Learn how to help your neighbors

Learn how to help your neighbors

At the Mahoning-Youngs- town Community Action Partnership, we meet people who are faced with issues we often take for granted, such as paying for heat, water and electric bills, mortgage or rent payments and other dilemmas.

May is Community Action Awareness Month. Community action changes people’s lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. MYCAP cares about the entire community, and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves. When we help people, it benefits all in Mahoning County.

We believe it’s the responsibility of all of us, including our legislators, funders and families to remain committed to “The Promise of Community Action.” That promise is helping people help themselves and each other.

The faces of poverty have changed. Poverty reaches people of all races and backgrounds. We meet people who for a mixture of reasons find themselves with poverty staring them in the face for no fault of their own. These are working people who just can’t pay all of the bills no matter what they do. These are men who have lost jobs and were the sole bread winners of their households. These are single moms and seniors who actually have to find assistance, or they will be left homeless. Their common factor is that they need our help.

MYCAP strives to alleviate and prevent the causes of poverty by providing quality services and programs designed to educate and empower eligible residents with a goal of moving toward self-sufficiency.

According to the 2013 State of Poverty Report from the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies, about 40,000 or 17.1 percent of Mahoning County residents remain at or below the poverty-level guidelines.

Our mission is to reduce that number — the sooner, the better. Help from everyone in our community is needed to turn this alarming statistic around.

Join us for Community Action Awareness Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at the Wick Park Recreation Center in Wick Park in Youngstown. Find out what you can do. Remember it’s not just our agency working to turn this situation around, but it’s all of us working together to improve the lives of people.

R. Renee Walton, CEO of MYCAP