POMEROY — The Gallia-Meigs Community Action Agency discussed concerns Wednesday at the Wild Horse Cafe with President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, as it would cut funding to some of the programs they assist with.
“As luck (or unlucky) would have it I was in Washington, D.C. the day that the president released his proposed budget,” said Agency Executive Director Tom Reed. “This is the budget that called for zero funding for most of the programs that we operate here at Gallia-Meigs. Included were weatherization, emergency HEAP, HOME dollars and our foundation of CSBG.”
The Gallia-Meigs agency board has 16 members with roughly a third of them made of elected officials, private individuals and client members. Gallia Sheriff Matt Champlin joined the board the same day. Agencies cover roughly over 96 percent of the nation’s counties and serve as a primary direct support provider by administering grant funding and more. The local agency has partnered with county government to provide grant funding through the CHIP program every year which assists in home repair and rehabilitation as long as a set of standards have been met by the family. The HEAP program has assisted households facing utility disconnection or have less than 10 days supply of wood or coal. It allows for a one time per heating season payment to restore or maintain home heating.
Reed said that in talking with local legislators, he felt they were not interested in seeing the cuts take place. While also assisting area residents with quality of life, the program puts nearly a million dollars back into the region’s economy, said Reed. He felt at a state level, Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget would not be cause for concern with the programs the agency was involved with.
Among some of the group’s efforts is to take an active role in ownership and management of homes for developmental disabilities organizations.
As part of the CHIP grant funding, Gallia and Meigs have to date received 99 applications to assist households through the program. There has been $202,500 set aside for 20 household home repairs. Another $226,000 has been set aside for private owner home rehabilitation. Roughly $161,000 was set aside for four households as a down payment assistance home ownership program. Another $22,000 was given to a Habitat for Humanity housing project with the home’s completion in late March.
Counties and the agency apply for CHIP funding yearly and seek applicants to assist with home structure concerns.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.