Changing Lives Through Community Action
Friday, May 17, 2019
May is Community Action Month, a time to celebrate and promote the life-changing work performed by Community Action Agencies (CAA) all year round. Lyndon B. Johnson established the Community Action Program in 1964 as part of the federal “War on Poverty.” Each CAA takes a slightly different approach, with varying services, but the overall goal is the same: to empower people and help them achieve self-sufficiency. GROW South Dakota is part of the network of 1000 CAAs around the country that work to fight poverty.
GROW SD has a full slate of services aimed at this goal, from helping people navigate the process of buying their first home, to business loans that promote self-sufficiency, to providing home energy improvements. Here are some of the ways CAAs and GROW SD are making a difference.
1) Helping Secure Stable Housing.
Families benefit from living in safe, stable housing. To assist in meeting this need, GROW SD has long served as a resource for first-time homebuyers. These resources include: homebuyer education and counseling, direct lending and financial assistance programs for down payment and closing costs. Each year, GROW South Dakota assists approximately 200 people move towards the path to homeownership.
2) Businesses and Job Creation.
For more than 40 years, GROW South Dakota has supported the creation of businesses and jobs through loans and technical assistance. To date, the business lending program has created 2,172 loans to 1,334 area businesses, directly financed over $79.7 million in loan activity and assisted in creating or maintaining 13,255 area jobs.
3) Improving Energy Efficiency and Weatherization.
CAA’s across the nation assist families in saving about $123 million dollars yearly, through weatherization and energy efficiency services. This year, GROW South Dakota invested a total of $207,625 in energy efficiency improvements that were made on 53 homes that house 157 people. And through the LIEAP Furnace Repair Replacement program (LFRR), $158,197 was invested on keeping 89 homes and 201 individuals warmer and safer.
Being able to recognize the impact that our programs have on our customers is vital in the work that we do. Grateful for having been assisted through the LIEAP Furnace Repair Replacement program, one customer had this to say, “Words can’t begin to cover how we feel! One hundred thank you’s are not enough to tell you how wonderful the new furnace is. I don’t know how we would have come up with the money to pay for this. Your assistance was heaven sent!”
If you, or someone you know would benefit from the services that GROW South Dakota offers, please contact us (605) 698-7654, or firstname.lastname@example.org.