Poverty has a great impact in our communities.
At an essential level, every parent wants to provide for their children- food, clothing and shelter. For those recently unemployed or the more than 800K people living below the federal poverty line in Cook County, surviving with less than $1,600 a month, these basic needs are a challenge. Coupled with a multitude of concerns based on education, employment, community violence exposure, health, and the complicated structures of low-income housing, this is the standard backdrop for our client’s lives.
When a client walks into one of our offices, our focus is to provide a level of support that creates resilience.
Resilience: the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress.-The American Psychological Association.
CEDA, as an organization, is working to place itself as a foundational stepping stones in that process.
It is at the core of our mission as a Community Action Agency in the Chicagoland area, that we maintain a service delivery model that includes the numerous community partnerships we have. We are always looking for ways and resources to reach our customers to engage with them. Our connection to the community heartbeat is critical. This leads us into innovative program designs.
Recently showcased in our modified services in response to COVID-19, our Energy Services program began taking applications over the phone.
We set our goals with the customer, our staff, and our partners safety in mind and executed to provide the opportunity for customers to complete applications over the phone. This modified resource is allowing our customers during this time of crisis and pandemic to receive the assistance they need to continue to sustain these essential services while highlighting our evolution to do whatever it takes to meet our communities’ basic needs.
Understanding our clients,-these individuals, parents, their children, seniors, and more- we have been able to utilize clear communication practices to consistently provide these types of program updates. When building resilience, this model is key. Continuing to work in our communities and placing value on our client’s opinions and responses have allowed them to maintain a positive perspective. When faced with challenges it is most important that they understand they are not alone.
CEDA, with greater purpose, is here for our communities.
We are committed to facing the effects of poverty with our clients and fighting with them in reviving the vision of the future we all have in mind, of safe, healthy and thriving communities.
We come to you, as our community, to take a few moments to read our Strategic Plan and share your feedback as the needs of our communities are only magnified during this time.