Grant targets job skills, housing counseling

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Gazette Staff
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
— A grant from the M&I Foundation will help Community Action improve people’s lives with job skills and economic counseling.

The $30,000 grant will be used for the organization’s skills enhancement program and housing counseling program, according to a news release.

The skills enhancement program helps people who are from households with incomes at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. Participants also must already be working at least 20 hours a week.

The training and work is designed to increase marketability and employability.

Individuals who complete the program have an average wage increase of $4.08 an hour, according to the news release.

The housing counseling program provides training and advocacy for low- to moderate-income homebuyers, homeowners and tenants to help them stay in healthy, safe and affordable housing.

Counselors help deal with landlords and lenders, provide information on avoiding scams, and explain how to avoid predatory lending.

Mortgage default counselors work with clients to help avoid foreclosure or provide assistance during the foreclosure process.

In 2009, 49 households successfully avoided foreclosure because of the program.

M&I Foundation awarded Community Action the grant because of the proven success of both programs.

“When we look at investments in our community, we look for projects that will impact the lives of individuals and enable them to be productive contributors to our local community”, Mary Willmer Sheedy, M&I Bank community president, wrote in the news release.

“Both the Skills Enhancement Program and the Housing Counseling Program allow individuals to meet their full potential and provide them with resources and the motivation to succeed.”

Last updated: 3:56 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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