During the year 2010 Community Ministries continued working hard to fulfill its mission working with and for the people in our community who are at risk. The agency, working with skill, compassion and diligence, favorably impacted the lives of hundreds of people.
We impact those lives in several ways. Our primary tool is the provision of services. These services ranged from education and child development activities to the serving of meals and provision of shelter for the homeless. In this past year we engaged hundreds of people.
Another important tool that is at our disposal is advocacy. Community Ministries advocates. We advocate mostly for people whose voices are sometimes hard to hear – the poor, homeless, children, the mentally ill and others. This advocacy takes place almost daily. Sometimes it is for one person. Sometimes it is for a lot of people.
In addition to making sure that single individuals were supported we also confronted American Electric Power as they tried to raise the rates by more than 30%. We were one of a small number of interveners. Our voice, on behalf of the poor, was given considerable weight. They ended up getting half of what they wanted. Also, this agency has challenged the Commonwealth on how it expends dollars meant for engaging the people suffering from mental illness. We believe that it can be done more effectively. This effort we will continue.
All of our revenues and efforts are now becoming even more important. As our resources are diminishing – and they are at an alarming rate – the need for our services and care are going up. The number of homeless people went up in our region by 147% since last year. The number of people who seek help from our crisis aide fund has also gone up. We expect these trends to continue over the next couple years at least. As the stimulus dollars dry up the number of people who will need help will rise.
It is only through the support of our community and the hard work of our staff that we are able to do as much as we are able. I would like to thank the Board of Directors for all of their hard work and dedication. I also thank the staff for all of their hard work, effort and steadfast determination. It is an honor to work with them.
As this year comes to an end I would like to say that it has been my privilege to serve as a board member and officer of Hazard Perry County Community Ministries. The board, executive director and staff have worked very hard this last year to take the organization in a new direction. One way that this has been accomplished is with the addition of James Wetmore, Director of Finance. This has enabled the finances to be done on site. Much time has been spent accomplishing this task.
The homeless shelter received a grant that enabled them to add much needed services. There is now an LCSW on staff as well as more emergency services. There has always been much discussion about having a homeless representative on the board. It was decided by the board that the Quality Assurance Committee would visit periodically to meet with residents. This time would be spent visiting without staff being present. Linda Blair, Cindy Plummer and I spent some time at the shelter one evening in April. The residents were positive and all hoped their situation temporary. This was beneficial and should be continued. The shelter offers more than a bed; it offers residents hope and an opportunity to eventually be independent citizens.
Community Ministries has thought it important to participate and be a good partner in the community. One way has been the Taste of Hazard event. It has brought people together for an evening of good food and friendship. Each year seems to be more successful.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to those who have contributed to HPCCM. Thank you again for the opportunity to have been an officer and board member for the last six years.
Executive Director D.W. Bouchard, M.S.W., joined the agency in December 2008. He has over twenty years of experience with human services organizations, most recently as Executive Director of Dartmouth Family Centre in Nova Scotia. Prior to his work in Canada, Mr. Bouchard founded Shaw House Development Inc., which is a corporation created in response to the growing demands of an at-risk population for low income housing, transitional housing, and needs based services. He is a member of the Kentucky Interagency Council on Homelessness.
Giving Advantages to People, or GAP, features Family Transition Advisors who work families who receive K-TAP. Family Transition Advisors are folks from the community who are former welfare recipients and good resource people. GAP is designed to help recipients of K-TAP access education, employment, housing, and other services that will help improve their lives. Staff help families to identify goals and ways to reach them. Then, they link them with the necessary resources, provide support and encouragement, and help them think strategically about decisions. We work in partnership with the Kentucky Department of Community Based Services to provide this program to families in Perry County.
Asset Building: Each year, Community Ministries provides free tax preparation for low-income households to help them obtain and keep their Earned Income Tax Credit without a rapid anticipation loan. The EITC is a well-documented wealth-building tool, and we want to help people keep all of their earned income. We begin preparing taxes February 1 each year.
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.
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499 East High Street, Lexington, KY 40507