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Community Action Council holds open house

March 21, 2001

Community Action Council holds open house



By MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

CAC open housePhoto: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

Once a year, the Washington County Community Action Council holds an open house so its staff can meet and mingle with others who share the goal of aiding families in crisis.

Now in its 36th year, CAC is still in the business of helping people with rent, food, medical care and other basic needs. But as times change, so do needs.

Statistics indicate that 54 percent of the customers CAC serves are employed.

"This year, energy costs have really been a major concern," said CAC Executive Director Cheryl Moyer Walkley.

She said Wednesday that prospects are good for supplemental relief from the federal government for people with natural gas bills that have doubled or more than doubled this winter.

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The increases have been so dramatic that when CAC got the gas bill for its two family shelters, Walkley wondered if there was a leak somewhere to account for the huge rise.

At 101 East Ave., there are four apartments and at 25 1/2 N. Mulberry St., CAC maintains two more spots for homeless families.

Walkley pointed out that lots of new good things have been happening in recent months.

Crisis intervention is a newly combined area, with emergency services and home energy components combined and a new component, Electric Universal Services, added in a single interview process, Walkley said.

Wednesday's open house served to get the word out to the community that CAC is active and vital, Walkley said. The occasion was also used to release the fiscal year 2000 annual report to the public.

Between Oct. 1, 1999, and Sept. 30, 2000, the Community Action Council:

- Spent $84,287 on rent assistance, $36,886 on utilities, $1,576 on medical care and $396 for transportation.

- Helped 4,196 individuals with heating bills.

- Provided case management to 423 households.

- Delivered through Meals on Wheels meals to 230 individuals with volunteers logging more than 3,709 hours.

- Provided Community Housing counseling to 571 people.

In FY 2000, federal sources accounted for $2.5 million of CAC's $3.9 million budget.

Other funding sources included:

-- The state, $459,324.

-- Local, $206,973.

-- Private, $149,900.

-- In-kind contributions, $553,000.

The Washington County Community Action Council is at 101 Summit Ave. The phone number is 301-797-4161.

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