In honor of National Community Action Month, Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) met with its board of directors and sustaining partners to report on the agency’s achievements this past year. 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 15th dinner meeting, HCHRA leaders showcased their 2018 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 got the first look at the agency’s 2018 annual report, which detailed the outcomes of more than a dozen Community Action programs operated by HCHRA. The report revealed that of the more than 239,000 people residing in Hinds County, approximately 48,378 live in poverty. Last year, HCHRA provided home energy assistance, nutrition, transportation, education, and employment opportunities to over 14,000 disadvantaged citizens in 4,000 different households to help families and individuals become stable and more self-reliant.
Perhaps the most notable occurrence for HCHRA in 2018 was the overhaul to its customer service model. Roger Lutrell, vice president for planning and development, explained how the agency merged its social and community service program divisions to create the newly formed Department of Family Opportunities to conduct family assessments in a thorough, more efficient way to promote sustainability and/or self-sufficiency for everyone in the home, not just for the individual who walks through the doors of the agency.
Following Lutrell’s presentation, David Knight, the agency’s executive vice president and chief operations officer, talked about HCHRA’s investments in staff training and development, new technology, and facility maintenance and upgrades to help make sure the agency provided the right opportunities for success to produce even greater outcomes than the year before. Knight also talked about the cooperative agreements the agency established with 78 different community partners to ensure that HCHRA was able to link customers with any service they may need that is not provided directly by HCHRA. “While we can’t be all things to all people, as a Community Action Agency, we should be able to refer people to a community partner where they can get help with the services we do not provide,” said Knight. “And that’s what we do, we link people with resources and opportunities.”
Some of HCHRA’s major accomplishments for 2018 include educating 2,247 children through its preschool education program; providing the training and support for 54 classroom staff persons to meet the standards necessary to become certified under the Classroom Assessment Scoring System, which measures the quality of interactions between teachers and students in PK-12 classrooms; improving access to medical and dental care for Head Start children; providing 3,281 families with energy, fuel and utility assistance; delivering 19,285 meals to senior citizens and people with disabilities who are unable to leave home without assistance; serving 6,631 congregate meals to senior citizens to promote health and well-being; and transporting 35,673 individuals to work, school and doctor’s appointments.
“I am very proud of the work we do here at HCHRA and the impact we made in 2018,” said Kenn Cockrell, the president and CEO of HCHRA. In addition to helping families live better lives, we made a $35.7 million economic impact in Hinds County in wages, taxes, job development and contract opportunities. HCHRA is truly living up to its mantra of helping families, strengthening communities.”
A limited number of copies of the 2018 Annual Report are available at Hinds County Human Resource Agency. Click here to view the full report. To request a copy or get more information about the Hinds County Human Resource Agency 2018 Annual Report, call HCHRA’s Planning and Development Department at 601.923.3930.