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Agency Spotlights, May 2021 – CAAP

Community Action Association of Pennsylvania

Agency Spotlights – May 2021
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An EMS Worker Who Faced Home Foreclosure Due To Covid-19

Spotlight on Blueprints of Washington & Greene Counties
How Community Action is helping our front line workers survive the financial burden of Covid-19.
John Hill is an EMT whose work hours were cut in March 2020 and the overtime he was accustomed to was no longer available due to the pandemic.  As a result of his significant reduction in income, he was unable to remain current on his mortgage while trying to satisfy all of his other financial obligations.  After receiving a foreclosure notice in September, John contacted Blueprints' Home Ownership Center and was ultimately approved for $4,100 in CARES Act funding, which brought  his mortgage current through December 31, 2020.  John’s work schedule has returned to normal and with the help of his Home Ownership Counselor, he remained a homeowner that now has a household budget and a savings account for future emergencies...

Meet Irene Keirsbilck
Irene is Blueprints’ most tenured employee with close to 42 years of service with the agency.  Irene was named PHFA’s Housing Counselor of the Year and the CAAP’s Employee of the Year in recent years.

Community Action Counselors Continue To Help Virtually Throughout The Pandemic
Over the past 5 years, Blueprints’ Home Ownership Counselors have helped 260 residents purchase a home, 505 residents avoid foreclosure and 600 residents repair their credit.  As a result  of the pandemic, the majority of Blueprints’ housing counseling is taking place virtually which has been well received by residents...

A Father's Home For Fathers Returning From Incarceration

Spotlight On Montgomery County Community Action Development Commission (CADCOM)
Housing and support are provided for fortunate fathers vowing never to return to prison.
In July 2020, CADCOM, under the leadership of Executive Director Rick Beaton, determined to launch The Fathers House which soon after became home to a group of fathers re-entering Montgomery County from State Correctional Facilities.  The Fathers House provides free housing and support services.  Their goal for these men is successful reentry and self-sufficiency following their graduation from the program, and relocation from The Fathers House into their own homes...

What makes The Fathers House so special is the supportive and compassionate care provided by CADCOM’s staff and volunteers.  Kevin Bone, who directs the program, emphasizes the importance of building a solid relationship with each of the residents...The tangible benefits to residents have been numerous, such as replacing credentials, assistance with medical appointments, applying for benefits, securing employment, and just navigating all the change and challenges caused by the pandemic.  Maybe even more important to the well-being of residents have been the intangibles that can be heard, seen and sensed at individual sessions and group meetings. It includes things like acceptance, friendship, community, conversation, contribution, laughter, empathy, emotions and the like. These are the things the guys share with each other so naturally and unknowingly on a regular basis...

The "Father Absence" Crisis
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America -- one out of three -- live without their biological father in the home.  Research shows that when a child is raised in a father-absent home...CADCOM's solution to this problem is the Fatherhood Empowerment Center, dedicated to empowering, educating, supporting and challenging men to become stronger, more positive forces within their own families and communities....

Client Success Story: Youth Program Helps Bridge The Gap To Careers

Spotlight on Central Susquehanna Opportunities, Inc. (CSO)
Students get help graduating from high school, getting a job, enrolling in post-secondary education and joining the military amid the uncertainty for many in this pandemic.
Alexandra entered the Bridges to the Future program in June 2020, as a 10th grader. Her goals were to receive assistance with career exploration and career pathway planning with the eventual goal of becoming a registered nurse...Despite the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Alexandra attended two weeks of Camp STEAM virtually. Along with her peers, she learned about local opportunities, financial literacy, as well as the soft skills employers look for in candidates...

Alexandra never allowed setbacks from the pandemic to decrease her determination to begin taking steps toward a healthcare career pathway.  She managed to apply, interview, and secure unsubsidized employment. Currently working approximately 20 hours in the evenings and on the weekends in the Dietary Department at a local Hospital.  Once finished with 11th grade, Alex plans on securing a paid work experience with a participating health care employer. Not only will she be gaining real-life work experience in patient care, but she will be earning $10.35 per hour. Alex’s workforce specialist from Bridges to the Future will be there to monitor her progress and accomplishments...

CSO's Bridges to the Future Program is contracted through CPWDC. It helps eligible students in selected school districts in Northumberland, Columbia, Montour, Union, Snyder, Mifflin, Clinton, Lycoming, and Centre counties graduate from high school and get a job, enroll in post-secondary education, or join the military. The program runs from the sophomore year in high school until one year after high school graduation.

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