September 30, 2010 marked the end of funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which supported many of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) programs provide by the Community Action Partnership of the Greater Dayton Area (CAP). These funds helped CAP provide vital programs and services to thousands of families in Montgomery County and throughout our service area.
“ARRA strengthened the social safety net,” said Tim Donnellan, President & CEO of the Community Action Partnership of the Greater Dayton Area. “We used these funds to help those in need avoid eviction, keep their utilities running, and pay their mortgages. ARRA provided us not only the funds but also a greater flexibility in using those funds for direct payments for those in emergencies. Unfortunately, those funds are now spent.”
The agency also recently learned that poverty income guidelines for CSBG programs would return to 125 percent of the poverty income guidelines effective October 1. Most of the agency’s programs have been operating at an income eligibility of 200 percent of the poverty level. Previously, a family of four with a yearly income of $44,100 would be eligible for assistance. That income level will now drop to $27,562.50 a year for a family of four.
Far fewer families are eligible for assistance under the new guidelines. However, according to the Office of Community Services in the Ohio Department of Development, agencies will not be required to “recertify income eligibility for customers that are already enrolled or participating in an existing CSBG service prior to October 1, 2010.”
Despite the changes, Community Action Partnership will continue to help its customers, as it has for the past 46 years. Programs include WorkPays, which helps the unemployed seek jobs. Utility payment assistance will continue with launch In November of the new PIPP Plus Program. CAP will again administer the Winter Crisis Program for one-time payment assistance.
The Housing Counseling Program has additional funding and continually devises new ways to keep customers in their homes. Weatherization crews will be out in the community working to make homes warmer, safer and more energy-efficient. The Computer Literacy and Micro-Enterprise Training and Development programs remain in demand.
“The need for programs such as ours that help people out of poverty and towards self-sufficiency has never been greater,” said Joyce E. Price, Vice President & COO of the Community Action Partnership of the Greater Dayton Area. “Our dedicated, professional staff, with help from our partners and supporters in the community and the legislatures, will continue to help those in need.”
Visit www.cap-dayton.org for more information on Community Action Partnership and its programs.