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Agency will focus on self-sufficiency for young families

Agency will focus on self-sufficiency for young families

November 19th, 2017 by Michelle Brooks in Local News

The Central Missouri Community Action is coordinating the community Angel Tree program this year. Tags are available at the downtown Commerce Bank.

Donations are welcome. Call 573-796-3238 for more information.

The regional community action organization has created a new strategic plan, focused on building self-reliance in families with children prenatal to eight-year-old.

The Columbia-based agency has worked for several month on research and data analysis with help from more than 250 area agencies.

The agency has been working toward integration of services for the last decade, following the idea that they can offer more support by building more relationships that result in long-term, meaningful impact.

"Ultimately, we want to do more than help them through a crisis. We want to lead them out of poverty or to a higher state of resiliency, so they can handle whatever challenges they experience," Executive Director Darin Preis said.

The two programs that will receive greater attention are the Housing Choice Voucher and Head Start.

"By focusing more of our resources on a smaller group of program participants, the impact can offer a more permanent path to self-sufficiency and resilience," Preis said.

CMCA will no longer take walk-in requests for case management; however, the agency will still facilitate applications for utility assistance, provide weatherization services, work with seniors in the Foster Grandparent Program, and provide insurance marketplace information through our Certified Application Counselors.

Next fall, the agency will expand its Bridge program beyond Boone County, creating partnerships with school districts and provide services for families, who have graduated from Head Start.

"The ultimate goal is to serve families comprehensively and to show measurable progress towards self-sufficiency. The benefits of this approach will spread to the entire community, effecting school and work readiness, economic opportunity, and the quality of life we expect in central Missouri."