Recovery Act Impact: Montachusett Opportunity Council
In fact the agency was able to maintain and start many programs, hire new staff and provide more clients with assistance thanks to its Recovery Act funding, which spanned the range of services provided by MOC. Recently, at the behest of Governor Deval Patrick, Jeffrey Simon, director of the Massachusetts Recovery & Reinvestment Office, paid a visit to MOC, to see firsthand the impact stimulus funds on this agency.
The money is being put to good use. As Kathleen McDermott, executive director of MOC, noted, the agency has exceeded its goals so far with over 220 households weatherized by the end of September, 2010. Each house, she said, experiences about 30 percent in energy savings.
The agency expects to weatherize over 300 additional households by March 2012.
The agency received $634K in Community Services Block Grant which is used to support its adult education programs, English for Speakers of Other Languages classes, financial education counseling, free income tax preparation and other skills training programs. The grant also funded summer youth employment programs and a Homework Help Center in a local housing project as well as a nurse assistant training scholarship program. One of the scholarship recipients, Jess Graham, said the scholarship was "a steppingstone to further my education."
The Child Care and Head Start program received $263K which went to educational development for the teachers, health and safety improvements in the building the purchase of a bus and the streamlining of access to services for the families.
"We serve over 800 children," said Deb Hubbard, Director of MOC's Child Care and Head Start. "Now we were able to get a new bus."