FAYETTEVILLE — The Cumberland Community Action Program, Inc. (CCAP) announced this week that it will be adding to the services the agency currently delivers to low-income residents of Sampson County to now include such programs as, job readiness training, pathways to obtaining high school and college degrees, and life-skills coaching—all leading to steps in rising above poverty. This increase in service area for CCAP is the result of recently being designated by Gov.Beverly Perdue as the agency responsible for delivering Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) anti-poverty services for Sampson County residents.
CCAP will leverage the strength and expertise of its 47 years in administering anti-poverty programs, including over 30 years of administering CSBG services in Cumberland County, to establish the program this fall in Sampson County. CCAP has branded its CSBG services as the ASPIRE Self-Sufficiency and will carry the name into Sampson County.
“We are thrilled to have been selected to provide projects in Sampson County funded via the United States-Community Services Block Grant,” states CCAP chief executive officer Cynthia Wilson. “Today’s economic climate makes it all the more important for those who want to rise above poverty to have someone championing their progress. Our case managers will champion and coach program participants up each rung of that economic ladder until the goal of economic self-sufficiency has been reached.”
The CCAP-operated program focuses on removing the barriers that prevent individuals and families from achieving their educational and vocational goals. Every year the program has successfully helped Cumberland County program participants attain their GED and/or access to local college programs, prepare resumes, learn money management tips, secure a job — often with benefits. By June 30, 2013 (the close of the funding year), CCAP aims to have enrolled 20 Sampson County residents as participants in the ASPIRE Self-Sufficiency program.
The CCAP program will provide comprehensive case management strategies for low wealth and traditionally under-resourced participants to assist them in increasing their employment readiness and provide avenues for them to achieve long-term goals. Such case management will be performed by collaborating with area resources, community organizations, and established partners in Sampson County. Additional services the ASPIRE program will assist participants in securing include, but are not limited to the following: funding to repair owner-occupied homes, resource and referral services for emergency relief, preventative and critical health care services, and the attainment of child care and education services.
“We are committed to having the Sampson County program designed to meet the unique needs of Sampson County residents,” states program director Stephanie Ashley. “One of the first things we will do is to establish an advisory board of Sampson County residents (of all income levels), business owners, and civic leaders to talk to us about the needs of low income individuals and families. Understanding those needs leads to creating a work plan complete with measurable outcomes. Those outcomes become a way to examine successes after the June 30th close of the program year.”
Some areas that have been identified as potential focuses include: vocational training, housing and financial education, launching a home based business, and youth leadership development.
Adds Wilson, “this is a particularly exciting time in the development and evolution of a program. Adding CSBG services to our current offerings in Sampson County provides a more well-rounded execution of our core mission of service. We are thrilled to be embarking on a new collaborative partnership with the residents of Sampson County.”
CCAP programs and services currently operating in Sampson County include the Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina, the Weatherization Assistance Program, and Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Fayetteville (CCCS). For more information about the program development, please visit www.ccap-inc.org/sampson.
Established in 1964, CCAP strives to develop and operate projects that promote the economic and social well-being of individuals, children, families, and communities. CCAP has a long history of providing sustainable programs to the surrounding community with a visible impact throughout south eastern North Carolina, providing life-changing assistance to more than 100,000 individuals annually. CCAP is the parent organization for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina (SHFB SE NC); the Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS); the Comprehensive Housing and Weatherization Programs; Self-Sufficiency Programs (ASPIRE); and Head Start. CCAP is accredited by the Council on Accreditation. For more information about CCAP programs and services, visit www.ccap-inc.org or call (910) 485-6131.