Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2010, 11:41 am

Community Action Agencies, Stimulus Funding Help

Comment on this story

Press release submitted by Lisa Soard

Community Action Agencies, Stimulus Funding Help Illinoisans Survive Great Recession

Illinoisans Survive Great Recession

Project NOW serves more than 3,500 residents through CSBG Grants

ROCK ISLAND — The Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies (IACAA) today announce that its 38 member agencies created and retained more than 4,000 jobs, thanks to American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding. IACAA also celebrated the 468 customers Project NOW Community Action Agency, Inc. helped find or keep housing with an ARRA 3-year grant allocation for its Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program.

The report "Helping People, Changing Lives: 2010 Report of Community Action ARRA Successes" illustrates that Community Action Agencies are a key component of economic stability. They have invested ARRA funds into their communities in a variety of ways that meet the specific needs of residents with low incomes. With ARRA funds, agencies are creating jobs, weatherizing homes, expanding Head Start programs and preventing homelessness.

"The Great Recession has pushed the American dream further out of reach, especially for those living at or near the poverty line," said Dalitso Sulamoyo, president and CEO of IACAA. "Community Action Agencies are an efficient and effective way for Illinois individuals and families to realize their dreams."

In just over one year, Project NOW Community Action Agency, Inc. weatherized 444 homes with help from ARRA funds. Project NOW also served more than 3,500 additional customers last year through its ARRA-funded Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program.

"The CSBG program is our most important funding source. It gives us the flexibility to meet the specific needs of our community," said Maureen Hart, executive director of Project NOW. "With CSBG we can provide a young man with job training and employment assistance, or we can give families with low incomes farmers' market coupon books, allowing them access to healthy, locally-grown produce."

Thanks to funds from ARRA, Illinois' Community Action Agencies expanded indispensable programs such as the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), Head Start, Homelessness Prevention Rapid Re-Housing (HPRP) and Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance.