Agency stories deserving the spotlight!
Agency stories deserving the spotlight!
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Success Stories That Shine.

CAAP February 2021 Edition

   A Goodwill food drive is relentless against  the added weight of the pandemic.

Spotlight On Community Partnership, Inc. of Butler County

Heavy burdens and hardship continue to hover over people broken financially by the pandemic.

That is why the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, the Butler County Food Bank and the Butler County Community Partnership continue to offer monthly support to people struggling to put food on their tables.
More than 320 vehicles showed up at the Lernerville Speedway on a recent Tuesday, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., to receive boxes of produce, dry food and meat.  It's part of the monthly food drive that many people depend on, especially with complications in receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance from the state.
"It just brings you to tears sometimes," says Sue Hetrick, who showed up to get food for her family, which includes her daughter. "We're struggling. It's definitely a big help because we have a 4-year-old. Times have been tough missing work."
Sandra Curry, who manages Butler County Community Partnership says as long as people are hurting, the food drive will maintain its status as a valuable resource.
"When you're feeding someone who is having difficulties, I can't express how meaningful that is for us and the volunteers as well. Most of these volunteers are here every month. It's always the same volunteers," says Sandra Curry about the community's dedication.
View the news video in this story by Pittsburgh's Action news.  Learn about Community Partnership, Inc. on their website. The next food drive is scheduled for the last Tuesday in March and they are announced via their CADCOM MONTCO Facebook page.

A Life Rebuilt After A Life Of Domestic Violence

Spotlight On Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County (CAPLANC)

A woman's story of the isolation and dependence of domestic violence even before COVID-19, and how the CAPLANC "Safety & Empowerment" program helped.

After years of domestic violence and instability, Marisol* got the courage to contact DVS via the 24-Hour Hotline. She spoke with a counselor about the dangerousness of her situation and was brought into the Safe House with her two daughters, ages 10 and 13. She had difficulty working due to a physical disability and was prevented from holding a job by her abusive partner, which kept her financially dependent.
At the Safe House, Marisol attended education and support groups, opened up about her experiences and shared many serious obstacles to finding permanent housing. She was excited to hear of an opening at the DVS Bridge House (safe, transitional apartment-style living) and applied.
Once in the program, Marisol talked about the life she wanted for her family, began goal-planning, and obtained fulltime work creating opportunities for promotions and pay increases. She worked second and third shifts, walking more than 2 miles to work. She worked on household budgeting & credit repair, obtained her driver’s license and is preparing to purchase a car. She filed an income tax return for the first time in many years and was able to save her refund for a security deposit on permanent housing.  
Finally, after just 13 months at Bridge House, Marisol found an affordable three-bedroom apartment in a neighborhood convenient to her job and her children’s school. She and her daughters have achieved their dream of a safe, secure home free from domestic violence. 
Learn more about CAPLANC and their Domestic Violence programs and Services.  Here are some numbers on the CAPLANC's program success:
  • 53% of Bridge House residents improved their credit scores.
  • 72 individuals were able to maintain safe and affordable housing due to an abuser leaving a home.
  • 104 households experiencing homelessness obtained safe, temporary shelter.  Source: (2019 annual report)

Domestic Violence Numbers ( pre-pandemic)

1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the US have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. On a typical day, domestic violence hotlines receive about 21,000 calls. 1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner, domestic violence each year.     
Imagine what the pandemic's effect will be on 2020 numbers?

Meet Alanna Wilson

Spotlight on VP of Community Action Partnership of Cambria County's Board

An interview in honor of Black History month and Alanna Wilson's call for community in our actions.

Alanna Wilson, who is also a member of the Veterans Community Initiatives board and a member of the NAACP, believes that Black history should be taught as an integral aspect of history as a whole.  Read about her views on bringing education on Black history to the forefront.
“The teacher can’t be the only one," says Alana as she calls on members of the community to practice empathy and open-mindedness.  "Next-door neighbors need to have dialogues and conversations with each other again. We need to really embrace that community aspect."
Read the full article in the New Castle News.  Learn about CAPCC.

   One In Ten Erie

Residents Don't Have

A High School Diploma


Spotlight On Greater Erie Community Action Committee

Limited basic skills is a widespread problem among thousands of adults in Erie County. 

Low reading and math skills impact employability and earnings.  Nearly 10% of adults do not have a high school diploma in Erie County.  Adults without a high school diploma are more than 2x as likely to live in poverty than high school graduates andmore than 3x as likely to be unemployed than adults with college degrees.   Low literacy skills are directly linked to inequality, higher rates of unemployment, lower-income and poor health. 
GECAC's Adult Education is focused on helping low-skilled adult learners advance along a career path and improve their employment and earnings.  As a result:
  • 92% of  GECAC's students pass the GED® Tests, which is more than the state standard of 84%.
  • 65% of students looking for work got jobs, which is more than the state standard of 44%. 
  • 63% of the students entered higher education or training above the state standard of 20%.
Read about two of GECAC's clients, who found support and mentorship from community action. Congratulations, Seth and Nicholas.  Well done!
Meet Seth Pickens
Greater Erie Community Action Committee
When Seth Pickens, a GECAC Adult Education Student, passed his GED exam, he was pleased to learn he earned an acceptance to the University of Montana a month later!  Seth is 26 years old and this was a life changing accomplishment for him.

"The teachers were always there for me. Any questions I had, they gave me the tools I needed to get the right answer.  It is up to us individually, the ones preparing for the tests, to do the work. The teachers give you everything you need to pass the tests.  Anyone looking to obtain their GED has to work for it.  You still have to study. Countless things are made possible with belief and hard work,“ shares Seth on his perspective for reaching our goals.

Meet Nicholas Walker

Greater Erie Community Action Committee
While Nicholas was still attending high school he found out that his father had cirrhosis of the liver and could possibly pass any day. This along with rising tension at his home caused him to experience anxiety and depression. He started missing school, even going to court for truancy once or twice until he officially dropped out. During that time his anxiety turned into full blown panic attacks which made him isolate himself.
During his isolation, his father passed away. This was a tremendous blow to him and his family. He continued to isolate himself for about four years until he admitted himself to the hospital. This was one of the hardest things he had to do, but it gave him the chance to get back on his feet. With the support of his family and case manager, he was able to get a new lease on life. He was able to get his GED and look forward to the future. He would like to get a job where he can help people, like they have helped him. Not only did he earn his GED, he also graduated from GECAC's virtual New Choices Career Development class in late 2020. 
"The first step toward getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.  I feel like I accomplished something, and GECAC helped me every step of the way," says Nicholas of his journey to getting somewhere. 
Visit CAAP's website to read more Community Action stories.

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