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Community Action Agencies Providing Many Jobs in Recession

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May 21, 2010

HARTFORD, Conn. - New data show Connecticut's community action agencies have successfully put federal stimulus money to work, both in creating jobs and in providing essential services to those most impacted by the recession. Using more than $5 million in stimulus funds, the agencies have created more than 100 jobs in the first quarter of this year. That puts them near the top of all federally-funded programs in creating and retaining jobs.

Cong. Chris Murphy (D-5), who helped secure this funding in the stimulus legislation, says the money has helped the agencies in two ways.

"They can use the stimulus funds to employ people directly and to link people up with employment. But, they can also use that money to make sure folks have access to food, heat and a roof over their head during this time of really, really devastating unemployment."

Derek Haviland, communications and outreach director for the Connecticut Association for Community Action, says his member agencies have created jobs ranging from providing emergency housing, starting community gardens, and doing green job training, to providing counseling for parents.

"The recession is putting a lot of additional stress on families, and as we well know, stress is what tends to cause a lot of friction and troubles in families, especially families that are experiencing extreme financial hardship."

Gov. Jodi Rell has declared May to be Community Action Month.

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT