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CMCA focuses on new, ongoing projects

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Central Missouri Community Action has been serving Mid-Missouri for nearly 60 years, focusing on health, education and general welfare.

Callaway County CMCA organizer Kellie Pontius shared what the organization has done and where it is going during the Callaway Resource Network meeting Thursday morning.

“Our goal is the quality of services and programs, not the quantity, to ensure all of our members have access to all of our programs,” Pontius said. “So for instance, in our Headstart Center, we’re not just focusing on the children and the kiddos’ cognitive development, we’re also working with the parents and families on parenting skills.”

The goal of CMCA is to empower families to achieve self-reliance to strengthen the family and the wider community.

For more than 20 years, CMCA has hosted the CRN meeting each month. For the past year, the group has met virtually.

“It started with a small 10 folks coming together from different backgrounds and working together on meeting community needs,” Pontius said.

It has grown so that now around 30 meet each week. Pontius said the network has helped in the development of the Fulton Community Health Center, the creation of adult education literacy classes and the Maternal Mental Health Coalition.

“Those strong partnerships and working within the community has created many changes over the years just coming from the Callaway Resource Network meeting,” Pontius said.

Earlier this year, CMCA partnered with United Credit Union to provide

credit-repair classes.

CMCA is also involved with a housing task force working with Fulton Housing Authority, the city of Fulton and Our House.

“Our next goal is to offer virtual landlord orientations to increase the number of qualified Housing Choice Voucher and Section Eight landlords in Callaway County,” Pontius said.

In response to the pandemic, CMCA added a resource coordinator to assist those impacted by the pandemic. Also this year, CMCA added a financial opportunity coach to work one-on-one with families on financial stability.

“We can assist families with achieving self reliance for financial stability, thus leading to a thriving community,” Pontius said.

The Missouri Community Action Network Diversity & Equality Learning Community is also focused on awareness and resources to increase diversity in community initiatives and leadership.

CMCA still has funding for winter utility assistance. Summer utility assistance will begin June 1.

Source: on 2021-04-02 00:52:30

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