The Cass County Board of Supervisors Wednesday, received an annual report from West Central Community Action Executive Director Joel Dirks. WCCA, based in Harlan, assists low-income families and individuals in a 10-county area, in southwest Iowa. The County is in partnership with WCCA, and as such makes an annual contribution towards its services. Last year, Cass County contributed $3,000. Dirks said this year, WCCA is asking for a $500 increase in the amount of the contribution.The Board will consider the request when they begin work on next year’s budget.
West Central provides a number of services in Cass County, including three Head Start classrooms…one in Anita, and two in Atlantic. Dirks says they worked with 59 children over the last year. They worked with 522 WIC – Women, Infants and Children – Program participants in 2012, which amounted to slightly more than $204,000 in WIC vouchers which were spent locally.
WCCA also worked with 523 households participating in LiHeap, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and provided just assistance amount to slightly less than $215,000. In all, Dirks said West Central provided a little more than $1.8-million in services in the County in 2012. He says service dollars which went out clients, local vendors and through delivery of their programs, amounted to just under $1.56-million.
The organization he says, worked with 676 households in the County, which were comprised of 1,586 individuals which received services from West Central last year. 17% of the people they worked with were single-parent, female head-of-households. 41% were households run by a single-adult. 56% of the households were at 100% of the poverty line or below. The means a family of four, living on just under $23,000 per year.
Dirks said also, 37% percent of their clients are either in the process of buying, or own their own homes. 62% of their clients receive what are often referred to as food stamps, which is a slight increase over last year. (More info. available on the web at www.westcentralca.org/)