With the ongoing debate over the federal budget, local organizations funded with federal dollars are getting nervous that the potential government shutdown – the first in 17 years – will affect agencies at a local level. Fortunately, at Community Services of Starke County, Executive Director Joan Haugh said she doesn’t expect the shutdown, if it does occur, to affect her funding much.
News Tagged ‘Joan Haugh’
The effects of federal funding cuts are trickling down to the local agencies that deal with transportation for older residents and other services.
Community Services of Starke County Director Joan Haugh said the organization has incurred a 24.3 percent federal funding cut for transportation, which was before the sequester took effect. Elderly services, which include congregate meals, home-delivered meals, homemaker services, and restaurant voucher programs, have been cut by 12 percent.
Participants in this program learn about government, non-profit organizations, education, economic development and more services pertaining to the county.
An opening retreat is set for Friday, Sept. 6 where team and trust building activities will be reviewed as well as a personal assessment and what it is to be a leader.
Joan Haugh from Community Services of Starke County says it’s surprising what one can get out of this organization.
Community Services of Starke County held its volunteer luncheon yesterday afternoon, recognizing more than 100 volunteers and 50 agencies for their many hours of hard work and their overwhelming contributions to the agency.
One organization in particular was recognized for going above and beyond with their assistance to Community Services. Ober Arbor Gleaners Club received the Volunteer of the Year award, having donated to the food pantry, helped pay for the air conditioner at Community Services, assisted at Golden Living Nursing Home and the Humane Society, Love INC, and countless individuals.
The Starke County Food Pantry is once again asking for the community to show their support for those less fortunate by donating any number of items to the pantry, alleviating some of the stress for low-income Starke County families who may have a hard time getting food on the table. In February, Organization Director Joan Haugh told the Knox City Council that the organization serves 21 percent of the county’s population through its various services: 951 families per month visit the food pantry, 823 people utilize transportation monthly, 745 families signed up for energy assistance, and many more make use of other services offered by Community Services.
While donations have been steadily coming in to the Community Services of Starke County Food Pantry, Organization Director Joan Haugh said other programs offered by the organization are suffering from a lack of funding. Haugh told the county council this week that they are incurring further reductions in funding from both the state and federal government, primarily affecting their transportation program.
A number of local governmental entities have announced their support of Moving Starke County Forward, having declared 2013, “A Year of Health in Starke County.” The North Judson Town Board signed the proclamation in January, while the Starke County Commissioners and Knox City Council had done the same two weeks prior.
The Starke County Food Pantry served 272 families in the month of December. That amounts to 855 people including 109 elderly patrons.
Community Services of Starke County Executive Director Joan Haugh said while the numbers haven’t been calculated, the donations were generous in December. December is a popular month for donations as it’s primarily the season for thinking of others and while this is great, Haugh said it’s important to donate throughout the rest of the year. More than 8000 pounds of food were distributed in December.
The Department of Homeland Security and FEMA have awarded Starke County with $11,412 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county.
The Starke County Emergency Food and Shelter Board will determine how the funds will be distributed among the programs within the county that are run by local service agencies in the area.
Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds must contact Joan Haugh at Community Services of Starke County at (574) 772-7070 for an application. Completed applications must be received by Dec. 17 at 4 p.m.
The season of giving is on its way and the Starke County Food Pantry is once again receiving a decent amount of donations, but Community Services of Starke County Director Joan Haugh emphasized that their other programs are in need of help as well.
“People are so generous. They give to our food pantry, but they kinda forget we have these other needs too. In order for us to continue, we have to raise those dollars. I don’t know what we’d do without the generosity of individuals and agencies and businesses, and I can say the township trustees too; city of Knox, the county commissioners, they give us funds too which helps support our programs,” said Haugh.
The Starke County Food Pantry is in desperate need of donations.
Community Services of Starke County Director Joan Haugh said they have not been able to order from the Northern Indiana Food Bank for two months and the shelves are bare.
The Starke County TRIAD has a tough decision before them regarding the fate of the organization. TRIAD Treasurer Joan Haugh says they will soon decide whether to disband the organization entirely or join the LaPorte County TRIAD, and she says members appear to be leaning toward disbanding.
Haugh says that even if the organization is discontinued, many programs and services offered by the agency would fall on the shoulders of Community Services of Starke County. She says the File of Life program and Beacon Flashers program would continue, and Community Services would still provide seniors with advice about the latest scams and frauds. She says they would also work with the Starke County Environmental Management Agency and the DEA in establishing pill drops throughout the year.
While some members of TRIAD have not yet voiced their votes on whether to disband or join LaPorte County, Haugh says they will likely make the decision at the agency’s next meeting.
For more information on TRIAD or Community Services, contact Haugh at (574) 772-7070.
With the retirement of former Community Services of Starke County Program Coordinator Cecilia Torres-Bowman, the organization has been getting by but Executive Director Joan Haugh says it hasn’t been easy.
She says Torres-Bowman will not be replaced, and instead, her responsibilities have been divided up amongst other employees. Coordination of the resource manual, health equipment loan program, quality program, medicaid billing and prior authorization, and many duties of the food pantry have been pushed onto other employees. Haugh says they are fortunate to have an intern from Ivy Tech who has been putting forth a lot of effort with the organization.