By: Brenda Gibson
February 26, 2013
E. P. Matthews, CAO of Scioto County Board President and Bill Thacker, Executive Director are pleased to issue the agency’s 2012 annual report to the community. Despite a difficult funding environment the agency met each of its service goals while maintaining employment at previous levels. CAO activities have had a positive effect on the lives of thousands of our less fortunate neighbors and have made a significant contribution to our local economy. Matthews credited the CAO Board of Trustees, staff and the agency’s numerous community partners for a successful year.
CAO has a permanent payroll of 187 employees. In addition, 204 disadvantaged kids were put to work in the youth employment programs. The gross payroll for 2012 was $6,985,701. The vast majority of that income was spent locally, supporting businesses and jobs throughout the area.
During the previous year, CAO programs purchased $2,407,711 of goods and services from local vendors. Our policy has always been to spend locally whenever possible.
A minimum of 14,000 eligible Scioto County residents received one or more services from CAO in 2012. Client characteristics continue to change as a majority of our clients of working age have one or more household members who are employed; yet are still income eligible for CAO services.
CAO worked with 1,497 children during the past year. Activities for children include Head Start, Early Head Start, Summer Feeding, Summer School makeup classes, Work Experience, In-School Youth activities, and Nutrition services.
Housing / energy
6,354 households received heating bill assistance through the Home Energy Assistance Program. This assistance not only enabled families to avoid shutoff of service and meet heating needs, but also was a significant source of income for local bulk fuel vendors.
A total of 714 families had their homes made safer and more energy efficient due to work performed by the Home Weatherization Assistance Program. The program seals and insulates dwellings and repairs or replaces unsafe, inefficient heating units. The program also provided comprehensive energy audits to determine other ways clients can lower fuel costs. Independent studies by Columbia Gas find that homes in Appalachian Ohio weatherized by the program benefit from a 32% reduction in energy consumption and realize an average annual savings of $436.00.
9,195 patients received care from either the CAO Primary Health Care Clinic or the Center for Dental Wellness. The Health Clinic provided comprehensive health care to 5,504 patients; the Dental Wellness Center served 3,691. Medical services include primary care for adults, a maternity care clinic and ob-gyn clinics. Dental treatment offered covers the entire range of preventive and corrective treatment with the exception of orthodontics and certain specialty procedures. Patients of both clinics are income eligible working households with no insurance, senior citizens, or those covered by Medicaid but not accepted by local private practitioners.
The CAO Health Clinic’s Women, Infants and Children’s’ Program (WIC) provided vouchers for select nutritious foods rich in calcium and other nutrients for 4,691 income eligible individuals. WIC vouchers are redeemed exclusively at local markets, including farmers’ markets.
754 households had emergency situations resolved in 2012. Problems resolved included crises in the areas of housing, food and transportation. Those families also had access to the agency’s referral network that serves as a one-stop clearinghouse for all local service providers, including those opportunities offered by other CAO programs.
A total of 329 seniors received a daily hot, nutritionally balanced meal through the CAO Senior Nutrition and Passport Programs. 244 of those individuals were homebound elderly whose meals were delivered to their residences. Seniors also benefited in large numbers from the range of other services provided by the agency, most often heating assistance, health care, weatherization and emergency services.
Employment and Training
2,043 local adults utilized CAO’s Workforce Connections service to seek employment or acquire new vocational skills. Those who are considered job ready take part in intensive job search activities matching their skills to employers while those requiring skills upgrades are enrolled in training ranging from Basic Education to specific, employer driven training at local post-secondary institutions. 60 previously unemployed persons are at work on temporary jobs with CAO’s project that is cleaning up flood damage throughout the county.
Much of CAO’s success stems from the large number of community institutions and organizations that make up the collaborative network we have developed over the years. These partners are crucial to insuring that the area safety net is as efficient as possible. They range from other social service providers to units of government, economic development entities, business associations, faith-based organizations and the medical community. Working with these partners resulted in more than 1,500 referrals to other local providers.
CAO services and information can be obtained at 740-354-7541 and on the Web at www.caosciotocounty.org