Economic times challenge 2012 Home Fund

Peninsula Daily News

One-hundred percent OF the Peninsula Daily News’ Peninsula Home Fund is used to help people.

Every dollar donated goes to OlyCAP — Olympic Community Action Programs, the No. 1 emergency-care agency on the North Olympic Peninsula — without deductions by the PDN.

But because of the extraordinary demand experienced by OlyCAP in 2011 and 2012 — and plummeting cutbacks in grants and government support — for the first time in the 24-year history of the Home Fund, OlyCAP used a portion of the fund in 2012 to pay for the helping hands who see clients.

The amount was limited to 10 cents of every dollar donated. The agency actually has spent 8.9 percent — just short of 9 cents per dollar, or $13,791.

OlyCAP can no longer absorb the costs of managing all the facets of the Home Fund — screening applicants, providing counseling and carefully disbursing the funds — without financial assistance.

It must tap a small portion of the fund as tough times compound the challenges it faces to help those in need.

The fund is not set up to hand out money passively; through OlyCAP, recipients play active roles in their own success, their own rehabilitation, their own futures.

That’s the “hand up, not a handout” focus of the Home Fund.

As we begin our 24th annual fundraising campaign for the Home Fund, we acknowledge not just the challenges OlyCAP faces, but the success it has created thanks to PDN readers stepping up to donate.

Here what an audit shows:

■   Money to meet urgent medical and dental needs, including help with prescription medications, lab work and medical supplies (about 380 individuals have been helped so far in 2012; $42,427).

■   Rental assistance and home heating assistance — and to help people keep their power on — and grants to families needing help with rent or mortgage payments (814 individuals or households; $62,689).

■   Transportation to work or medical appointments — mostly by means of bus passes — and to provide car repair and pay for gas to get to work or school (966 individuals/households; $30,337).

■   Work-appropriate clothing or uniforms for men and women and for children (64 individuals/households; $1,484).

■   Emergency home repairs, shelter, food and other assistance (484 households; $16,859).

A one-time grant from the Home Fund often is all it takes for recipients to get back on their feet again.

(In 2012 the average grant has been $56.79.)

The Peninsula Home Fund is a powerful source of support for thousands of men, women and children in our Peninsula community when there is no place else to turn — and it’s never been more important.

Peninsula Daily News

Last modified: November 21. 2012 6:12PM
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