During the 2020 Winter Legislative Conference in January, three Community Action programs were recognized as exemplary for their highly effective and innovative programs that have made a substantial impact throughout their local communities. In partnership with Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies awarded Ashtabula County Community Action Agency’s Dragon Empowerment Center, Ironton-Lawrence County Area Community Action Organization’s Recovery to Work Program, and West Ohio Community Action Partnership’s No Excuses Program 2019 Exemplary Program Awards.
OACAA would like to congratulate the agencies for creating these exemplary programs and thank Ohio University’s Voinovich School for their partnership in identifying them. We encourage all OACAA members to submit a nomination for the next Exemplary Program Awards. Nominations are reviewed and scored by Ohio University, and all those who meet the threshold will be awarded exemplary status.
Dragon Empowerment Center
The Dragon Empowerment Center was developed by Ashtabula County Community Action Agency to connect schools with community resources and provide valuable services to students, parents, and teachers—all on school grounds to remove access barriers. The program allows children to come to school focused on education and ready to learn because their basic needs are met. Together with a host of strong partners, the center allows schools to include a basic healthcare provision, distribute food, and provide tutoring, mental health services, and workshops. By providing these services on-site, struggling families within the district can more easily access the services.
Recovery to Work Program
The Recovery to Work Program developed and coordinated by Ironton-Lawrence County Area Community Action Organization, connects individuals in recovery to comprehensive treatment, professionals, and employment services. Together, with strong partnership advantages, the combined strengths of the community as a whole have created a program with a 30% private employment placement rate following completion of the program.
No Excuses was developed by West Ohio Community Action Program to identify and assist vulnerable populations in securing shelter. The program’s strong collaboration with nearly 30 community partners has enabled WOCAP to assist any family seeking help with housing regardless of income. The program’s flexibility has allowed previously untapped resources, such as hotels, to provide emergency shelter.