The Council’s history and value system are deeply rooted in the civil rights and poverty reform movements of the 1960s and for the past four decades it has worked diligently to form partnerships with local organizations and entities dedicated to upholding these values. A long-term goal of the Council has been to serve as a strong, effective, proactive and resourceful leader and participant in the communities it serves. To achieve this goal, the Council is continually collaborating with other non-profit organizations, businesses, community groups and government agencies, developing a strong network of resources and ensuring that program participants have a safety net for crisis situations and plans and approaches to long term solutions.
In accomplishing our mission, we will focus our resources and capabilities on: child development, family development (including social and economic self-sufficiency), transportation, safety net (emergency) services, housing services, economic development and volunteerism.
The strategies that we will employ are:
2) Services; and
3) Community Involvement.
As advocates, we listen, understand, and take our lead from the low-income population. We assist low-income people in advocating for themselves and we are their advocates in public policy and community decision-making processes, including those social, economic, education, government, and business arenas that affect the quality of their lives.
As Bourbon, Fayette, Harrison and Nicholas counties’ designated community action agency, we provide community-based services throughout our urban and rural service areas that are integrated, comprehensive, developmental, change-oriented and empowering for the individuals, families and communities we were created to serve. We are committed to bringing state-of-the-art, high quality approaches and service delivery systems that are mindful of and sensitive to those who turn to us for assistance in order to reach and serve the low-income population. We hold ourselves accountable to measurable results.
The low-income population must actively participate in finding solutions to poverty in our communities. To ensure that participation, we will develop social capital and promote community involvement in the low-income community by identifying and capitalizing on the assets, leadership, and talents present.
Housing: Everyone needs a warm, affordable and safe place to call home. Children, the elderly and sick are especially impacted by poor or nonexistent housing. An environment that meets those needs can go beyond just providing shelter and allow an individual and family to flourish while living in dignity. The average assistance amount is $600. Annual need: $90,000.
Safety Net Services: The costs of basics like food, heat and clothing can consume a low income person’s entire income. These expenses range from utility assistance, food, clothing or gas. The average assistance amount is $150. Annual need: $350,000
Child Development: The early years of a child’s life can set the pattern for the rest. A child’s success in life depends on both the care and the messages they receive during those first critical years. The Headstart, Early Headstart and Migrant Headstart programs of CAC enroll 1,280 children and are mainly federally funded; however, there are extras that the teachers need that are not provided through this funding. Annual need: $12,800 or $10 per child
Volunteer Programs: Volunteers have the power to change the world making it a better place to live. He or she can unlock a child’s potential, support an adult’s drive to succeed, applaud the achievements of a senior’s lifetime, or make improvements in the local environment and community. Annual need: $13,000.
Financial Fitness: In today’s world, understanding finances is an essential skill. CAC developed a program to help adults become financially fit through understanding budgeting, needs vs. wants, and saving. This program assists up to 90 students costing $1,500. Annual need: $140,000
Times remain tough, with unemployment peaking at longtime highs, but we have seen great progress and some light at the end of this long, dark tunnel. Much of the negativity surrounding economic recovery bypassed Central Kentucky. Our leaders and organizations worked together to minimize the impact of the recession and position Lexington, and the surrounding areas, to emerge ready for the next generation of growth.
It’s worth noting that the past year has seen legitimate questions raised locally about the spending habits of publicly funded organizations. Our organization has committed itself to maintain already high standards of accountability and stewardship. For example, the Council maintains its strict policy against any corporate credit cards and answers annually to an independent third-party audit as required by the federal Single Agency Audit Act.
Recovery has begun and the Council is proud to be a part of the solution. As Central Kentucky looks forward to what’s next, it will be important to ensure that important issues are not lost in the shuffle. The Council will maintain its emphasis on strong early childhood education, on closing the achievement gap, on ensuring affordable energy prices and more. As participants in the economic development process, we will work to ensure that everyone is included when local leaders work to build a next generation community that appeals to the creative class.
Community Action Council’s Board and Staff commit to our program participants, stakeholders, funders and the community that we will continue to do our part to help those least advantaged get a leg up the ladder while caring for our seniors and others who require our ongoing attention. We will do it well and we will do it with great care and accountability.
Governance: Board of Directors – Terms and Term Lengths
As the designated community action agency for its core services area, Community Action Council’s Board of Directors is organized in accordance with the statutes governing community action agencies: 1) The Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1981, as amended; and, 2) Kentucky Revised Statutes 273.405 et seq.
Accordingly, the Board of Directors is comprised of three equal sectors:
1) A “low-income sector” (referred to locally as The Consumer Sector) whose members are democratically elected by their peers. Members must be current service recipients at the time of election and are elected for three year terms. They may be re-elected if they retain their eligibility. By law, the total number of Consumer Sector members may not be less than 1/3 of the Board’s total membership.
2) A Public Sector whose members include the chief elected official of each of the four core service area counties. To ensure balanced representation based on the population of each of the four counties, additional members are appointed by the Mayor of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. The four chief elected officials in the Public Sector serve for as long as they hold their office. The additional appointees from Fayette County serve at the pleasure of the Mayor. By law, the Public Sector may not exceed 1/3 of the total membership of the Board.
3) A Private Sector whose members represent a wide range of community interests, including social services providers, educational institutions, faith-based organizations, organized labor and business. The Board of Directors elects organizations, not individuals, to the Private Sector. The organizations retain their seats without limit unless a seat is removed by the Board of Directors or it is declined by the member organization. A Private Sector member organization appoints its representative and determines his/her term. By law, the Private Sector may not exceed 1/3 of the total membership of the Board.
Officers are elected annually by the Board of Directors. Officers may be re-elected for additional terms.
The membership for all Standing Committees is elected annually by the Board of Directors. Members may be re-elected for additional terms.
Malcolm J. Ratchford
Malcolm Ratchford was recently named the 4th Executive Director of Community Action Council for Lexington-Fayette, Bourbon, Harrison and Nicholas Counties. Having previously served the organization as the Senior Manager for Neighborhood and Community Services and over a decade as a Head Start Director, Malcolm has been with the Community Action network since 1996. He has dedicated his career to advocating for equity and access to opportunity for all people through his work with structural racism, addressing the achievement gap, convicted felons rights and employment, inner city youth, urban and rural poverty, the immigration reform, and a variety of other conditions that serve as systemic barriers within our communities. Malcolm earned his Bachelor’s Degree in History Pre-Law from Talladega College and a Master’s Degree in Family Studies, Early Childhood Education from the University of Kentucky and is a Certified Community Action Professional. His vision for Community Action Council includes intentional investments in individuals and communities while advocating for the elimination of structural barriers that block access to opportunity for America’s most vulnerable. Malcolm believes that as we invest in communities and address societal complexities, we must simultaneously help families help themselves and each other by creating goals and comprehensive support to move from economic crisis to long-term development of economic security.
Head Start, Early Head Start, Migrant Head Start, and Child Care
LEEP, Financial Literacy, Income Tax Assistance, Youth Development
Safety Net Services
Food Assistance Referrals, Nutrition Education, Clothing Banks, Emergency Financial Assistance, Annual Utility Payment Subsidies and Assistance, Summer Cooling – Air Conditioners
Rental Assistance, Homeless Assistance, Repair Services, Senior Housing (Shepherd Place, Carlisle, Kentucky), Other Development and Assistance, Residential Energy Conservation Services
Community Action Council Volunteer Program, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), Foster Grandparent Program
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Copyright © 2014 Blue Grass Community Foundation
499 East High Street, Lexington, KY 40507