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August 2015 Newsletter – Michigan Community Action

Michigan Community Action

MI-Aug-2015MCA Catalyst – August 2015 – Summer Conference Recap

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Community Action leaders unleash 'people power'

More than 240 Community Action leaders from across the state gathered last month to tackle agency opportunities and challenges during MCA's annual summer conference. Along with strategizing ways to increase self-sufficiency among families in their communities, attendees gained insight on leadership, communication and collaboration.

National leadership consultant Jonathan Michael Bowman inspired MCA leaders to create clear visions to empower people and effect change in communities through his keynote address, "The Fine Art of People Power." Other conference speakers included Valerie Brader, director of Michigan Agency for Energy; Marcella Wilson, executive director of Matrix Human Services; and Brian Mills, chief operating officer of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

MAE's goal: Getting energy policy right to benefit people

Ensuring affordable access to energy for Michigan residents, especially low-income populations, was a key focus at MCA's conference last month, including a presentation by Valerie Brader, director of the newly created Michigan Agency for Energy…

Matrix CEO: Treat poverty as a condition, not character flaw

Marcella Wilson, Ph.D, came to Bellaire to tell MCA conference attendees about her agency's efforts to alleviate poverty in Detroit. In her position as president and CEO of Matrix Human Services - a nonprofit that serves children, youth, families and adults -- Wilson helped create a system of care trademarked Transition to Success (TTS) with programs based on the premise that poverty is a condition that requires treatment, rather than a weakness or character flaw.

The program trains direct care professionals across health, education, government and human services to address the economic, health-related and educational barriers to self-sufficiency by coordinating existing, already funded services into a logical, step-by-step process.

MSHDA COO says partnership with MCA can benefit Michigan

Brian Mills, chief operating officer at the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), told attendees at Michigan Community Action's Summer Conference that MSHDA wants to partner with MCA to address local needs. MSHDA assistance could take several forms, including training seminars, delivery of services and customer assistance…

Executive Profile: Jacob Maas

When groups join hands to help a community thrive, the impact is far-reaching, says Jacob Maas, executive director of the Area Community Services & Training Council (ACSET) in Grand Rapids. "I always like the fact that we are not doing this alone. We can have an impact on one individual, one family or an entire community. It's the partnerships we've developed that are making a difference…

EITC Facts

In an effort to fund Michigan road repairs and improvements, some legislators are pushing to eliminate the Michigan Earned Tax Credit (EITC), a tool that grants working families some tax relief. The $117 million potentially saved by eliminating the EITC is minimal compared to the $1 billion plus needed for the transportation plan. Here are some facts and talking points about EITC…

Heating credit deadline

Low-income homeowners can get about $140 toward utility bills if they file for a home heating credit before September 30…


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