The C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corp. recently showcased its 50th year of accomplishments that demonstrated that community action helps people and changes lives.
During the 2015 annual meeting some people and organizations were recognized as valuable community partners who enhanced the level of service to those in need. C.E.F.S. Chief Executive Officer Paul White said, “Without community partners like South Central Illinois Law Dogs, it would have been difficult to attain and achieve the agency outcomes and successes.”
The South Central Illinois Law Dogs is a chapter of the law enforcement motorcycle club Law Dogs, which strives to help agencies in various counties, including Fayette.
The Law Dogs volunteer time to collect food and monetary donations to help support the C.E.F.S. Fayette County Outreach Food Pantry, to help keep its shelves stocked to assist area people in need of food.
The Law Dogs also reach out to area veterans in nursing homes, supplying Christmas gifts to those who may not otherwise receive one. The gifts are made up of personal care items.
After the drive is over and gifts are distributed, the remaining hygiene and personal care items are donated to the Fayette County Outreach Office, where hygiene packets are made for the homeless and others in need.
The Law Dogs put in the time and hard work to help collect items and money to assist the agency in its mission of helping people and changing lives. Fayette County Outreach Coordinator Amie Page said, “Without support and help from the Law Dogs, we would not be able to fill the needs of customers that come into our outreach office.”
The South Central Illinois Law Dogs Chapter has been in Fayette County since 2005. The mission of South Central Illinois Law Dogs is to promote safe riding of motorcycles while raising money for charities.
Law Dog members are comprised mainly of correction officers, police officers, firefighters and emergency service personnel.
The C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corp. provides outreach and referral services on our field offices in the seven county service area.
Staff members at the local offices are trained in basic information and referral to assist with problems relative to social services.
The staff is trained and certified Family and Community Development specialists and certified housing counselors who provide intensive case management services to individuals and families.
The local C.E.F.S. Outreach Office personnel are usually the first contact made with the agency for assistance. Some major programs offered directly by the offices are LIHEAP, weatherization, tax assistance, emergency food and shelter, budgeting, literacy, senior services and housing counseling.
If the Outreach staff cannot assist directly, a referral will be made to other programs and providers.
The Community Services Block Grant Program is funded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
The mission of C.E.F.S. is to provide opportunities for people through education and support to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation has been providing effective social services for low-income persons for more than 50 years in their service delivery area.
White said, “Our agency was extremely proud of what has been accomplished in 2015 and it would have been difficult to attain our positive outcomes without great community partners like South Central Illinois Law Dogs.”
C.E.F.S. is a comprehensive human service provider in the service delivery area providing direct services, referrals and linkages to address the issues facing low-income residents and providing local community solutions to meet those needs.
For more information about the community action agency or program, contact the local C.E.F.S. Fayette County Outreach Office at 283-2631 or the central office at 1-217-342-2193, or visit the agency website at www.cefseoc.org.