HCHRA Hosts Partnership Dinner in Honor of National Community Action Month

In honor of National Community Action Month, Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) celebrated with its board of directors and sustaining partners to share the agency’s 2017 achievements.  Observed annually in May, National Community Action Month was created by the Community Action Partnership to call attention to the Community Action programs that help thousands of families achieve self-sufficiency.

During the May 16th dinner, HCHRA leaders showcased their 2017 accomplishments and gave partners a first-hand look at the struggles low-income families face.  HCHRA showed how community action agencies such as theirs empower these families to become self-reliant.  Guests received updates on the outcomes of more than a dozen Community Action programs operated by HCHRA. The agency’s report revealed that of the more than 244,000 people residing in Hinds County, approximately 48,244 people living in 20,000 households, live in poverty.  HCHRA provided opportunities to over 5,000 of those households last year.  “These numbers show that we’re making great strides in creating opportunities, but they also show there’s still a lot of need,” said Kenn Cockrell, the president and CEO of HCHRA. “Our goal now is to figure out how to serve the other 15,000 households while funding virtually remains the same.  We’re doing a good job with what we have, but we don’t have enough funding to do all that we need to.”

Roger Lutrell, vice president for planning and development, presented the agency’s 2017 Annual Report, highlighting its education, employment, transportation, nutrition, and home energy assistance programs and the benefits and opportunities each provided.  Following Lutrell’s presentation, David Knight, the agency’s executive vice president and chief operations officer, talked about the continuous circular pattern in which HCHRA has historically operated and how it will use this pattern to become even more effective in 2018 and beyond.  Knight explained that the old way of doing business – where each of the agency’s programs start, operate and stop based on an annual cycle, and then start that same process all over again – is over.  “HCHRA has become an action learning agency, meaning we will work to identify better, more efficient ways of doing what we’ve always done while we’re doing the work, because there’s no time to stop,” said Knight.  “We are adopting new technologies and implementing new approaches to make sure we provide the right opportunities for success and produce even greater outcomes. The information and data on what works is there.  Now we have to use it the most we can.”

HCHRA is a public, non-profit Community Action Agency dedicated to helping families and strengthening communities.  For more than 40 years, it has built its reputation in eradicating poverty by empowering disadvantaged Hinds County citizens to become self-reliant and realize their full potential.  It is the largest Community Action Agency in central Mississippi, and the only one in Hinds County.  Through Head Start, Early Head Start, congregate and home-delivered meals, home energy assistance, rural transportation, case management, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Earned Income Tax Credit programs, HCHRA continues to improve the conditions of children, families, single adults, the elderly and citizens with disabilities throughout Hinds County.

For more information on HCHRA programs and services, click here or call (601) 923-3930.