Archive for the ‘News’ Category

CSBG Academic Scholarships available to students   no comments

Posted at 9:50 am in News

If you are a student entering or returning to college or vocational school this fall and are in need of financial assistance, you may be eligible for a cash scholarship provided by the Big Sandy Area Community Action Program with funding from the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG).

Applicants must provide the following information and/or documentation to apply for the scholarship:

  • Meet income eligibility as determined by the Federal Poverty Guidelines
  • Provide proof of residency within the BSACAP service area via utility bill or piece of first class mail postmarked within 30 days of application
  • Complete and sign an application available at any BSACAP Community Services office
  • Complete a Family Profile according to CSBG guidelines
  • Provide proof of a high school diploma or GED
  • Provide proof of cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better from last semester of high school or last completed semester of college
  • Provide two letters of reference
  • Provide proof of enrollment or acceptance in a post-secondary educational institution for the Fall 2017 semester/term
  • Write an essay on why they feel they should receive the award

Applicants who have earned a 4-year degree or are pursuing education levels of Master’s Degree and above are not eligible. BSACAP staff and family members of staff are not eligible to apply.

For further information or to pick up an application, applicants may contact the Big Sandy Area Community Action Program Services Office in their county. Completed applications and required documentation must be received by mail no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 30, 2017. Scholarships will be awarded no later than July 31, 2017.

Office hours are 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Office locations are as follows:

  • Floyd County – 60 Court Street, Allen – (606) 874-3595
  • Johnson County – Johnson County Court House, 230 Court Street, Paintsville – (606) 789-6515
  • Magoffin County – 131 South Church Street, Salyersville – (606) 349-2217
  • Martin County – Roy F. Collier Community Center, Suite 203, Inez – (606) 298-3217
  • Pike County – 478 Town Mountain Road, Pikeville – (606) 432-2775

Scholarship funding is made possible by Community Services Block Grant with funds made available by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Written by Sarah Hill on May 5th, 2017

Tagged with , , , , , ,

Garden Seed voucher program signups April 3-7   no comments

Posted at 2:17 pm in News

Applications for Big Sandy Area Community Action Program’s annual Garden Seed Program will be taken on a first come, first serve basis April 3 – 7 at each of the BSACAP offices.

The Garden Seed Program offers qualifying low-income households $40 in vouchers to purchase seeds, plants, and fertilizer at local vendors so that area families can build a garden at their home.

“It’s a very simple program, but one that add tremendous value to the people we serve,” said Big Sandy Area Community Action Program Executive Director Mike Howell. “Our mission is to help low-income people become more self-sufficient, and the Garden Seed Program accomplishes that by helping people to get access to fresh and healthy food and lowering their grocery bill.”

To be eligible for the program, a household must:
• Meet income eligibility guidelines
• Provide proof of income from the previous month
• Have the social security numbers for all household members
• Bring a metered utility bill to verify their address

Applications will be taken 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., April 3-7, at the BSACAP offices located Allen, Paintsville, Salyersville, Inez, and Pikeville.

BSACAP will also offer a “Ready to Garden” workshop at each of their offices. The workshop is designed to help people learn how to start a garden, the best places to set it up at your home, when to plant different produce, and more.
To learn more about the Garden Seed Program or the “Ready to Garden” workshop, please call (606) 789-3641.

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a vast array of services, such as employment and training assistance, weatherization of homes, and area Head Start programs, in order to assist individuals and families in obtaining self-sufficiency. Through collaborative efforts of community and organizational partnerships, BSACAP seeks to improve the overall quality of life within the Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike County communities. To learn more about BSACAP and their programs, visit www.bsacap.org or call (606) 789-3641.

Written by Sarah Hill on March 20th, 2017

Tagged with ,

BSACAP to take crisis heating assistance applications starting Jan. 9   no comments

Posted at 2:04 pm in News

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) will be taking applications for the Crisis component of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) beginning Monday, Jan. 9, 2016. Applications will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis until March 31 or until funds are exhausted.

The Crisis component of LIHEAP provides assistance to low-income households experiencing heating emergencies.

Households are considered to be in a home heating crisis if:
• the household is within four days of running out of fuel if bulk fuel (coal, fuel oil, propane, kerosene, or wood) is the primary heating source; or
• the household has received a disconnect notice if natural gas or electric is the heating source; or
• the household’s home heating costs are included in the rent and the household has received an eviction notice for non-payment of rent.

To be eligible for Crisis assistance, households must verify their address, verify a heating crisis exists and meet federal income eligibility guidelines. Applicants also must apply in their county of residence.

In addition, applicants must present the following:
• Proof of household income for prior month;
• Birthdates for all household members;
• Social security card or official documentation with social security numbers for each member of household.
Applications will be taken at the following BSACAP service offices from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:

Floyd County
60 Court Street
Allen, Ky.
606-874-3595

Johnson County
230 Court Street
Paintsville, Ky.
606-789-6515

Magoffin County
131 S. Church Street
Salyersville, Ky.
606-349-2217

Martin County
387 E. Main Street
Inez, Ky.
606-298-3217

Pike County
478 Town Mountain Road
Pikeville, Ky.
606-432-2775

LIHEAP, a national energy assistance initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is funded in Kentucky by the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Community Action Kentucky.

Written by Sarah Hill on January 5th, 2017

Tagged with , , , , ,

Tragedy averted through BSACAP’s Weatherization Assistance Program   no comments

Posted at 10:58 am in News
Judy and Darvin Grim

Judy and Darvin Grim are staying in their safe and warm Johnson County home this winter through the help of the Big Sandy Area Community Action Program’s Weatherization Assistance Program.

“It’s a miracle we weren’t dead already,” said Johnson County homeowner Darvin Grim. Grim and his wife Judy have lived in their home for 10 years and were unaware of the threat their heating system posed to their lives.

Heating their home had become a challenge for the Grims. The electric heating system that was in place in the home was too big to be carried by their breaker box. In lieu of the electric system, the Grims used an old coal burning stove that was unsafe and an old propane space heater, but they were only able to heat one room in the home.

Grim knew the house needed better insulation, but household expenses kept him from being able to put it in himself, so he contacted Big Sandy Area Community Action’s Weatherization Assistance Program to see if they could help. BSACAP’s Weatherization program is designed to help people with low-incomes get the repairs they need at no cost, offering them a long-term solution to heating and cooling problems and reducing home energy costs.

BSACAP’s Weatherization crew inspected the home and found that not only did the structure have less than half of the insulation needed, but the propane space heater that was in use was spewing extremely dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide.

BSACAP Inspector Steve Mullins noted that had the home been properly sealed and insulated when the old propane space heater was in use, the home would have filled with carbon monoxide with nowhere for it to escape. And the Grims said that they became very drowsy in the room with the heater, which is one of the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.

It is critical that gas space heaters be serviced every few seasons in order to ensure they are still clean burning, and they should only be used in a well-ventilated area.

After the inspection, BSACAP’s Weatherization crew got to work. They installed a new gas furnace that is 98 percent energy efficient, ensured that all holes and air leaks were sealed, installed a carbon monoxide detector and smoke detector, and installed a CFM vent designed to improve air quality.

The crew spent several days at the Grims’ home completing the difficult work at no cost to them. “Everyone was so nice and friendly and they worked really hard,” Judy Grim said.

Now the Grims have a safe and warm home to help them face the winter. “It’s like daylight and dark,” Judy Grim said. “The house has never been this warm. Everything they did makes a difference.”

The Weatherization Assistance Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and administered by the Kentucky Housing Corporation.

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a vast array of services, such as employment and training assistance, weatherization of homes, and area Head Start programs, in order to assist individuals and families in obtaining self-sufficiency. Through collaborative efforts of community and organizational partnerships, BSACAP seeks to improve the overall quality of life within the Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike County communities. To learn more about BSACAP and their programs, visit www.bsacap.org or call (606) 789-3641.

Written by Sarah Hill on December 22nd, 2016

Tagged with ,

Promoting nutrition earns promotions   no comments

Posted at 10:50 am in News
Crum in pantry

Franceen Crum of Floyd County proudly stands in her pantry at the Martin Senior Citizens Center where she prepares and serves meals to Floyd County seniors. Crum enrolled in BSACAP’s Senior Community Service Employment Program and worked her way up to Head Cook of Floyd County Senior Citizens Centers.

For many, a job is something more than just a way to earn money. It is a chance to experience friendship, camaraderie, pride, and joy while being of service to others. And this is most certainly the case for Franceen Crum of Floyd County who gained employment through the Senior Community Service Employment Program at BSACAP.

Crum worked at Riverview Nursing Home in Prestonsburg for 15 years. She had gone to school to become a phlebotomist and was just about ready to take the state-mandated test when she found out that she would be forced to have open heart surgery and put her working life on hold.

After her recovery, Crum began to look for new work and saw a story in the newspaper about Big Sandy Area Community Action’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), a program designed to help low-income people over the age of 55 to receive the job training, education, and support they may need to find employment. The time spent in the program is dedicated to paid community service work.

After enrolling in the program, Crum began working 15 hours each week at the Prestonsburg Senior Citizens Center. With her skills and her background in elder care, she was a perfect fit.

After her time with SCSEP ended, Crum was hired on at the Martin Senior Citizens center as a Center Aid. After a year in that position, Crum moved up to Cook’s Assistant, and now serves as Head Cook for Floyd County Senior Citizens Centers.

Crum is charged with planning and cooking over 220 meals in a day to serve the six senior centers in Floyd County where food is delivered to centers and homes. In addition to adhering to state nutritional guidelines, Crum also received CPR and first aid training, drivers training, and nutritional training.

Crum says she loves working at the Senior Citizens Center. “They are a great bunch of people and we’re like a big family. People laugh and joke and carry on, and we care about each other. It’s just a really good place to be,” she said. Crum said her time with SCSEP started a whole new life for her and that “It’s a great joy to be helping other seniors.”

Even after several setbacks, Crum, with the help of Big Sandy Area Community Action Program, was able to find her way back to serving our community, caring for our elderly, and enjoying a life filled with laughter and friendship.

Written by Sarah Hill on December 22nd, 2016

Tagged with ,

Heating assistance subsidy signups end Friday, Dec. 9   no comments

Posted at 10:10 am in News

liheapThe subsidy portion of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), administered by Big Sandy Area Community Action, will end this Friday, December 9th. Low-income individuals and families in need of assistance should visit the Community Action office in their county before 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

LIHEAP is a federally-funded program that helps low-income households with their home energy bills. By ensuring proper heating, the risk of health and safety problems such as illness, fire, or eviction is reduced. This important federal program helps provide heating assistance to over 100,000 families in Kentucky each year.  It operates in two components:  the subsidy component and the crisis component.

Individuals seeking assistance during the subsidy component must meet income eligibility requirements and bring the following information with them when they sign up:

  1. Proof of Social Security Number or Permanent Residence (Green Card) for EACH member of the household. In order to receive assistance you MUST bring EVERY Social Security Number or Permanent Residence (Green Card) for each member.
  2. Proof of ALL household’s (ALL MEMBERS) income from previous month.
  3. Most CURRENT heating bill, statement from your landlord if heating expenses are included in rent, statement from utility company if you participate in Pre-Pay Electric Program.
  4. The ACCOUNT NUMBER and NAME on the account for ALL heating fuel sources and electric.

You do not have to have a “disconnect” notice during the subsidy component of LIHEAP.

All eligible applicants will receive a benefit amount that is based on their income and primary fuel type.  Benefit amounts vary based on individual situations. All vouchers are paid directly to the primary fuel vendor with no funds being distributed directly to the applicant household.

Applications for the subsidy portion of LIHEAP will not be taken after Friday, December 9.

The crisis component of LIHEAP will not begin until Monday, January 9th.

The crisis component has the same income eligibility as the subsidy component with the additional requirement that the household must have a “disconnect” notice from their utility company or they must self-certify that they are within four days of running out of their bulk fuel source such as wood, coal, kerosene or fuel oil. Benefit levels are determined by the amount needed to prevent disconnection or the amount needed to ensure a deliverable amount of bulk fuel. The crisis component operates on a first come first serve basis and will be in operation until March 31st or until funds have been expended.

LIHEAP is funded through Community Action Kentucky (CAK), the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a vast array of services, such as employment and training assistance, weatherization of homes, and area Head Start programs, in order to assist individuals and families in obtaining self-sufficiency. Through collaborative efforts of community and organizational partnerships, BSACAP seeks to improve the overall quality of life within the Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike County communities. To learn more about BSACAP and their programs, visit www.bsacap.org or call (606) 789-3641.

Written by Sarah Hill on December 5th, 2016

Tagged with , , , , ,

Big Sandy Job Fair on Oct. 31   no comments

Posted at 8:55 am in News

big-sandy-job-fair-1

Written by Sarah Hill on October 18th, 2016

Tagged with , ,

BSACAP announces 2016 Head Start Teaching Staff of the Year   no comments

Posted at 2:17 pm in News
dsc_0128

The winning teaching team, Ramona Stewart (left) and Misty Knott (right), pose next to the library nook they won for their classroom at James A. Duff Elementary School.

Teamwork, joy, and a deep love of children are the key components for success for the first ever Head Start Teaching Team of the Year. Out of 64 classrooms in the Big Sandy Area Community Action Program grant service area, Misty Knott and Ramona Stewart, from James A. Duff Elementary Head Start in Floyd County, were named this year’s winners.

Knott has been teaching Head Start for 11 years and assistant teacher Ramona Stewart has been with the program for 23 years. “We just like working with children and being around children,” Knott, who had always wanted to be a teacher, said. After spending time working as a bookkeeper and secretary, Stewart is fulfilling what she describes as her “lifelong dream to work with little kids.”

Knott said that Head Start holds a special place for her. “It’s the foundation to get the kids ready for school and for life. We teach them how to eat and sit and listen, just all the very foundational skills a child needs.” Stewart echoed her colleague saying that helping children learn about good behavior, all the basic elements of being in a classroom, having a schedule, and going about the day is a critical part of their early education. “We’re firm with them, but we love them. We don’t have any problems with behavior or anything like that,” Stewart said.

Knott and Stewart, who can practically finish each other’s sentences, say that the key to their success is the strong partnership they have forged over the years together. “It’s the teamwork and the real passion and love we have,” Knott said. Stewart added, “It’s patience and love for kids.”

Knott explained that she and Stewart see eye-to-eye on most choices and are sure to stand behind one another because they keep the focus on providing what is best for each child in their care. And while each agree that finishing paperwork is the most difficult part of their job, they say they wouldn’t trade it for any other. “There’s so much paperwork. It’s not that the paperwork is hard; it’s just finding the time to finish it. But we work out ways to get it done and we’ve never been late with anything,” Knott said. But the true reward the team receives is from the hugs and smiles of the children.

“The hugs and the ‘I love you’s’ make all the difference,” Knott said. “That’s what we do every day before they leave. We give them a hug and say, ‘I love you. See you tomorrow,’” Stewart added.

The duo say they ensure that each child is treated the same as all the others and they work to make learning safe, fun, and full of care. Knott explained, “I wish that every child could have at home what they have here. Sometimes the love and the nurturing is missing at home and I wish they could all have that all the time.”

Knott said that at the end of the day, “You have to do whatever it takes and the little things feel so good. Say a child came in at the beginning of the year and couldn’t put their coat on, if they can do it by the end of the year, it just makes you feel so good. It’s just the little things.”
The team said they were surprised by the Teaching Staff of the Year award and were very pleased with the library nook they received as a prize for their classroom, but were quick to add, “It’s nice to be recognized, but we’re here for the kids first.”

Knott and Stewart became this year’s winners by having at least 85 percent child attendance for the entire year, scoring in the Top 10 (out of 64) on the CLASS observation tool, having 15 or fewer negative findings during the annual grantee record review, completing the required child assessments for all children within the stated timeline, completing the recommendations by the School Readiness Committee within the stated timeline, and having the a number of parent volunteer hours.

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a vast array of services, such as employment and training assistance, weatherization of homes, and area Head Start programs, in order to assist individuals and families in obtaining self-sufficiency. Through collaborative efforts of community and organizational partnerships, BSACAP seeks to improve the overall quality of life within the Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike County communities. To learn more about BSACAP and their programs, visit www.bsacap.org or call the service office in your county.

Written by Sarah Hill on October 3rd, 2016

Tagged with ,

Youth Program gives Martin Co. woman a head start on her career   no comments

Posted at 2:10 pm in News
Kyla Horn, of Martin County, participated in BSACAP’s Youth Program and landed an internship with The Mountain Citizen in order to help her on her way to a successful career in journalism. The Youth Program is open to students in high school and young people between the ages of 18 and 24.

Kyla Horn, of Martin County, participated in BSACAP’s Youth Program and landed an internship with The Mountain Citizen in order to help her on her way to a successful career in journalism. The Youth Program is open to students in high school and young people between the ages of 18 and 24.

Meeting the right people and making the right connections to start a career early in life can be difficult for many students in our area, but one young woman from Martin County took the step she needed to get her foot in the door with journalism.

Kyla Horn, a recent alumna of Sheldon Clark High School, interned with The Mountain Citizen through the assistance of Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) and the Youth Program offer through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA).

The WIOA Youth Program offers a range of services to students still in school and young people age 18-24. The program offers tutoring, study skills, training, and instruction, alternative secondary school offerings, summer employment opportunities, paid and unpaid work experiences including internships and job shadowing, occupational skills training, leadership development opportunities, supportive services, adult mentoring for 12 months to ensure continued success of placement, and comprehensive guidance and counseling. The program is open to low-income young people who may experience barriers to employment.

Horn explained, “All of my friends were getting on [the Youth Program] and I was like, ‘You guys are working at the coolest places, like having to do with what you want to do when you grow up.’ And I was like, ‘I want to do that to.’” So she connected with BSACAP Career Advisor Kayla Jude.

Horn told Jude about her passion for journalism and her hopes of one day becoming a news anchor. “[Working with Kayla] was really cool because I didn’t feel like I was talking to a supervisor. It felt like I was talking to a big sister who was helping me learn the ropes. It was really helpful,” Horn said. Jude was able to arrange for Horn to have an internship with her local newspaper, The Mountain Citizen, so that she might begin to see how the news is gathered.

Horn said that initially she was a little nervous about the internship. “I was working with people who had been there since before I was born. I was so scared of messing up,” she said. But after about a week, Horn adjusted to the paper business and learned how to work the front desk, file papers, and take advertisements. She was even given the opportunity to write a few articles about her high school and the dance team.

Horn said her internship with the paper not only gave her real life work experience, but also gave her confirmation that journalism is in fact the path that she wishes to pursue in college. “It gave me real life work experience that I wouldn’t have received anywhere else,” she said. “I’ve recommended it to all my friends who are in high school right now.”

She is attending Big Sandy Community and Technical College at present and plans to transfer to Morehead State University where she will study Journalism and Communications. Horn says she is looking forward to the future and is excited to learn everything she can about different kinds of media productions and become the future of news in Kentucky.

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a vast array of services, such as employment and training assistance, weatherization of homes, and area Head Start programs, in order to assist individuals and families in obtaining self-sufficiency. Through collaborative efforts of community and organizational partnerships, BSACAP seeks to improve the overall quality of life within the Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike County communities. To learn more about BSACAP and their programs, visit www.bsacap.org or call the service office in your county.

Written by Sarah Hill on October 3rd, 2016

Tagged with , ,

BSACAP to start LIHEAP pre-registration for elderly and disabled on Oct. 17   no comments

Posted at 2:06 pm in News

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) is offering pre-registration for the Subsidy portion of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The pre-registration will begin on Monday, Oct. 17, and last until October 31.

BSACAP Executive Director James Michael Howell said pre-registration should prove beneficial to customers.

“The elderly and the disabled have less mobility and it’s harder for them to stand in long lines,” Howell explained. “Pre-registration should cut down on those long lines and help more people access the services.”

Howell added, “We want to stress that, although we’re offering the pre-registration, no applications will be approved until Tuesday, Nov. 1, the first day of the Subsidy component. No vouchers will be sent to vendors until after Oct. 31.”

Pre-registration is available to applicants who receive a fixed income and are either 60 years of age and above or who have disabilities.

To be eligible to pre-register, applicants must bring proof they are receiving disability benefits and/or are at least 60 years of age and on a fixed income.

In addition, to qualify for the Subsidy component of LIHEAP, applicants must present the following:
• Most recent heating bill or proof that heating expenses are included in rent (for example: lease agreement or rent contract);
• Proof of physical address – bring metered utility bill;
• Proof of household income for prior month;
• Birthdates for all household members;
• Social security card or official documentation with social security numbers for each member of household.

Applicants must apply in their county of residence. Applications will be taken at the following BSACAP service offices from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:

Floyd County
60 Court Street
Allen
606-874-3595

Johnson County
230 Court Street
Paintsville
606-789-6515

Magoffin County
131 Church Street
Salyersville
606-349-2217

Martin County
387 E. Main Street
Inez
606-298-3217

Pike County
478 Town Mountain Road
Pikeville
606-432-2775

All other applicants may begin applying for Subsidy on Tuesday, Nov. 1, through Friday, Dec. 9. As in past years, applications will be taken alphabetically, according to the applicant’s last name.

LIHEAP, a national energy assistance initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is funded in Kentucky by the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Community Action Kentucky.

Written by Sarah Hill on October 3rd, 2016

Tagged with , , , , ,