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October 2015 Newsletter – Michigan Community Action

Michigan Community Action

MI-Oct-2015MCA Catalyst – October 2015

See newsletter for full story on each of these items

Executive Director's Message

Congress should invest in human needs programs, not cut them – Michigan employers struggling to hire qualified workers will see the challenge worsen if investments in human needs programs decline, as they might if Congress proceeds with cuts to human needs programs.

Nearly a quarter of our next generation of employees is at risk of being unemployable, because they are growing up lacking food, safe housing and other resources essential to becoming educated, productive workers of the future. The latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau says 22.6 percent of Michigan children are living in poverty. Congress needs to end harmful sequestration caps and instead invest in human needs programs…

Washington CAA offers tips on adding health care services

CAAs interested in branching out into health care services may learn from a Washington agency that has focused its efforts on health care…The Metropolitan Development Council (MDC) partners with courts, jails and community mental health programs and has been focused on health programs for nearly 50 years. It operates specialized health services…including:

  • Healthcare for the Homeless, which provides primary medical care, dental care, chemical dependency screening and referrals, mental health treatment and medical case management;
  • Acute Medical Detox, which is a two- to five-day treatment in a 16-bed facility with medically supervised detoxification services for adults and youth over the age of 13; and
  • The DUI Alternatives Program is for people convicted of a traffic offense involving alcohol and/or drugs, who are allowed to serve their jail time at the detoxification center.

Executive Profile: Louis Piszker

When a young man came in to the Wayne Metro Community Action Agency looking for help, Louis Piszker and his staff were immediately struck by his persistence and story… He says it was one of the highlights of his 21 years at the agency, watching the staff work together to come up with a solution…

“I think as a Community Action director, my job is to set the example,” says Piszker. "I have to balance following the rules and adhering to standards with staying true to our mission to empower low-income people. As leaders we cannot allow bureaucracy to stop us from doing the right thing. But we also can't go too far off course, either. That's when you start to lose sight of those core values of financial integrity and accountability."

As the agency's executive director since 2007, Piszker says he believes that when there is a culture of creativity and passion, people will always rise to the occasion and come up with solutions to difficult challenges…

See newsletter for full story including how Wayne Metro uses texting to communicate with clients.

MPSC says energy waste reduction programs paying off for consumers

Michigan energy customers continue to reap benefits from the state's energy optimization (EO) programs designed to help them slash bills, a new report from the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) found. In 2014, aggregate EO program expenditures of $257 million by all natural gas and electric utilities in the state are estimated to result in lifecycle savings to customers of $1.12 billion…Overall program expenditures of $1.1 billion from 2010 to 2014 are estimated to achieve lifetime savings to all customers of $4.2 billion…

MCA recognized at Michigan Interfaith Power and Light

Michigan Community Action, CLEAResult and Consumers Energy were recognized for their energy efficiency efforts at the Michigan Interfaith Power and Light 10th Annual Sustainability Conference…MIPL is a nonprofit coalition of faith communities across Michigan that promotes earth stewardship through implementation of energy efficiency, renewable energy and related sustainable practices through education, advocacy and action.

"Weatherization Day at the Capitol" set for Thursday, Oct. 29

MCA is planning a special event at the State Capitol Thursday, Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to demonstrate to legislators how Weatherization Assistance Programs (WAP) benefit their constituents…

"Secure Parents and Successful Kids: A Two-Generation Approach to Tackling Poverty"

The Michigan League for Public Policy will host a public policy forum to explore a two-generation approach to reduce poverty and increase economic security on Oct. 26. The forum is FREE but reservations are due by Oct. 21. Keynote speaker: Anne Mosle, executive director of Ascend. The two-generation approach meets the needs of low-income parents and their children simultaneously. Kids can't succeed unless parents succeed too.


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