The Foundation for Rual Housing is Improving the Homes of Older Adults

Rural Housing-Picture-Couple at RampA home repair and improvement pilot program designed to help older adults stay in their homes is being piloted by the Foundation for Rural Housing, Inc. The program provides older adults the opportunity to match their repair needs with the best financing and contractor.

The program, called OAHIP, for Older Adults’ Home Improvement Program, is a collaborative effort of the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Eagle Country, the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Green Lake, Waushara and Adams counties, Summit Credit Union and Rural Housing. It also includes others in each County who wish to be involved from volunteers to Community Action Agencies, Community Development Block Grantees, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Habitat for Humanity. Local aging offices are the main contact point. Continue reading

Community Action, Inc.: The Brotherhood of Fatherhood

Antonio Hickman (left) and Erick Williams (right), Fatherhood Initiative.

Antonio Hickman was 18 years old before he ever met his dad. His grandmother called him to the front door one day, where he found a man he’d never seen. His father.

“I just got out of jail,” the man said.

“Why?” asked Antonio. His father jabbed a finger at him: “You.” “Me?!” The man nodded.

“He said it was something to do with child support,” Antonio explained, shaking his head. “That was the first and last time I met my dad. I vowed to never be that person to my kid.”

Antonio first found his way to Community Action in 2012, when he was a participant in the Fatherhood Initiative. Since 2007, the program has helped hundreds of men—fatherless fathers, many with criminal histories, or unemployed, or behind in child support and out of touch with their kids—to get back on track.

Several times a year, about a dozen men go through the months-long Fatherhood Initiative program, showing up at Community Action’s Pathways Center at 8 a.m. sharp, Monday through Friday, to learn about parenting skills, relationships, fatherhood, nutrition, budgeting, setting up a household, getting a job, maintaining a job, catching up on fees. Meditating and mindfulness, even. Putting things back on track. Righting their lives. It becomes more than just a program about parenting or a seminar on interviewing skills. The men bond, there’s a camaraderie. Continue reading

Edwina’s Success Story

I had been homeless for three years. I called Ms. Donna at the Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin, Inc., and asked if she could help. I was so excited to know someone wanted to give me another chance, or just to hear me out. Ms. Donna showed me an apartment. It had been so long since anyone had asked me or shown me an apartment of any kind.  Ms. Donna asked me how I liked it and I said, “This is really nice.”  She said, “It is yours.” I was so shocked, I was lost for words; I just cried.

Some days have been very overwhelming. But I have persevered, continuing my hard work in school. I will graduate in December 2015 with an Associate’s Degree in Human Services as an Alcohol, and Substance Abuse Counselor. I have taken my state exam and passed!! I am now a substance abuse counselor in-training! I will also be getting married later this year. Oh my goodness, who would ever thought that my life would change so much with the help of the SHIFT [Supportive Housing For Individuals And Families In Transition] program through Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin. I pray that this program will stay in existence to continue to help others. I never would have been able to do all these things without being given this chance to better my life, and without me giving myself the chance.