Goode News – February Edition

The Kentucky Legislature is in full swing, which made for a busy month for Central KY Community Action Council (CKCAC). Community Action Kentucky partnered with CKCAC, for a legislative breakfast in Frankfort, to meet with our legislators. It was a very successful day that focused on the programs within our organization.

Senator Jimmy Higdon took the time to sit down with us and discuss our programs in depth. One program that stood out to Senator Higdon was the Weatherization Program. Senator Higdon gave a Legislative Update that was featured in the Nelson County Gazette, that discusses the Weatherization Program. Here is a link to the article: http://nelsoncountygazette.com/?p=42594

Many thanks to Senator Higdon and all of our elected legislators for taking the time to meet with us. Together we can continue to find ways to break down the barriers for those fighting poverty. More to come, much more…

Kentucky Works – Helping People, Help Themselves

Jennifer was referred to the Kentucky Works Program after she had hit, what she considers, her absolute rock bottom. She never imagined that she would find herself in this position and she knew that if she was going to keep custody of her 11-month, she would have to make some serious changes.

The first of those changes was forced upon Jennifer by the courts. She entered the local Saving Hope Program, which is a group living home for mothers who are at risk of losing their children. Jennifer then began the process of completing the KARE Program, which is a required drug program for nurses who have had their license suspended due to substance abuse. Jennifer was also participating in the Kentucky Works job training program at a local food pantry.

When Jennifer was cleared to return to work, she found it very difficult to find employment because of her past history. Then she found the Journey Pure Treatment Center, who specializes in helping people overcome substance abuse. The Journey Pure Treatment Director, Jerry Lucas, told the Kentucky Works Program Director, Tracy Dennison, that he had to hire her; he had to practice what he preached. He hired Jennifer through the Wage Subsidy Program, starting her out at $22.00 an hour. Six months later, she is making over $28.00 an hour and has full-time benefits.

Jennifer is extremely grateful for everything the Kentucky Works Program has helped her accomplish and she is continuing to mentor others, like herself, to help them overcome these difficult barriers.

LIHEAP Crisis Benefits Available Now

It’s the busiest time of the year for the Community Services Staff. They have just completed Subsidy Component LIHEAP Subsidy, worked with other service organizations for a successful Christmas Assistance Program and prepared the second quarter CSBG Service and ROMA reports. On January 6th, the LIHEAP Crisis program began.

The LIHEAP Subsidy program assisted 3523 families with home heating assistance, in the amount of $487,334.00, in our 8 county service area. This program began on October 7th, 2019 for pre-registration, and ran through Dec. 20th, 2019. The program proceeded smoothly thanks to the hard work of our dedicated staff members. The number of applicants was up for our agency. The Central Office continues to work to pay all of the vendors and balance the program.

CSBG is in the process of completing the annual Needs Assessment process. An email link has been emailed to the Board of Directors for their input. This survey information will be entered into a database for accurate compilation. The results of the Needs Assessment Survey will determine the work plan for the next program year. The information will also be available to other programs and to the community.

The Wintercare Program is available to families for utility assistance. These funds are donated by utility customers as they pay their utility bill, and sometimes matched by the utility company. This program is used for families who are over income for LIHEAP, but under 150% of the federal poverty level. These families are often the “working poor” that fall between the cracks in income level eligibility.

Weatherization Update

Central Ky Community Action Council’s (CKCAC) Weatherization Program is performing services in our 8 county service area. CKCAC’s Weatherization Program received contracts from DOE and LIHEAP for the 2019/2020 year. There are 42 clients on the waiting list to receive services as of July 1st, 2019. As of December 31st, 2019 the program has completed 15 units, with 17 walkaway units.

Our goal with weatherization is to continue to reduce energy and waste and to assure the health and safety of each client we serve. This is achieved by consistent testing of; aliening air and thermal boundaries, pressure diagnostics, heating system diagnostics, indoor air quality, and base load energy consumption diagnostics.

Goode News – January Edition

Happy New Year! Our CKCAC Team is ready for the many projects and challenges that 2020 has in store for our agency. Please join me in welcoming Melissa Bland. Melissa will be joining our Community Action family as our Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Director.

Melissa lives in the Elizabethtown area and comes to Central KY Community Action Council (CKCAC) from Gates Corporation; where she worked for 27 years. Melissa has a bachelors degree in General Studies, with an emphasis in business. Melissa began her role on January 2nd and can be reached at her new office in Griffon Manor, in Elizabethtown.

The RSVP Program provides funding to Central KY Community Action Council for the dual purpose of engaging persons 55 and older in volunteer services to meet critical community needs and to provide a high quality experience that will enrich the lives of volunteers.

As always, we appreciate your support and would be more than happy to assist you in any way we can. More to come……much more.

CCC Utilizes CSBG Program

The Community Collaboration for Children Program has been working diligently with 6 families. We have been assisting caregivers by connecting them with the Community Action’s CSBG offices so that they may apply for the LIHEAP Program, Christmas Assistance, as well as other services offered. We are also working on parenting goals, self-sufficiency skills and home safety with the families we serve.

The Lincoln Trail Regional Network has started having subcommittee meetings to make decisions on April’s Child Abuse Awareness Month and other child abuse prevention programs. The committee has been looking at media outlets and how we can use these tools to educate individuals on abuse and neglect in our area. This is very important as Kentucky leads the nation in highest abuse and neglect cases.

The Regional Network hosted a Poverty Simulation on October 30th at the Elizabethtown Community and Technical College for all CCC and Regional Network staff and parents in the state of Kentucky. Poverty is a reality for many individuals and families, however unless you’ve experienced poverty, it’s difficult to truly understand. The Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS) bridges that gap from misconception to understanding. CAPS is an interactive immersion experience. It sensitizes community participants to the realities of poverty. CAPS is not a game. It is based on real Community Action clients and their lives. During the simulation, a participant is given a role to play, live in a month in poverty and experience low-income families’ lives. The goal of CAPS is to shift the paradigm about poverty away from being seen as a personal failure and toward the understanding of poverty as structural, a failure of society.

Family Child Care Homes and Unaffiliated Center Update

A new center in Boyle County, Christ The Head Child Care, started on the Unaffiliated Centers Program in November. A Family Child Care in Hardin County, Shawna Baldwin’s, starts in December.

There are now 23 Unaffiliated Centers sponsored by the agency and 32 Family Child Care programs. Each of them works hard to make good nutrition a priority for their program. Many have revamped their menus after training to provide less processed foods, while still serving food the children will eat.

All Family Child Care Providers and Unaffiliated Centers have received 3 hours of training to fulfill the annual requirement for training. There were 75 participants at the five trainings. As soon as training was completed, all new enrollment/income applications had to be approved for the new fiscal year. There were over a 1000 applications to approve. It has been very time consuming, with regular monitoring and food reports to be approved.

CKCAC Head Start Hires Health & Wellness Coach

Central KY Community Action Council Head Start hired Health and Wellness Coach, Katie Brockman. She is incorporating health and wellness into the classrooms and works with children, parents, staff and families. The goal is to change the way our families look at health and wellness. Katie is getting the kids moving and having them spread positive energy every night when they go home. She works with the staff and families on how to incorporate exercise at all skill levels and she is innovating the way our program looks at exercising. We are very thankful to have Katie on our team.

Goode News – December Edition

It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. For most people the holiday season is about spending time with family and loved ones, giving and receiving gifts and sitting down for a big family meal complete with all the fixings. But for many others, the holidays can feel more like a time of heightened stress.  Many low-income people are not connected to family or their community. If they do have social connections, they may isolate themselves because they can’t afford to give gifts or prepare food to share. It can be even more difficult to get enough to eat when there is an increased demand at food banks during the holiday season.   When you add kids to the mix, shame and isolation can take hold.

Low-income parents often put themselves last in order to shield their kids from poverty, and the parents’ health and well-being suffers for it.  Some parents may even skip meals or prescription medications to save up enough money to buy their child a special present. But the stress of poverty can affect children.  They know mama has gone without, they know papa’s working hard or is stressing. Because of this, children in poverty are more likely to be too embarrassed to reveal what they secretly wish for because they feel guilty for taking away from their family’s limited resources.

When it comes to having the tough conversations with kids about poverty, parents should always keep an open dialogue with kids and remain honest.  It is suggested to act as a filter and to only allow a tiny bit of information to pass through when children are young, and explain more to them as they grow older.   For example, when children are still very young, keep things simple by explaining that mommy and daddy have a budget and that they’re able to spend a certain amount on their gift. When they’re older, begin teaching them more about bills, expenses and the importance of giving back to those who are less fortunate.

Parents set the tone for how the family views their financial situation and the holiday season.   Kids really do look to their parents for their attitude. One way to set a more positive tone is by redefining what the holiday season means to you. It doesn’t need to be about gifts. It’s the Salvation Army ringing the bell, it’s the highest charity donation time, it’s when we put gifts for the homeless under the Christmas tree and it is all about the idea of community.  As parents we could emphasize other parts of the holiday season that remind us of the goodness of humanity.

Merry Christmas to you and here’s to wishing you a prosperous 2020.  More to come……much more.

Goode News – November Edition

Thanksgiving has always been looked at as our big November holiday, but did you know that National Gratitude Month is observed in November? Gratitude is more than simply saying “thank you.”  Gratitude is the amazing power to have the ability to shift us from focusing on the negative, to appreciating what is positive in our lives. Practicing daily gratitude gives us a deeper connection to ourselves, the world around us and to our Creator.  Everything in our lives has the ability to improve when we are grateful. Research has shown that gratitude can enhance our moods, decrease stress and drastically improve our overall level of health and well-being. On average, grateful people tend to have fewer stress-related illnesses and experience less depression and lower blood pressure. They are also more physically fit, happier, more satisfying personal and professional relationships and will be better liked. Grateful kids are even more likely to get A’s in school.

If everyone practiced daily gratitude, we could change ourselves and the planet for the better.  Everyone would be much happier.  Love would grow and hate would decrease. The world would know true peace.  It’s a great time for me to thank all of those who work for our clients here at Central Kentucky Community Action Council and our Board of Directors, who volunteer countless hours for our organization.   Thank you all for making CKCAC better. 

So, what are you waiting for? Give gratitude a try!  You’ll be happy you did.   More to come……..much more.