Wyoming County Community Action (WCCA) http://wccainc.org is a safety-net organization providing direct services to those in need in a rural community. We were introduced to this WCCA when the Finger Lakes Performing Provider System (FLPPS) http://flpps.org, a New York State DSRIP (Delivery System Reform and Incentive Payment) project, contracted with The Magellan Group https://magellanadvisory.com/services/. The Magellan Group provided organization development consulting that included an assessment, building of a capacity plan to strengthen their organization infrastructure and create a value proposition for the agency.

We had the opportunity to really get to know this organization inside and out. We met with the Board of Directors, staff, partners and clients as part of our assessment.  We now have the privilege of working with WCCA on a FLPPS Transformation grant to build on the work previous done.

What struck us most about this rural agency is the personal concern for the clients they serve. Care and dedication is not uncommon in the nonprofit world, but in this small rural community, the relationships are personal, formed over generations. Over the years, they have had barriers that could have tainted their outlook; but instead they embraced their challenges and held on tight to their mission.  Their work has never been more valuable to the people of their community than it is right now during the COVID19 crisis.

WCCA services are designed to support the collateral challenges that will come with the COVID19 social and economic shutdown. They are a “front-door” organization providing rental assistance, employment training, food and basic needs, healthcare navigation and medical prescription support.  To ensure the safety and health of staff and residents, for the time being the organization is not allowing “walk in” traffic. However, staff members are fielding requests by phone and determining the best way to provide service while addressing infection control measures and proper social distancing.

“Serving vulnerable individuals and families is our priority,” commented Rosemary Shader, Executive Director of Community Action for Wyoming County. “We help people navigate the various county and state systems to get support and resources for what they most need. We recognize that the challenges of lost jobs, no food, bills to pay, and health-related fears are creating a very stressful and daunting situation for people right now.  That’s why we’re here.”

Here’s how they help now.

People in need of help with the following services should call 585-237-2600.

Career Center Services: WCCA staff can help to update resumes, provide career counselling and connect you with employers who have current available job openings. “There are industries that are hiring in our area,” said Rosemary.  “We can help people connect.”

Healthcare Navigation:  NYS has opened enrollment again and Community Action recommends you don’t try to navigate the NYS Health Plan Marketplace on your own.  WCCA has trained in-house Healthcare Navigators who can help you understand what you might be eligible for and submit the application for you.  This can all be done over the phone. Rosemary commented, “Navigating the healthcare system can add to your anxiety. We work through the process and help find the best fit for coverage including what credits for which individuals might be eligible.”

Food and Basis Needs:  Community Action is working with providers to build a supply of goods to be distributed throughout the community. If you would like to donate or are in critical need of food, please call.

Rental Assistance: If you are concerned about keeping up with your rent or utility payments contact WCCA before it goes too long. There may be temporary programs for which residents are eligible.

Medical Prescriptions:  WCCA can help Wyoming County residents with needed medications if you are struggling to pay for them during this time.

Community Action urges people to reach out if they are feeling anxious and alone right now.  New York State has provided a support line at 1-844-863-9314 with specially trained staff to help you.

WCCA wants to assure the public that local help is available during this unprecedented time of fear and uncertainty. “If you are not sure where to turn right now call us at 585-237-2600 and we will try our best to find you the help you need,” Rosemary urges.

If you are able to support this valuable community organization through a donation, please do so here https://communityactionforwyomingcounty.com/donate/