For over 55 years, West CAP has been helping households in west central Wisconsin deal with, and overcome, the many challenges created by financial hardship. Now, the economic impact of the COVID – 19 pandemic has created serious financial stresses for both those we have traditionally served, and for folks who have not needed assistance before this crisis hit.
Because of this long history and recognized expertise in delivering these services, the Federal Government, State Government, local community foundations, United Ways and private donors have all generously funded West CAP to help people deal with critical COVID-caused economic challenges throughout our seven county service area of St. Croix, Polk, Barron, Chippewa, Dunn, Pepin and Pierce counties. West CAP has swiftly ramped up to meet this need, while continuing to provide its pre-COVID services; Homeless Intervention programs, Low Income Weatherization and Energy Assistance, regional Food Pantry Support, Literacy and Skills Training, the development and management of affordable rental housing, and management of the Menomonie Farmer’s Market.
The State of Wisconsin has granted its 16 Community Action Agencies $25 million through the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program (WRAP.) This money is specifically targeted to prevent increased homelessness by providing money for rent assistance, mobile home lot rent assistance, and for security deposits, all for households who can document income loss due to COVID. While we have already distributed close to $740,000 of West CAP’s $1 million WRAP grant by assisting 400 households, all these funds must be used by the end of October. So, if you have this need or know someone who does, please help spread the word and apply soon.
The Federal Government has also supplemented one of our core funding sources, The Community Services Block Grant, to address a wider range of needs summarized on the attached flyer. These funds will be available until depleted or through the end of 2021 and are only available for households earning under 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, but families new to this level of income due to recent COVID income loss can apply. To date, we have been able to assist over 75 households with these funds.
Want to help? West CAP has created a designated COVID Rapid Response and Resiliency Fund just for this purpose, and as West CAP is a 501c.3 charitable organization, all such donations to this fund are fully tax deductible. We would be very grateful for the opportunity to turn your generosity into proven effective assistance for your neighbors, many of whom are facing unprecedented financial crisis and uncertainty in the time of COVID.