|The Ohio Benefit Bank Newsletter
|The OBB Direct Service Office Partners with Local Agencies
to Help Refugees
The Direct Service Office has been at the center of a recent
collaboration between the Ohio Benefit Bank, the Franklin County Department of
Job & Family Services and two Central Ohio agencies serving refugees newly
arriving to the United States-the Community Refugee Immigration Services (CRIS)
and U.S. Together. A refugee is someone who has fled his or her country because
of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, social group or
political opinion. Refugee from the Immigration and Nationality Act
Agencies like CRIS
and U.S. Together work to connect the refugee to services such as interpretation,
shelter, school enrollment and applications for public assistance. Through the enhanced pilot project the Direct Service Office is able to work with the
authorized representative from CRIS or U.S. Together to apply, scan and submit
documents and facilitate the telephone interview. Over the past two months they
have served over 65 families through this process and connected this highly
vulnerable population to services that meet their basic needs. For more information on the Refugee
Assistance available in Ohio, visit http://jfs.ohio.gov/refugee/index.stm
More Applications for SCSEP are needed!
the recent Omnibus Bill, Congress allocated an additional $225 million for the
Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)! The funding will be
distributed to states with the highest need; those states with most SCSEP
more SCSEP applications completed, the more money can be allocated
to the state of Ohio for this valuable program. Applications for SCSEP
are available on The Benefit Bank. The program provides PAID job training for
older people (aged 55 and older) whose income is 125% of FPIG.
Click here for a flyer with basic information for seniors interested in
applying for SCSEP.
Click here for a flyer with basic information
for OBB sites who want to know more about SCSEP.
Questions? Contact Danielle
Gray at email@example.com or 614-221-4336.
Site Spotlight: City of Kettering
Vickie Carraher, OBB Counselor, City of Kettering
of Kettering city manager's office is a busy Ohio Benefit Bank site that has
helped many clients who are elderly, as well as many younger suburbanites who
are pressed by the poor economy.
Kettering publishes a regular newspaper for city residents as well
as producing a cable TV show, "Kettering Connection," both of which
stir client interest in OBB. Word of mouth is also a big draw. The city, a
suburb of Dayton, has several trained OBB counselors.
HEAP is a leading program among Kettering residents, but emergency
food assistance has growing importance because of a long backlog with the
area's Meals on Wheels program. Elderly clients also call on the site for help
getting Medicare Part D "doughnut hole" subsidies.
"It's sad to see people who have run out of their
unemployment compensation and extensions," said Vickie Carraher, OBB
counselor, who works out of the city manager's office. "Often they have
college degrees but can't find jobs and their homes are in foreclosure." She said she is particularly saddened by clients who don't ask for
help until their personal finances are in deep trouble, as well as occasional
clients who aren't accustomed to asking for help, no matter how bad their
Kettering's counselors are scheduled for OBB tax-preparation
training and look forward to assisting clients with that burden soon too.
|Capacity Building Grants Now Available
applications due January 8th
The Ohio Benefit Bank in
partnership with the Governor's Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives
is pleased to announce the availability of Ohio Benefit Bank Tax Assistance
Capacity Building Grants.
Grants of up to $25,000 will be provided to build the capacity of organizations
to serve Ohioans with free tax assistance. Grantees must expand existing OBB Tax Assistance and FAFSA services OR develop NEW OBB Tax Assistance and FAFSA services within their organization or community.
For a complete set of instructions and forms in PDF click here.
To access the Tax Assistance Capacity Building Grant Instructions, RFP and
Budget Form please click the link below:
The due date for applications
is January 8, 2010.
Direct questions to Erin Sprouse, firstname.lastname@example.org or Jason Elchert, email@example.com.
|OBB Launches Power User
Last week, The OBB made a faster version of the software available to counselors - Power User. Power User utilizes drop-down menus and condensed
screens, allowing counselors to move through modules more rapidly and complete
applications in a shorter amount of time.
information on Power User click here.
If you are a current counselor and wish to become a Power User, complete and
submit the application, available through the link below:
http://www.oashf.org/obb/WebForms/TBB_Power_User_App.asp When approved your counselor permissions will be updated to allow access to
the Power User version.
If you have questions regarding Power User please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Site Spotlight: West College Hill Neighborhood Services
West College Hill Neighborhood Services
is located in Cincinnati.
They provide a wide array of services for clients in the College Hill area. They are a
senior center, food pantry and computer lab. The pantry distributes about
50,000 pounds of food in a year. The computer lab is open for community use. This lab
has computers, high speed internet, and fax machines that clients can use. A
volunteer social worker also helps clients gain access to benefits. The
organization does a great job of providing services for many difficulties that
low-income Ohioans face.
West College Hill Neighborhood
Services became a part of the Ohio Benefit Bank since it's inception in late
2006. The organization was part of a church coalition where they learned about
the Ohio Benefit Bank and all that it could offer. And now, with 5 counselors,
they are headed into their 4th tax season!
Thanks for all that you do West
College Hill Neighborhood Services. Keep up the great work!
Evan and Wyatt and the Magical, Dessert-Enlarging Pennywhistle
a comic strip by Charles Stough
you ever wished
you could magically double the size of a great dessert? In Charley
Stough's comic strip, a couple of kids use magical pennywhistles to do just
that. Stough was a VISTA with OASHF in 2007-08 and now serves as an OBB
Counselor for City Heart in Dayton.