May was national Community Action Month, and West CAP, which is an abbreviation of West Central Wisconsin Community Action Agency, Inc., once again celebrated that fact by recognizing success at their annual meeting in Menomonie on Monday, May 11, 2015. As has been the agency’s tradition, West CAP presented three awards: a Client Achievement Award, a Volunteer Award, and an Outstanding Partner award.
On behalf of West CAP Board Chair, Paul Streif, and Executive Director, Peter Kilde, West CAP’s Client Achievement Award was presented to Tanya Beyer of Spring Valley. Tanya and her family hit hard times financially when Tanya’s husband was injured and lost his job. With some assistance from West CAP’s Low-Income Weatherization Program, the family cut their heating costs. But more importantly, Tanya, with a little help from West CAP’s Skills Enhancement Program and a lot of determination, was able to go back to school at Chippewa Valley Technical School and earn an associate degree in Nursing. She has since has gone on to get a good job as a Registered Nurse and is supporting her family financially. We congratulate her success! Continue Reading
NEWCAP, Inc. has announced that it has been given authority from the State’s Division of Housing to provide short-term housing to homeless families and individuals in Brown County (excluding the City of Green Bay).
According to Debbie Bushman, NEWCAP’s Housing Director, the program, called Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA), is currently serving people in nine other northeast Wisconsin counties and will now be able to address a definite need in Brown County, as well.
Individuals in the TBRA program can receive up to twelve (12) months of rental assistance after committing to working on a program of self-sufficiency. Each participant will be assigned a NEWCAP Case Manager who will work out a mutually acceptable plan to reach designed goals.
To be eligible for the program, the person – or family – has to be: (1) literally homeless at the time of application; (2) at imminent risk of being homeless; or (3) currently residing in a homeless shelter. Preference is given to applicants who have a disability, with those suffering from mental illness topping the eligibility preference list.
The intake process involves rating applicants, based on a certain critical hierarchy of need called the Vulnerability Index – Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool, or VI-SPDAT. Those scoring the highest on this intake application receive preference for program services.
According to NEWCAP’s CEO, Robert Koller, the TBRA program “… is another effective tool in helping homeless people move from a status of helplessness to one of hope.”
Individuals interested in applying or in getting more information should contact NEWCAP at 1.800.242.7334 and ask for information and help with emergency housing.
The words, “There is no place like home” from the Wizard of Oz, have never been truer than for a child who is homeless. Homeless youth, sometimes referred to as “unaccompanied” youth, are individuals under the age of 18 who lack parental, foster, or institutional care. Here are some of the facts:
Between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth runaway and/or are homeless in a year.
5% to 7% of American youth become homeless in any given year.
Youth ages 12 to 17 are more at risk of homelessness than adults.
Homeless youth are evenly male-female, although females are more likely to seek help through shelters and hotlines.
Between 6 and 22% of homeless girls are estimated to be pregnant.
46% of runaway and homeless youth reported being physically abused; 38% reported being emotionally abused; 1.7% reported being forced into unwanted sexual activity by a family or household member.
75% of homeless or runaway youth have dropped out or will drop out of school.
Between 20% and 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBT.
Please watch the following (under two minute) YouTube video for more information about child homelessness in Wisconsin.
Citing what it terms “major flaws” WISCAP voiced strong opposition to Assembly Bill 177, a bill that would place new restrictions on those utilizing the FoodShare program.
The proposed legislation would require that 67% of all food purchases be limited to foods the state deems nutritious. The bill lays out a list of eligible foodstuffs, which include foods “that are on the list of foods authorized for the federal special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children (WIC foods); beef; pork; chicken; fish; and fresh produce.”
In testimony before the Assembly Committee on Public Benefit Reform, WISCAP noted its opposition to the legislation is based on a number of factors.
• The bill would “ignore the reality” that many communities in the state are “food deserts” where fresh produce and foods authorized by the legislation are in limited supply and more expensive.
• Among the ordinary and basic foods not approved in the bill and utilized often by families are pasta, soups, macaroni and cheese, nuts and creamed vegetables. In addition, many WIC approved foods are brand-specific and more costly.
• WISCAP also warned the committee that the bill would expand government’s hand in the marketplace limiting individual freedom of choice individual responsibility. Continue Reading
On March 7, 2015, Rosalie Tryon Barber, founder and first Executive Director of ADVOCAP, Inc., passed away peacefully in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
In 1964, then President Lyndon Johnson and Congress had declared the beginning of the War on Poverty by creating the Office of Economic Opportunity, headed by the late Sargent Shriver.
Many miles away in 1965 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, an energetic and dedicated Rosalie Tryon heard about the War on Poverty and the local agencies that would fight poverty on the local level. With her trade-mark “can do” attitude and boundless enthusiasm, she set about creating the “Fond du Lac Area Economic Opportunity Community, Inc” that would later be renamed ADVOCAP, Inc. Continue Reading
Governor Scott Walker, on May 5, 2014, issued a Certificate of Commendation to WISCAP in honor of its 40th anniversary. The Commendation read:
WHEREAS; there are 16 agencies in the Wisconsin Community Action Program Association (WISCAP) working and collaborating with local communities to effectively mobilize human and financial resources to combat and prevent the causes of poverty, and help people achieve economic self-sufficiency; and
WHEREAS; their statewide partners are the United Migrant Opportunity Services, the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups, and the Foundation for Rural Housing; and
WHEREAS; WISCAP has contributed major programming in the areas of affordable housing, weatherization and rehabilitation of homes, employment, entrepreneurship, Head Start, food and nutrition, community economic development, health, education, and many other programs; and
WHEREAS; WISCAP includes low-income people in their policy development in full partnership with the private sector and government;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Scott Walker, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, do hereby commend the Wisconsin Community Action Program Association agencies on their 40th anniversary.
DONE AT THE CAPITOL IN THE CITY OF MADISON THIS 5TH DAY OF MAY 2014
SCOTT WALKER GOVERNOR
WHAT IS WISCAP?
The Wisconsin Community Action Program Association (WISCAP) is the statewide association for Wisconsin’s sixteen (16) Community Action Agencies and three single-purpose agencies with statewide focus. Read more