“In June of 2020, while Community Action was still operating the pop-up Community Care Station in response to COVID, we met ‘Sally’ and her two children when they used the drive-up windows. They were escaping a domestic violence situation and looking for a means to pay their first few months of rent. While they were at the Care Station, we started an application for rent assistance and also provided her and the children with several days of free food from our emergency food pantry.
Sally’s household was eligible for two months’ rent assistance through United Way funding our agency had leveraged. Staff involved in the transaction were paid for through a combination of CSBG and local government grants. Sally sent her Community Action Partner (our staff member) this email: ‘Thank you so much for your help. This has helped me and my children stay safe and stable. Keeping us going without falling back into our abused past we overcame. Thank you Wendy!’
Nine months later, Sally’s Community Action Partner followed up with to see how the family was doing. We were shocked to learn that in February, 2021, the children and children’s father were in a car accident, and, unfortunately, the children’s father passed away from his injuries. Sally’s children survived with broken arms. The children are going to trauma counseling as well as physical therapy for their injuries. Sally said she’d found herself constantly in and out of doctor offices and therapist visits, and her employer recently let her go because she was missing too much work. Our staff member, Wendy, reported that Sally was really pleased Community Action reached out to her. Sally exclaimed, ‘How did you know I needed you guys again?!’ Sally said she was too shy to call Community Action since she had already received assistance at the Care Station. Our Community Action Partner told her, ‘Not to worry! That’s why we are here and never feel bad about asking for help when it’s needed.’
Sally begins a new job with the Kansas Department of Labor this week. Meanwhile, Community Services Block Grant funds helped Sally avoid utility shut-offs by getting her up to date with her Kansas Gas Services and Evergy electricity bills.”