MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — There are people in our state who put the ACT in Action when fighting against poverty and homelessness.
KX News spoke with some of those people on Wednesday at Minot’s Community Action Organization.
“Today, I have already received 42 calls. By 9:30 this morning there were already 20 of them,” said Receptionist and Outreach Coordinator for Community Action, Cindy Clark.
That’s not an uncommon occurrence at Community Action in Minot. In fact, leaders say the calls have been pouring in for the last two years since the cost of living and food have gone up.
“Housing and a lot of different things. They come in just to see what is available. Because there are usually multiple needs unmet in the household,” said the Housing Specialist for Community Action, Nica Granada.
And community action partners specialize in fulfilling those needs.
Whether it’s housing assistance, food needs, insurance, or even Veteran services, community action is the springboard that gets people back on their feet.
“It’s okay to say I need help, that’s one big barrier,” explained Max Pontenila, who works in the Supportive Services for Veterans Department at Community Action. “Once they realize that and see the capabilities our programs provide to them. Then they realize oh wow, I didn’t know all of this existed.”
Community Action offers services statewide, with resources in Williston, Devils Lake, Grand Forks, Minot, Fargo, Jamestown, Bismarck, and Dickinson.
They even offer a weatherization program. If you qualify, a team will come in to determine how to make the home more energy-efficient to save money on utility bills.
“The national average people can save is up to $370 a year in the first year their home has been weatherized,” said the Energy Conservation Assistant for Community Action, Payden Garaas. “My mom was a single mom when I was growing up. We definitely would have been able to income qualify if known about the program. and it would have made a huge difference for us.”
Around a third of people in North Dakota are living in the low-income bracket. And 11% of people are living in poverty, according to Census data. But no matter what the situation may be, this non-profit is a place that springs into action to help.
KX News’ Kyara Brown brought the Region 2 staff in Minot lunch, to learn more about the programs they offer, and to thank them for their hard work.
During November’s KX Gives Back, Community Action workers say, they need winter clothes for children and adults. They also are asking for Thanksgiving and Christmas food donations. They also have a gas stamp program where people can drop their unwanted gas stamps from Market Place Foods to them or at any of their Dropbox locations. A family in need will receive gas stamps to get to work, school, or medical appointments.
GAS STAMP DROP BOX LOCATIONS: Little Flower Catholic Church, St. John the A[pst;e Catholic Church, I. Keating Furniture World, Oak Park Theater, Minot Public Library, Nite Train Pizza, YMCA, Dacotah Ban Bowbells, Community Action Minot