of their overall number to be completed in the next two months. Because of this, the team set an internal goal of 55 instead.
Myers said the whole staff has really pulled together to reach this, including the contractors, auditors, and clerical staff.
“I think we’re blessed with a staff that not only works hard, but works well together,” she said. “This makes all the difference.”
In order to celebrate, Myers said she’ll be bringing the staff a Mexican-themed lunch. She said she also has a tradition of rewarding the auditor with the most completions, but this month poses a problem, as 4 auditors tied for the top spot.
This success builds from last period, in which Weatherization also met its goal. It was one of just four of the 30 Indiana organizations to do so.
Weatherization staff must now reset to complete their remaining 53 homes within the next two months. Keep up the good work!
February 10, 2010
The Section 8 waitlists for Owen and Brown counties were opened Jan.25 and 29, respectively, and all 50 slots were filled in both counties–but Section 8 action is not over yet.
Each county is immediately pulling the first 25 applicants from its list based on ranking.
Even so, SCCAP Director of Operations Chris Myers said this does not exhaust the waitlists in these counties. The remaining applicants—numbers 26-50 based on the state’s ranking—will have to wait until they pull again or until some of the previous pulls do not make it to a housing contract.
Myers said they have been able to give 72 new vouchers to applicants based on the waitlist pulls from this fall, and she said Section 8 is looking to add an additional 75 slots at least. They may even open the Monroe county waitlist again.
“I work these waitlist openings with our local staff, and it’s at those moments that you realize how great the need is for individuals,” Myers said. “People are willing to wait overnight or hours before the doors open, simply for the chance at getting assistance.”
Once pulled from the waitlist, individuals wait a couple of weeks for paperwork and verification to come through before receiving a voucher. After receiving the voucher, they have up to 60 days to locate a suitable living unit.
January 27, 2010
The SCCAP is forming a team to walk in the 2010 Annual 5K Walk for Homeward Bound. The event will be from 11:30-4 p.m. on Sunday, April 18, 2010 at Third Street Park.
Homeward Bound is a project of the Indiana Association for Community and Economic Development (IACED), and walks take place throughout the state. Money raised from the event goes to help people experiencing homelessness with shelter, food and other needs, and the money stays in Bloomington! Over $385,000 has been raised in Bloomington so far.
This is a great cause, so mark your calendars! If you are interested in joining the team visit homewardboundindiana.org/Bloomington. This is the first time SCCAP is having a team, so let’s make it a success!
January 20, 2010
It’s Lauren again. I’m back from break and back at SCCAP. Before break, though, for my final project in my visual communications class, I made a video profiling Head Start and all they do. Take a look!
The video may be a little jumpy because the file is SO big, but I hope you enjoy it anyway!
January 19, 2010
A new, $56,346 Head Start bus has arrived thanks to a grant through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The upgrade, said SCCAP Head Start Transportation Coordinator Kathy Potts, was needed. Previously, the program used a 13-year-old 1997 wheelchair accessible bus.
Potts said this bus was incurring five to seven times more maintenance costs than newer models. Additionally, parts were becoming harder to find, as the manufacturer went out of business.
The new bus is a 2010, 27-passenger model equipped with a wheelchair lift and tie downs as well as a “tracked” floor that can secure either a wheelchair or removable seats.
The bus also contains more advanced mirrors and defrosters, as well as lighting and cooling systems.
The most important aspect, Potts said, is how tailored the bus is to the needs of kids. It has a Child Alert System, which tells drivers that all children who have boarded have also departed. Additionally, it has seats specially made for children’s smaller size, which will boost safety.
Potts says this bus will be more cost-effective and help better serve the children using it overall.
“We are very privileged and thankful to have been awarded this grant to purchase a new bus,” she wrote in an e-mail.
November 21, 2009
Organizations from all over the state met Thursday for a workshop on how to start Circles Initiatives in their own communities.
Representatives from programs from Indianapolis, Terre Haute, Evansville, and Japer met at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Bloomington for a workshop led by the Muncie Circles Iniative.
The program aimed to show other organizations how to get Circles started and what elements were needed for success. It provided attendees with a thick binder full of resources and information, and the presentation was led by a step-by-step slideshow.
But the meeting wasn’t a strict and rigid affair.
Participants were encouraged to ask questions throughout–such as how to raise funds–and the representatives from Muncie and Bloomington–the “model” organizations–bounced ideas for growth off each other and took notes for the future.
Actual Circles volunteers were present to share their stories. One woman said, “I’m really excited to start my circle. I think that’s going to be an amazing experience.”
Molly Flodder, the leader of the meeting, summed of the reasons for spreading Circles best. She said, “I’m getting almost old enough to retire, but I want to wake up one morning and know we changed the mindset of the community.”
Afterwards the participants joined the Bloomington Circles program for their Thanksgiving dinner.