The Community Action Committee of Cape Cod & Islands Cyber Cafe
The Community Action Committee of Cape Cod & Islands is an anti-poverty agency that helps the people in its region in a myriad of ways -- from child care to homelessness prevention to financial literacy to emergency food and clothing. Last year, the agency served nearly 14,000 low income people.

Its stimulus award of $858K could not have been more needed, or put to better use.

"Human lives will be changed as a result of this stimulus," says Estella Fritzinger, CEO and executive director of the agency.

Fritzinger is referring to the many programs at the Community Action that benefited thanks to stimulus. Among those programs is the Client Self Sufficiency Program which provides employment and training workshops for clients as well as case management, and help with benefits enrollment. The program was able to hire four employees and retain two others who are enabling it

The Community Action Committee of Cape Cod & Islands Case Manager
to help an additional 900 clients. It also was able to open a Cyber-Café that is being accessed by about 30 clients a month.

"Families with out Internet come in and kids do research," said Marlene Weir, Director of Development for the Community Action Council. "Women come in from the shelter to use the computers; people come in to learn English."

The Education, Literacy and Health programs is another example of programs that are helping an additional 1,380 clients by being able to retain its employees and expand its CPR and first aid training, provide additional support to family day care providers, and implement English as a Second Language classes. The Homeless Outreach program was able to hire an outreach worker and increase its programs to prevent homelessness.

The Community Action Committee of Cape Cod & Islands Case Managers
"Through every single program that we have here and how all of those intertwine, we were able to hire staff in order to make those programs work better, to help people to find solutions to their barriers to self sufficiency," said Mellisa Carney-Getzie, Program Director of the Client Self-Sufficiency Services.

For Missie's Closet, the Community Action's emergency food pantry that also provides free clothing and furniture, stimulus' impact was transformative. The agency was able to hire Claudia Robinson, who had been unemployed for a year, to manage the site. Robinson has expanded the facility to triple its size and marketed it throughout the Cape.

"We are the only emergency food and necessities pantry on the Cape open five days," said Robinson. "The other places have established hours and eligibility requirements."

Since Robinson came on board, the number of clients at Missie's clients

Missie's Closet at The Community Action Committee of Cape Cod & Islands
increased from about 20 people a month to nearly 150.

For Carney-Getzie , this is what it's all about.

"This morning, I looked at our call logs and our walk-in logs because we have people sign in when they come in the front door," she said. "Just in the last three weeks of June, we had 67 people walk through the font door, asking for help, and 72 phone calls. I can't say that's always been the way it is but because of the economy there are more people that need help out there."