Montgomery County Community Action

Montgomery County Community Action

Friday, February 27, 2015

Community Action Board Releases Report from Raise Your Voice! Public Forum

On January 28th, the Community Action Board hosted a public forum entitled Raise Your Voice! Poverty in Montgomery County.  Over 40 members of the community took part in this event.  Participants had the opportunity to share their concerns, personal experiences, and recommendations in focus groups about key issues impacting the low-income community: Child Care, Housing, Jobs, and Transportation. 

The Board has developed a report, which includes the information gathered in the focus group sessions.  To view the full report, please click HERE.

CAA Partner CHEER to Host Two Training Programs in Takoma Park


Community Action partner, Community Health and Empowerment through Education and Research (CHEER), will host two upcoming training programs:

"Who Wants to Work Training and Challenge" 
For young adults age 16 to 19

Learn what it takes to secure and retain employment. Five sessions held every Wednesday from March 4 to April 1, 7 pm to 8:30 pm. in the Teen Lounge of the Takoma Park Community Center.  FREE!  This program is sponsored by the Takoma Park Youth Collaborative. Click HERE for details.

"Group Decision Making for Better Commitment and Morale" 
For Adults

Training in Dynamic Governance, also known as Sociocracy.  Learn how to energize meetings and make smarter group decisions with broader participation.  Four sessions held Tuesdays March 10, 17, 31 and April 7 in the Azalea room of the Takoma Park Community Center. Cost is $185 for individuals, $165 per person for groups.  Scholarships and barter are available. Sponsored by the Cheasapeake Education, Arts, and Research Society (CHEARS) Click HERE for details.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Community Action's VITA Program Featured in The Gazette

Tax day isn’t until April 15, but Rockville is hosting free tax preparation for some families in the weeks leading up to the deadline.
Montgomery County’s Community Action Agency will be providing tax preparers certified by the Internal Revenue Service and volunteers to help low- and moderate-income families at Rockville City Hall.
Appointments for the services of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program are available from 4 to 7 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of the month through April 1.
More information is at call 240-777-1123.
Services also will be available in Silver Spring, Wheaton and Gaithersburg.
Families who participate in the program must have earned less than $53,000 in 2014.
The program also can help people sign up for other services they may need, said Sharon Strauss, executive director of the county’s Community Action Agency.
The county sites will have volunteers and staff from Maryland Hunger Solutions to help people with applications to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The tax program also can help small businesses that fall under the income threshold, Strauss said.
Many times, getting people on the correct path with their taxes can help their businesses succeed, she said.
Seniors in the city can get free help filing their taxes at the Rockville Senior Center on Mondays until April 13. Appointments are available by calling 240-777-2577.

To View the article online - Click HERE

For more information about the VITA Program - Click HERE

Thursday, February 19, 2015

2015 Community Action Awards on May 19th - CALL FOR NOMINEES

The 2015 Community Action Awards Celebration is on May 19th at the Silver Spring Civic Center!

Do you know a volunteer or group that is working to improve the lives of low-income County residents?  If so, please nominate this extraordinary individual or organization for a Community Action Award.

Please click HERE to submit a nomination form online.

Please visit the Community Action website to download the nomination form and submit via e-mail or fax.

The 2015 Celebration will include four award categories:

  • Marcia Plater Community Action Adult Volunteer Award – This award honors the contributions of an adult whose volunteer services help lower-income County residents move towards or achieve self-sufficiency.  This award also honors volunteers whose advocacy efforts help to reduce poverty in the County.
  • Marcia Plater Community Action Youth Volunteer Award – This award honors the contributions of a youth volunteer whose services help lower-income County residents move towards or achieve self-sufficiency.  This also honors volunteers whose advocacy efforts help to reduce poverty in the County.
  • Henry L. Dixon Community Action Award for an Organization – This award recognizes the contributions of a local organization that promotes self-sufficiency for adults in the County. 
  • Gerald J. Roper, Sr. Community Action Award for a Youth Organization – This award recognizes the contributions of a local organization serving youth in the County, which improves future success for youth and develops leadership skills.
    • Please note that organizations which are youth-led will receive extra points in the review process.

Friday, February 13, 2015

CAA Partners Manna Food Center and Impact Silver Spring Work Together

Community Action partners, Manna Food Center and Impact Silver Spring, are working together to serve the community.  The organizations are collaborating to provide grocery store tours in Spanish to teach residents about nutrition and how to save money.  

You Say Potato, I Say Patata

Participants learn to identify whole grains by the first ingredient on the label.
Participants learn to identify whole grains by the first ingredient on the label.
I’ve shared before how much our clients value our Cooking Matter at the Store grocery store tours. We’ve reached over 500 participants in this wonderful program, and at least once a month a client calls to share: “I really never knew that it was cheaper to buy in bulk! I’m saving on my grocery bill and cooking more at home.”
These classes allow Manna to impact the lives—and lower the grocery bills—of so many clients. Just as important are the many partnerships that form among helpers in our community. These tours bring interactive nutrition education to moms groups, teens, adults with disabilities and seniors, as well as individuals transitioning to independent living and employment.
Participants wear earphones and transmitters to hear Virginia (left) interpret the tour in Spanish.
Out of a partnership with AARP Foundation , and their donation to our program, came the opportunity to purchase translation headsets for my nutrition education workshops and classes. An interpreter uses the microphone headset and participants simply tuck transmitters into their pockets to hear my content through earphones. This allows for an uninterrupted, hands-on class with clients.
When Impact Silver Spring requested a Spanish-language store tour, I realized our new equipment made this possible!
Technology is a remarkable thing, and it’s allowing Manna’s Nutrition Education program to reach clients of all cultures in ways I didn’t imagine just a few months ago. This also means I will be holding a workshop for Rockville seniors in Mandarin next month!
A very special thank you to the many agencies who respect the value of this program, and encourage their clients to hang out with us for an hour to talk—of all things—apples and oranges. With gratitude to AARP Foundation, now we’re also talking manzanas y naranjas.
Nutriton Educator Lindsey with IMPACT Silver Spring

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

CAB Member Laurie-Anne Sayles Speaks on Capitol Hill about the EITC

On January 30th, Community Action Board member, Laurie-Anne Sayles, participated in a panel discussion as part of the EITC Awareness Day Policy Forum.  To view the entire panel discussion, please click HERE 

To view printed materials from this event, please click HERE

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Economic Policy Institute Releases Report About Income Inequality

The Economic Policy Institute has released a report by Estelle Sommeillar and Mark Price about income inequality in the United States between 1917 and 2012.  The report includes information about all 50 states.  

In Maryland, while income has grown overall, the top 1% saw large gains in income during the last few decades, while the bottom 99% saw only modest gains.  

Maryland: Change in Income 1979-2007

Top 1% - Increase of 202.1%
Bottom 99% - Increase of 37%

View the full report HERE and look-up data for individual states.

Click HERE to view the Maryland report.

CAA Partner Catholic Charities to Host Basic Computer Skills Classes in Spanish