Salaries were increased by 3 percent in this year’s budget.
Both the city and the county are funding around $90,000 each.
The CSA’s budget last year was $2,567,000 with the addition of the one-time ARRA stimulus program money, but this coming year’s budget is down to $1,784,957.64 for the July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013, budget year.
The reduction in revenue means the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps area residents pay their energy bills, and the Weatherization Program, which helps them make their homes more energy efficient, are not going to have the money available to them they had last year. Consequently, at the moment, projects have either been severely cut back or put on hold.
“We’re unable to help as many people,” said Melanie McMahan, CSA fiscal officer.
When Harry Johnson, executive assistant for the CSA board, was asked what he is going to do to try to get more revenue to pay for these two programs, he first answered, “We’re going to pray.”
The regularly scheduled June meeting was canceled because of the ceremony for the opening of Southeast Tennessee Human Resource Agency.
The next regular meeting of the CSA board is still scheduled for Oct. 25, but Demetrius Ramsey, CSA director, asked the board to think about changing the meeting schedule to once a quarter.
The agency is located at 155 6th St., S.E., in Cleveland. For more information, call CSA at 423-479-4111.
In other business:
— The new program year for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, better known by its acronym LIHEAP, started July 1. Up to the August meeting, 174 households were helped with regular heating expenses for a total of $69,150; for emergency heating, 285 households were helped for a total of $116,250.
— The Weatherization Program is currently on hold because program money has not been allocated. No applications are being taken at this time and no weatherization projects are under way. However, CSA still has applications pending.
— CSA has applied for two grants. One is an Emergency Solutions Grant for $75,000 and another is for a Continuum of Care for Transitional Housing grant for $75,600. The transitional housing grant would specifically go to make the second housing shelter in back of the current homeless shelter a reality. The new housing shelter would have four units and be able to accommodate two families and two individuals.
— Since CSA’s last meeting in April, 304 people were given a place to stay overnight at the Homeless Shelter for a total of 4,198 nights. Two-hundred of these visitors were local residents, while 104 were from out of town. The average stay was roughly two weeks, with around 75 percent able to get permanent housing and 80 percent able to find work. The total number of meals served at the shelter during the period came to almost 18,000.
— During May, 819 households were able to receive bags of food; during July, 733. The next commodity distribution will be held Sept. 27.
— Thirty-eight summer feeding sites were open between May 29 and Aug. 7 in Bradley County, and served, on average, 686 meals per day. In Rhea, 10 feeding sites were open, serving about 490 meals per day. This number is a little less than were served last year during this same program.
— Forty-five of the 46 housing units overseen by CSA were rented during the last four months, for a total of more than $20,000 per month in rent receipts. A letter was sent to each tenant notifying them of a 15-day late notice policy. Rent collection for the same period was reported as slow.
— In June, 2,206 hot meals were served and 655 frozen meals; for July, a few more hot meals were served, totaling 2,408. There were fewer frozen meals than in June, at 643.
At the time of the August CSA meeting, 1,372 hot meals had been served and 377 frozen meals.
— For the second year, CSA employed six college students in its Summer Youth Employment program; five returned from last year. One of their first projects this summer was to organize the Youth Adventures camp, after which they alternated working at CSA’s four sites — the shelter, the Senior Center, Walker Center and the main office on 6th Street.
— CSA also hosted the second Youth Camp this year, held from July 11-15 at Lee University and the College Hill Recreation Center. Participation was down 25 percent from last year. In 2011, 107 children took part; in 2012, 75.
— The average weekly attendance at the Senior Center on Walker Street is around 600, with 54 new members joining since April. Around 700 meals per month, on average, are served, but Sharon Westfield, director of the Senior Center, hopes to encourage more diners to enjoy the meals, bringing the total up to 800. Richard Dean of Walgreen’s donated $500 to the center within the last four months. Also, in April, the center held a health fair, yard sale and a volunteer appreciation ceremony. In May, the center held a Hawaiian Luau, a country-western event and a Mother’s Day celebration. For July, the center celebrated its veterans on the Fourth of July.
— Sharon Patsy Pressley, administrative assistant, joined Sharon Westfield, director of the Senior Center, at the center earlier this year to help with the programs and activities. “She’s brought lots of energy to the Senior Center,” Westfield said.
— More than 100 clients applied for the Second Chance for Ex-Offenders program since it began late last year. Since March, 14 clients from the program were employed on a part-time basis with CSA’s job readiness program; six have gotten full-time work with area employers. Four clients were dismissed from the program over drug use. One moved to Chattanooga, becoming ineligible for this Cleveland program. CSA talked with the Bradley County Justice Center about offering some of its classes from this Second Chance program to its inmates.