Newsletter                                       Summer 2017
Mayor Barry, Nashville Predators Join 
Metro Action Commmision
On City's First Mobile Youth Café
Metro Action Commission Youth Café 

Nashville's summer started with a sizzle!  On June 5th, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry named Ryan Johansen, of the Nashville Predators, as honorary Mayor of Nashville.  As one of his first official duties, he joined Mayor Barry and Metro Action Commission Executive Director Dr. Cynthia Croom for a ribbon cutting celebration aboard one of four Youth Cafés on Wheels at the Cobblestone Corners Apartments.  Metro Action converted four former Head Start school buses into diners which allow the agency to bring free meals into communities that do not have access to free meals that are typically offered at summer camps or community centers during the summer months.

Each diner has free breakfast and lunch meals served aboard air-conditioned diners equipped with seating and tables.  Youth enjoy age appropriate activities and each diner is equipped with Wi-Fi for youth appropriate activities.  

In addition to Cobblestone Corners, Baker Station in Antioch and the Chesapeake Community in West Nashville also have diners available in their communities.  Youth up to age 18 years old are able to receive the free meals each day.  

Metro Action is the largest summer food sponsor serving 110 community centers, day camps, churches and other sites through Nashville and Davidson County including the mobile diners.

Pictured:  Nashville Mayor Barry, Predators Ryan Johansen with Summer Food staff and participants.

Pictured under black umbrellas in middle:  Mayor Barry, Dr. Croom.
Monique Henry...A Success Story
Pictured:  Monique Henry and Kim Moore, 
Washington County Neighborhood Service Center Coordinator

Monique Henry was a single mother of three with two boys still at home.  She was working as a certified nursing student at the Johnson City Medical Center on an "as needed" basis.  To say she was strugling would be putting it mildly.  Monique had diffuculty paying her utility bills and could not afford food or clothing for her boys, or even the most basic necessities.  Monique dreamed of becoming self-sufficient, and she knew that one of the first things she must do was increase her income.

Monique had utilized Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency's services in the past, so she contacted the Washington County Neighborhood Service Center to see if there were any programs that could help with her situation.  Kim Moore, the Program Coordinator, enrolled Monique in the 121 Program and Monique's success story began.  

The 121 (Eye to Eye) Program is an initiative which offers individuals and families pathways to long-term stability, security and hope for the future.  It is designed to work closely with clients as they improve their lives; reaching for self-sufficiency.

Through the 121 Program, UETHDA assisted in the purchase of Monique's school supplies and provided weekly stipends for the purchase of gas to get to and from school.  As she worked towards her Licensed Practical Nursing Diploma, Monique experienced many obstacles.  When her eldest son turned 18, her rent payments were increased. Although her son was still in high school, the low-income housing complex indicated that "once a child turns 18 they should be employed and helping with living expenses regardless of whether they have graduated from high school or not."  UETHDA assisted Monique with her past-due rent. A dependable vehicle was a necessity for Monique.  After falling behind in her monthly payments, Monique's vehicle was repossed. Because she was enrolled in the 121 Program, UETHDA aided Monique in catching up her car payments and getting her vehicle returned.  

Monique received her LPN Diploma from the Tennessee College of Applied Technology.  Once she passes the State Board Exam, Monique would like to secure employment at the VA and eventually return to school to obtain her RN license.  Monique said, "My nursing philosophy is to treat every patient as if they were your grandmother -- with patience, love and respect.  What you put out into the universe has a boomerang will come back to you ten-fold."


Exzavier...A Sucess Story

Pictured:  Chattanooga YFD Case Manager Mary Smith and Exzavier

Chattanooga Youth and Family Development took time out of everyone's busy schedules to celebrate the accomplishments of those who completed their Self-Sufficiency Progam and achieved self-sufficiency for their families.  As a result of her participation in the program, Exzavier has a great new job and her son is doing well in school.  She has set new goals for herself including going back to school and getting her degree.  Mary Smith, her case manager, and the Chattanooga Youth and Family Development staff are very proud of her and all the Self-Sufficiency graduates.

Pictured above and below:  Chattanooa YFD GoesTech Graduates.


TACA Annual Training Conference...A Success
Pictured:  Chattanooga Youth and Family Development Social Services Staff
The TACA Annual Training Conference was held May 1 - 3, 2017, at the Chattanoogan Hotel located in Chattanooga.  The theme was Performance, Engagement and Practices:  Strategies for Reaching the Top.  Participation exceed the previous conference by 30, with 155 individuals attending the conference.  Nineteen of 20 member agencies were represented.

Community Action Month was recognized by proclamation from both the City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County mayors.  NCAF's David Bradley gave the group a legislative update. CAP, CAPLAW and NASCAP presented workshops centered around the Organizational Standards.  Tennessee's first cohort of Nationally Certified ROMA Implementer candidates were recognized.  The Tennessee Department of Human Services, also a major conference sponsor, presented a session on 2-Generation approaches.  Workshops were held on the topics of Money Management, Career Development, Seniors, Youth, STEM and Energy Conservation.  Three area partners appeared along with Chattanooga Youth and Family Development on the Chattanooga Partnership Panel.  Chattanooga YFD staff and board members presented five breakout sessions.  Four other agencies across the state shared evidenced-based practices including Metro Action Commission; delivering a session on their agency's approach to two-generational outcomes for families using CSBG and Head Start/Early Head Start.  TACA introduced a service activity into the annual conference; donations of toiletry items for an area partner.  Also new this year was the awarding of the conference Take it to the Top Prize Winner, awarded on the final morning of the conference.  The winner's name was drawn by Tennessee Housing Development Agency's Executive Director, Ralph Perrey, who addressed the group on the final morning of the conference. 
The conference was a success and the group will be returning to the venue for the 2018 Annual Training Conference.

Partnership Presentation

NCRI Candidates with National Partners
TACA's first cohort of Nationally Certified ROMA Implementer candidates attending the TACA Annual Training Conference were recognized by national partners during the conference opening session. NCRIs are charged with providing information at his/her own agency to further develop understanding of what needs to be done to fully implement ROMA.  ROMA helps agencies generate robust results for individuals with low incomes and communities.


Aug. 7-8, 2017
Outcome Advisors'
Quarterly Meeting

Aug. 8-9, 2017
Quarterly Meeting

Aug. 29 - Sept. 1, 2017
Annual Convention
Philadelphia, PA

Oct. 31 - Nov. 3, 2017
Annual Conference
Biloxi, MS

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