|WSOS observes Community Action Month and partnerships||| Print ||
|Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff|
|Monday, 24 May 2010 11:02|
The 2010 National Community Action Month in May in the WSOS' four-county service area focuses on the partnerships that have enhanced the work WSOS does.
"We have been able to expand our services to income-eligible residents in our area by forming partnerships with various organizations in our community," said WSOS President/CEO Neil McCabe. "This has
been the case especially during the country's recent economic downturn. Advocates and supporters understand that low-income populations are the hardest hit during a recession. We have worked hard to ensure they always have access to critical programs and services."
Each year, National Community Action Month is celebrated to call attention to poverty-related problems and the initiatives community action agencies implement to address them. WSOS has spent the last 44 years working to alleviate poverty-related problems in its four-county service area of Wood, Sandusky, Ottawa, and Seneca counties.
The partnerships that WSOS established to help the organization serve residents include partnerships with several churches, school districts, economic and business development offices, county commissioners, federal and state funders, local businesses, and many others. According to McCabe, partnerships and collaborations are created at every turn, all in an effort to bring services to the people who need it.
Each year, community action agencies across the nation help more than 13 million Americans escape the ravages of poverty and achieve financial stability through programs such as WSOS Early Childhood Programs, job training for youth and displaced workers, homelessness prevention programs, weatherization, foreclosure assistance, and housing.
"Unfortunately, poverty is still very much a part of our lives," said WSOS President/CEO Neil McCabe. "It is community action agencies such as WSOS that help to put a face on poverty."
Established by President Lyndon Johnson when he signed the Equal Opportunity Act in 1964, community action agencies are guided by the promise of community action, which is to change people's lives, embody the spirit of hope, improve communities, and make each community a better place for all residents. WSOS was incorporated in 1965.
"Our hope is that we can inform the community sufficiently that we can come together and pool resources and efforts to reduce the incidence of poverty in our communities, and so help children pull themselves out of poverty," McCabe said.
In 2009, WSOS increased the amount of funding granted to the agency by 6 percent. In that year, the agency served
¥ 1,438 children and their families with preschool, childcare, medical and dental screenings as well as speech and hearing tests.
¥ Family Services provided assistance to 3,282 households with winter and summer utility bills;
¥ 370 families who were fighting homelessness,
¥ 397 young adults and teens with job training and placement,
¥ 705 children and their families with summer and after school services, and
¥ 217 with first-time homebuyer counseling and foreclosure counseling and mortgage assistance,
¥ The Housing and Energy department weatherized 432 households and rehabilitated 63 homes.
¥ Senior Programs provided 2,406 seniors in Sandusky County with 75,848 meals and provided them with 2,156 trips for medical appointments, grocery shopping, social trips, and others.
In 2009, WSOS also assisted communities with community and economic development work as well as help with drinking and wastewater treatment systems. The WSOS Community and Economic Development department administered two loans to two small businesses while Great Lakes Rural Community Assistance Program helped with three area communities with their water systems including Bascom, Bettsville and West Millgrove in the four-county service area. The program also served another 189 communities throughout Ohio.
For more information on any of WSOS' services, call 1-800-775-9767 or visit the WSOS Web site at www.wsos.org.
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