From the Director
To All Community Partners:
As we look back over the past year, we have seen many, many challenges and many positive outcomes. As we anticipated, there has been a steady increase of people coming through our doors for assistance with housing, utilities, food, and other needs. Fortunately we have been blessed with resources that enable us to provide some sort of assistance to most who are in need.
We have been in collaboration with the County Commission to administer some federal stimulus dollars designated to prevent homelessness and to re-house people. The Community Case Manager’s report will give you more specifics on the impact of this initiative.
We continue to partner with the United Way of Southeast Missouri in a variety of ways, including being as part of the Education Solutions Team, which is developing strategies designed to positively impact the graduation rate for Cape Girardeau Public Schools.
We have recently entered into a contractual agreement with the Missouri Division of Youth Services to take over the administration of their Community Mentoring Program. This initiative links community-based mentors with youth in DYS custody at local Day Treatment Centers, and allows them to learn about and access community resources, and to bring that knowledge to their families. These youth and their families have been historically isolated in the community. We have assigned this project to our Asset Coordinator, because that initiative is ready-made for youth like these. This project will continue to develop and increase over the next few months. The goal is to provide a stable environment for the youth to return to, which in turn will reduce the odds of them re-offending.
We remain wary about budget issues, especially in our contractual arrangement with the State of Missouri. The Missouri Mentoring Partnerships may not survive in the FY11 budget currently being crafted by the state legislature. Community Partnership dollars have remained intact thus far, with a very slight decrease. The real challenges will be for the 2011-2012 year, when federal stimulus dollars will supposedly run out, and the state will face a billion dollar shortfall in revenue. It remains to be seen what the total impact of that will be, but certainly social services, health care, and education will be prime targets for cuts.
We always have done more with less. We will be challenged in the coming months to increase those skills and improve our relationships with local resources. We appreciate our very collaborative community.