August Success Stories in PA Community Action
August Success Stories in PA Community Action
Agency spotlights
August 2021 Newsletter
Success Stories From PA Community Action
Client Success Story

Finding A Place To Live

A True Story about a Mother's Determination

Spotlight On Northern Tier Community Action Corporation
Hope is a 34 year-old mother of 6 year-old Summer and was in a domestic violence situation.  Hope fled, but had literally no place to go except a tool shed owned by her friend.  She left having only food stamps and Medicaid health insurance.  To compound the matter, Hope suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and often finds herself stricken by flare ups that prevent her from maintaining tasks of daily living. She has been battling with disability services over this, but has not gotten any help.
When she came to Northern Tier Community Action Corporation (NTCAC), she was in survival mode.  She had all of her possessions and a make-shift bed in the tool shed behind a friend’s mobile home trailer,'" shares Jim Line, NTCAC Program Manager.
The friend has her own family and simply did not have room for Hope and her belongings. However, the friend managed to provide Summer a bed in the shed, along with showers and a place to eat inside.  Space in the mobile home was tight and the two retreated to the only spot for them on the property (the tool shed) to sleep and live.
With NTCAC's help, Hope provided documentation, photos and other proof of her homeless situation to enter the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program.  A local landlord also witnessed the situation, and was quite concerned for them.  Within a week of coming to NTCAC, Hope and the landlord were able to work on a lease within the fair market value.  The landlord provided her and her daughter a safe apartment that was paid for using ESG funding. 

Also during this time, Hope was able to find a job at a local gas station, but soon found herself hospitalized due to another multiple sclerosis lesion flare up.   After missing several weeks of work, her employer had to find a replacement for her.  This was discouraging, but Hope now had an apartment in which to rest, and she was also put into contact with a local food distribution point, and other local charities provided supplies for her apartment, and even Christmas gifts for her daughter.
When Hope's M.S. flare-up subsided, her former employer called her back under the understanding that medically she may be required to miss work.  The employer was willing to work around this.  Hope is still trying to apply for disability, but she works despite the physical ailment she lives with.  
As of this writing, Hope is once again working and able to provide both food and shelter for her daughter.  NTCAC's partnership with Hope continues as the staff places her in contact with other local supports to assist her as needed. 
We commmend Hope for her resilence and courage.


NTCAC is open for business providing a variety of services to residents of Cameron, Elk, McKean and Potter Counties:
  • Homeless Prevention Assistance
  • Head Start
  • Weatherization Assistance
  • Energy Assistance
  • Home Buyer Assistance
  • Food and Nutrition Services
NTCAC's staff are well trained and will make referrals to other providers and services as needed.  Visit their website for more information.
Partnership Success Stories

The Supports For Success Program

Spotlight On Allegheny County Department of Human Services

Two mothers share their stories of why Community Action and the program have been vital on their journeys to self-suffiency. 

Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) has a partnership with the The Human Services Center Corporation (HSCC), a trusted and respected community partner of DHS.  HSCC administers the "Supports for Success" Program with the aid of Allegheny County DHS's CSBG funding.  The program provides participants with one-on-one case management, employment and education support services.  They also provide resources and referrals that assist in increasing self-sufficiency through the achievement of educational, employment, housing, financial, and other identified goals. 
This highly valued community partner shares our mission to reduce poverty in our community.  As a public Community Action Agency, much of our work in the community is through contracts with high performing organizations who are as committed as we are to poverty elimination. " shares John Litz, Allegheny County DHS's Planner.

-She'Cholle's Video Story-

A Testimony of Resiliency & Effort

She'Cholle is single mother of three children, two with disabilities to manage on a daily basis.  She is a full-time college student that also works full-time, receiving ongoing emotional and mental health support from her Supports For Success Program Support Specialist.
She'Cholle, like many of us, have been put to the test during this COVID-19 pandemic.  Throughout her journey to become self-sufficient, she has received help from Community Action with utilities, rent, clothing and emergency medical care, in addition to the supportive counseling.
They have helped me tremendously through getting through some very tough times due to COVID-19.  Everything they do and have done for me is very much appreciated," shares She'Cholle of her support from Allegheny County DHS and the Support for Success Program.
She'Cholle was referred to Supports for Success by Family Care Connection in Turtle Creek. She enjoys yoga and outside activities with her children. During her participation in the program, She'Cholle built a strong support network to assist her with her children's health, education, and child care needs.
She obtained a full-time job she truly enjoyed, earned a Human Services Certificate in Child and Family Services, achieved a Bachelors Degree in Human Services (Youth and Family Services and Administration), and began working toward home-ownership goals with additional support from the Veteran's Leadership Program and Habitat for Humanity. 
Keep up the amazing effort and self-determination, She'Cholle, and we wish you the best of everything in accomplishing your goals.

-Keonna's Video Story-

A Testimony of Strength & Hope

Keonna's inability to work outside of the home with her children home- schooling negatively impacted her finances, like many Pennsylvanians this past year.  She first approached the Allegheny Community DHS Community Action Agency for pandemic grants to pay utilities, but feels they provided so much more.  They helped her obtain free local hot spots and a laptop that allowed her to half her Internet bill, look for employment and train herself on computer skills.
Keonna feels like she gained a Life Coach through partnering with her Community Action Agency.
"When they say 'support for success', they really mean it. They are awesome and work as a team to share knowledge of what's available.  Iris, my support person, is always there for me when I have a question.  DHS and the program really care about me all around.  They take the time to listen to me and the goals I want to reach. They make you feel like they are here to build you up," shares Keonna about Allegheny County DHS and the Support For Success Program staff.
Keonna was referred to Supports for Success by an Emergency Assistance Program staff member. She enjoys volunteering and spending quality time with her children and family. She is working on improving her overall financial well-being and achieving her education and employment goals. Keonna is excited about attending the CCAC's Health Information Technology Career Preparation and Training program in September of this year.
We congratulate Keonna for reaching out to Community Action and partnering for the support she needs, and for having the courage to seek self-empowerment.
CAAP is honored to share two client video-testimonials as part of our quest to educate Pennsylvanians about the types of programs available at the 43 Community Action Agencies across PA, and how our state's CSBG funding is coming to the aid of families who need help reaching their financial goals.
Keonna and She'Cholle are similar in that they are both single moms who expressed being motivated by their children to achieve their goals and provide a better quality of life for them.
  • Keonna expressed wanting to be a positive and supportive role model in her children's life and to ensure that her children are able to follow their dreams and achieve their life goals.
  • She'Cholle expressed wanting to ensure that her children felt happy, secure, and safe and that they received all available resources to be successful in school and life. 
Allegheny County Department of Human Services also provides many basic needs services for adults, children, older adults, families, teens and persons with special needs through other community partnerships.  They also offer the following programs tp residents of Allegheny County:
  • Housing & Homelessness
  • Home Repair & Safety
  • Parent & Caregiver Support
  • Transportation
  • Health Insurance
  • Employment Training & Support
  • Food Assistance
  • Child-care & Early Learning
  • Rental & Utility Assistance

Submit Your Stories

We would love to honor your Agency's successes, partner- ships, clients and accomplishments in this monthly news-letter. Your stories will also be featured on CAAP's website and in social media posts that help celebrate your successes, praise your partnerships, and educate the public on how individuals and families benefit from Community Action. 
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