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Letters: Agency deserves better support

Agency deserves better support In the past year, I have seen firsthand what Otter Tail Wadena Community Action Council (OTWCAC), Inc. does. In fact, my current status as a VISTA makes me eligible for more than a few of the programs and services o...

Agency deserves

better support

In the past year, I have seen firsthand what Otter Tail Wadena Community Action Council (OTWCAC), Inc. does. In fact, my current status as a VISTA makes me eligible for more than a few of the programs and services offered. The mission of OTWCAC is clear. It is a locally controlled resource agency striving for the success of the community; empowering people to live, learn, work and govern themselves.

Whether it is assisting people with rents or deposits or heating bills, building affordable homes, offering financial education or opportunities to attain a financial goal or providing safe and affordable child care, day in and day out the people of OTWCAC are struggling to create a better community.

OTWCAC is a welcoming port in a violent storm and attack on overburdened households struggling to survive. Unfortunately, with government support on all levels at an all-time low, and so many non-profits feeling the squeeze of tighter and stricter guidelines attached to financial support, an inability to garner local support begs the question: what do we do now?

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There was a time when the word community in the title meant something. What happened? Are those issues no longer valid? If not, then the level of non-support shown for OTWCAC is reasonable. However, if the people of the community still require assistance, then the communities in Otter Tail and Wadena counties had better put community back in Community Action. State and federal funding are continuously cut. Strings are attached that make it almost impossible to administer some programs due lack of funding for administrative support - which means while there may be money for the program itself, there is none available for anyone to run it.

I am a temporary member of this community. In a few years, I will return to grad school and my time here will be a fond memory. As far as I am concerned, OTWCAC is a great asset... but one with little local support, which is a shame.

Victoria McWane-Creek

AmeriCorps VISTA

Community Outreach and Research Specialist

OTWCAC

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