CSA looks at past successes, forward to future projects
by LUCIE R. WILLSIE, Associate Editor
Jan 27, 2013 | 517 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
THE COMMUNITY SERVICES BOARD met on Jan. 24 for the first time since the fourth Thursday in October. At that meeting, CSA board members voted to hold board meetings four times a year, in January, April, July and October.
THE COMMUNITY SERVICES BOARD met on Jan. 24 for the first time since the fourth Thursday in October. At that meeting, CSA board members voted to hold board meetings four times a year, in January, April, July and October.
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The Community Services Agency has made strides over the years, adding programs and numbers to their programs.

Updates since October 2012 were given for many programs at the first meeting of 2013 Thursday.

Around 2,800 hot meals were served through the home-delivered meals program last October, according to Faye Goldston, program coordinator.

Almost 700 frozen meals were given out that same month, making a total of around 3,500 total meals. For November, a total of around 2,100 hot meals and 600 frozen meals were dispensed.

For December, around the same number of meals as November were given out.

“And new clients are coming in everyday,” she said.

Regarding food distribution, the next commodity distribution of food stuffs will be held Jan. 31 at CSA.

According to executive director of the Homeless Shelter Dwight Donohoo, around 200 people stayed at the shelter since October, with an average of around 40 people staying at the shelter every night.

The average length of stay was around 2 1/2 weeks. More than 80 percent of the people who stayed at the shelter were able to find jobs. Seventy-five percent of them were able to secure permanent housing. The shelter served almost 10,000 total.

“The homeless shelter was serving meals to those who needed them over the holidays,” said Demetrius Ramsey, executive director of CSA.

Plus, the shelter also has helped some clients to keep the lights and heat on in their homes if they are struggling, as well as helped to make sure other clients don’t lose the roof over their heads they are trying to hang onto.

“Self-sufficiency is the goal ... We are trying to move them from homelessness to more self-sufficiency.”

Ramsey also is busy right now applying for grants to help with a variety of CSA programs.

While CSA has a total of 46 housing units, only five are currently vacant, but will be filled by the end of February. The total anticipated monthly rent received is around $20,000.

Goldston also reminded boardmembers that CSA offers Homebuyer’s Education certificates. Eight certificates were earned by area residents between October and December. The course includes information on credit, lenders, how to look for a home, how to find the right neighborhood, and ultimately, how to buy the home that is right for them, etc.

It meets on the second Saturday of every month at the CSA offices at 155 6th St. S.E. in Cleveland.

“If you are interested in buying your own home, this is the class,” Goldston said.

A current Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program began on July 1, 2012. Around 1,700 people, for a total of more than $701,000 in expenditures, have been helped through the LIHEAP. Out of this number, roughly 1000 have been helped with regular heating assistance for around $400,000; 800 or so have been helped with emergency heating assistance for a cost of a little more than $300,000.

According to Jackie Westfield, program coordinator, LIHEAP has exhausted all emergency funds and might be out of funds by Jan. 31.

Westfield does not anticipate getting any more money for this program again until July 1, 2013 year.

But Westfield has brighter news when it comes to CSA’s Weatherization Program. CSA received its contract with the THDA for weatherization earlier in January.

“We have begun the intake process,” she said, “since we have to take all new applications.”

In addition, this Weatherization program is starting the bidding out work — by March, it is hoped — and plan to have a dozen homes finished by May 15. All work is completed by private contractors.

Preparations for the Summer Feeding Program is now in the works.

For more information on any of these programs, call the CSA at 479-4111.