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Community-Based Program Benefits

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Community-based programs help cities and towns learn about social needs and create a learning experience and connection between community members and providers. Community-based programs also help professionals from a wide array of disciplines work together, to improve the quality of life for residents. More so than outside efforts, community-based programs are more sustainable, as they draw from local resources, employ local residents and support local needs.

Depending on the local needs, educational and community-based programs in the United States may focus on health, wellness, youth, substance abuse, family planning, poverty, nutrition and behavioral health. Such programs may be situated in schools, wellness centers, community centers and worksites. Often built-in settings are utilized first, increasing sustainability and access to resources and decreasing cost.

In Cortland, New York, CAPCO (Cortland County Community Action Program) programs are designed to reach across the community, in multiple arenas, in a county-wide mission to end poverty. Programs support both individuals and families, and are available to anyone in Cortland County looking to improve their quality of life through community and improved self-reliance.

Numerous organizations and initiatives operate to meet CAPCO’s commitment to the Cortland Community. One of the CAPCO programs goal is to improve the energy efficiency of local homes. To meet this goal, local residents can enroll in the “Weatherization” program which provides funds to weatherize homes, reducing energy costs and making homes healthier and safer.

Another initiative is Head Start, which is a part of a bigger national initiative.

As a child development program, Head Start provides preschool services to children of income eligible families. Families can enroll their children in local centers or receive services at home. Services provided by Head Start are comprehensive, meaning they meet children’s developmental, health and behavioral needs.

In an effort to improve nutrition for low-income women and their children, CAPCO operates a WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program which provides staple food items and educates women on nutritional needs. WIC is also part of a larger national initiative.

Consumer Directed Personal Assistant Program (CDPAP) is another initiative of CAPCO. As a part of CAPCO’s commitment to improving self-reliance in the community, this program provides tools to Medicaid eligible individuals with disabilities so that they may live in the community more independently.

Community-based programs, such as CAPCO, help cities and towns meet social needs, creating lifelong learning experiences and building community. Such programs are a crucial part of communities, and provide long-reaching and sustainable benefits.