Agency Celebrates 58 Years of Service

“Our doors are open and we look forward to seeing you!” West Central Missouri Community Action Agency (West Central) offices in five regional hubs and the organization’s Central Office are once again open to the public, and staff are prepared to assist individuals and families with preparing and submitting applications for service.

During the pandemic, clients were able to visit offices by appointment only, and most staff worked remotely to process applications and provide customer service. “We are proud that our programs and assistance never ceased, yet recognize that one of West Central’s strengths has always been individualized customer service” says Chris Thompson, West Central President and CEO. “This marks West Central’s 58th year of helping families throughout the service area, and the organization has adapted to many changes during that time. As offices reopen, we are implementing additional measures to better assist our families.” Each office will be staffed by a Community Relations Associate to assist individuals with applications for specific programs. Regular program staff, including Family Assistance Coordinators, Community Initiatives Coordinators, and program-specific staff for Housing, Transportation, Employment, Family Self-Sufficiency, and Financial Planning, will rotate to various locations throughout the month. All programs will be accessible to clients at all times, regardless of location.
Offices are distributed throughout the nine-county West Central region, which encompasses Bates, Benton, Cass, Cedar, Henry, Hickory, Morgan, St. Clair, and Vernon Counties. Sites are: Central Office, Appleton City; Cass County office, Raymore; Cedar County office, El Dorado Springs; Henry County Office, Clinton; Morgan County Office, Versailles; and Vernon County office, Nevada. Each is open Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the exception of the Morgan County office in Versailles, which is open Monday and Wednesday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. West Central’s New Growth Women’s Business Center, with an expanded service area of 15 counties, is located at the Liston Center in El Dorado Springs, and is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. And, West Central’s affiliate Community Development Corporation, New Growth, is based in Osceola and is open Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
West Central is part of a national Community Action Network, which was established in 1965 to help American families and communities overcome obstacles to poverty. Over 1,000 agencies across the country work every day to create opportunities and transform the lives of their neighbors making communities stronger and helping families across the US thrive. Last year, West Central served over 23,000 people throughout the nine-county region with immediately needed services such as shelter, food, and energy assistance, and also long-term solutions like education and job placement.
Community Action Agencies serve 99% of all American counties with life-changing services to help families achieve financial stability. All agencies are locally controlled and represented by the private, public, and low-income sectors of the community. “We are proud of our communities’ participation in the development and oversight of our programs,” said Thompson. “Their engagement helps us to be more effective in our approach by determining what the West Central region needs.”

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