COOPER COUNTY—Following several months of research and data analysis and input from more than 250 agency stakeholders, Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA) this week announced its new strategic plan and resulting changes in its service model. Approved at the recent board of directors meeting, the new strategic plan reflects the organization’s intensified focus on providing supportive services for families with children from prenatal to eight years old.

“CMCA has been working towards integration of services for the last decade. We have been steadfast in this pursuit, driven by the idea that if we can offer more support to the people we serve then we have the opportunity to build relationships with them that will lead to longer term and more meaningful impacts. Ultimately, we want to do more than help them through a crisis. We want to lead them out of poverty or to a higher state of resiliency so they can handle whatever challenges they experience,” said Darin Preis, Executive Director of CMCA.

A recent change in a contract previously administered by CMCA provided the opportunity to accelerate the timeline for implementation of the full strategic plan, including a shift towards strategically focusing more resources on two programs that give the opportunity for long-term relationships: Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and Head Start. “By focusing more of our resources on a smaller group of program participants, the impact can offer a more permanent path to self-sufficiency and resilience. This is a better approach that will serve our communities better,” Preis said.

The new strategic plan includes goals for activity throughout multiple facets of CMCA operations, including administration, governance, data collection and analysis, marketing and communication, and more. Specific goals identified within the strategic plan include:

• Service Integration: Participants will have seamless access to services that move them toward self-sufficiency.

• Evaluation/Measurement: CMCA will capture unduplicated data that reflects our outcomes.

• Funding: CMCA will have flexible resources necessary to address reduction of poverty, revitalize low-income communities, and empower people with low income to become more self-sufficient.

• Excellence: CMCA will be an agency of internal and external excellence that addresses reduction of poverty, revitalizes low-income communities, and empowers people with low income to become more self-sufficient.

Changes in CMCA’s service model delivery include:

• Family Development Specialists will focus their efforts on Housing Choice Voucher and Head Start families.

• CMCA will no longer take walk-in requests for case management; however, the agency will still facilitate applications for utility assistance, provide weatherization services, work with seniors in the Foster Grandparent Program, and provide insurance marketplace information through our Certified Application Counselors.

• In some counties, service locations will be consolidated to support the new service model.

• Starting in October 2018, CMCA will begin to plan for expanding the BRIDGE program outside of Boone County. They will create partnerships with school districts and provide supportive

services for families who have graduated from Head Start and their public school teachers.

“Our mission is to empower individuals and families to achieve self-reliance.” added Preis. “The

ultimate goal is to serve families comprehensively and to show measurable progress towards self sufficiency.

The benefits of this approach will spread to the entire community, effecting school and work

readiness, economic opportunity, and the quality of life we expect in central Missouri.”

For more information about CMCA, please visit www.showmeaction.org.