The Self Sufficiency Department at SENDCAA began looking for funds to "fill the gaps in services" that SENDCAA sees every day. Currently, our state and federal grants only allow us to assist those who are at or below 125% of Federal Poverty Guidelines (an individual must earn less than $14,850 per year and a family of four must earn less than $30,375 per year). In 2015 alone, SENDCAA denied services to 600 individuals and families in our service area because their requests did not fit the parameters of our current funding streams or their earned income was too great.
The idea of having independent money to assist an individual or family became a need SENDCAA wanted to find a way to fill. Once the idea was developed, Project Help was born. By obtaining this grant, Project Help would allow SENDCAA to have the flexibility to assist those who otherwise would slip through the cracks of our restricted federal/state grants. This grant would serve those who are up to 200% above the federal poverty level (a family of four would be able to earn up to $48,600.00). This amounts to serving an additional 300 individuals/families living paycheck to paycheck with needed financial help.
SENDCAA currently does not have independent, unrestricted money that can help with the discretionary and miscellaneous needs of our clients. The number one unmet need SENDCAA encountered was assistance in paying for a city bill, which includes water, sewer, and garbage. Other requests were for rental deposits, housing application fees, rent or lot rent, employment related costs (i.e., uniforms, work boots, scrubs, etc.), gas money, car repairs, motel stays, toiletries, and more.
Funded by Cass Clay (January 2017)