A National Resource to Support Excellence in Community Action

County Judge Leads Effort to Address Poverty

From the Introduction

San  Augustine  County  is  experiencing  the  challenges  of  rural  East  Texas.  Macro-level community issues such as poverty, unemployment and lack of services severely impact the quality of life and well-being of the county residents.  Under the direction of County Judge Samye Johnson, a comprehensive county needs assessment was designed and implemented to explore these realities.

A project team including county officials, the School of Social Work and Center for Rural Social Work Research Development, Stephen F.  Austin State University, county residents and service providers planned and implemented the comprehensive community needs assessment from January 2012 to November 2013.  The purpose was to conduct a community needs assessment in San Augustine County to explore the needs for services in the county.

It is envisioned that the results from the project will provide specific information which will enable county officials and other role-players to facilitate grant writing efforts in order to provide services and resources to the county residents.  In addition, the results will be used to develop programs specific to the needs of the county.  For this purpose it was important to listen to the voices of the community.

The project team ensured that the voices were heard through inclusion of county residents in the initial design, planning and implementation of the project.  A participatory action model was designed and implemented to ensure that the process and results reflect the perceptions of the community members.

Development of the San Augustine Multi-Service Center

As reported by KTRE, the County purchased a foreclosed property from HUD and sold it to the Tri-County Community Action, Inc. to house all social service programs under one roof.

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