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Community Action

450 Syndicate Street N Saint Paul, MN 55104

Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties

STRAIGHT TALK
A quarterly update to close friends of Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties

Dear Friend, When you receive this, it is likely that the national budget will still be in discussion. I give ton full credit to our representatives in Washing for the work they do. And we continue to se educate them on the necessity of serving tho most in need in our nation. I say this both in because it is morally right and because it is the best interest of our national economy. The greater the divide between those who have and at those who have not, the more our country is risk economically, politically and morally. Inside, you will read about how the State budget affected Community Action. Now we turn our attention to Washington. With the prospect of 5O% cuts in several of our programs, this is a serious challenge. As always, if you have questions, please send an email to chightower@caprw.org or call me at 651-603-5950.
Sincerely, Clarence Hightower Executive Director

STRAIGHT TALK
August 2011

ImpActful DecIsIons:
We are pleased to announce Deborah Moses as the new senior director of our Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Moses brings over 20 years of experience working in social service and Head Start early childhood education. She comes to Community Action from the State of Minnesota Department of Human Services where she spent six years directing the Community Addiction Recovery Enterprise. Prior to that, she was director of several Head Start programs at Parents in Community Action (PICA). Moses holds a master’s in public health from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in liberal arts from Metropolitan State University.

progrAm news:
Energy Conservation: In June 2009, our Energy Conservation Program received $11.2 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to weatherize 1,726 low-income homes. As of May 31, 2011, our Energy Conservation staff has exceeded their goal by weatherizing 2,146 homes! Recently, the State of Minnesota transferred an additional $615K in ARRA funds to Community Action to weatherize an additional 82 homes. Energy Assistance: An unprecedented number of families in Minnesota applied for help with their energy bills this year. Community Action provided 23,693 energy assistance grants to households that included 8,675 seniors, 9,191 individuals with disabilities and 33,355 children. This helped avert 13,000 utility disconnections and repaired/replaced 585 unsafe heating systems. A total of 15.3 million dollars was dispersed to insure that low-income individuals had safe continuous home heat and electricity.

BoArD of DIrectors news
Welcome new Board members Le’Andra Estis Low Income Fellows Together (L.I.F.T.) Brianna Halverson Minnesota AFL-CIO

pArtIcIpAnt storIes
Samuel, age 50, lives in Roseville. As a single man, he often gets overlooked when it comes to receiving social services. Samuel responded to an advertisement in the Roseville Review highlighting our Food Support Outreach Program. He secured food support benefits and we helped him access much needed medical support. Samuel noted that if he hadn’t seen the advertisement, he would still be without these critical services. Susannah is a single mother of three. She and her children, ages 8, 9 and 15, live in Oakdale. In reviewing her Energy Assistance application, Community Action staff determined that she was also eligible for food support. We assisted her in applying for these benefits and now, Susannah and her three children receive $200 per month in food support. She says that Community Action never disappoints and “has been a blessing to her and her family in so many ways.”

AgencY news:
As a result of the Minnesota State shutdown, 56 of our employees went without paychecks for three weeks. With Board approval, we initiated an action plan that included laying off employees, limiting Agency service and minimizing financial commitments. The Agency continued to operate on a very limited basis. Our Early Head Start home visiting, Community Engagement, Energy Conservation and Energy Assistance programs were all affected. Under the compromise, Community Action will receive $621K in funding from the state, returning our funding to pre-ARRA (2008) levels.

cHAllenges:
The president’s proposed budget includes a 50% cut in funding for Energy Assistance, plus a 50% cut in CSBG which funds Community Engagement strategies. A 50% cut in Energy Assistance would mean that we would be out of funds to help pay utility bills by December—before the coldest part of the winter. CSBG cuts would impact innovative programs that help people acquire assets (house, business, education), become financially literate and achieve self-sufficiency. These are critical times for speaking up and having your voice heard on behalf of others.

Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties • 450 Syndicate Street N, Saint Paul, MN 55104 • 651-645-6445 • caprw.org