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UCHRA Members Back From Southeastern Conference On Common Issues

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
UCHRA Members Back From Southeastern Conference On Common Issues

UCHRA team members back from a southeast conference where one of the leading discussion points centered on moving residents out of poverty while not demotivating their efforts.

Members attended the Southeastern Association of Community Action Agencies annual conference. UCHRA Community Services Assistant Director Jordan Herald said the conference left her and her team with new perspectives on existing problems.

“It was really a time for us to come together as a part of the Southeastern region of community action agencies,” Herald said. “To network with one another, talk about our challenges, our successes, and things we experience every day trying to help our community combat poverty.”

Herald said the “Cliff Effect” dominated the conversation. That occurs when families receive benefits through a program like UCHRA, then receive a raise at work, and no longer qualify. Herald said it can cause people not to work hard instead of increasing their efforts to get out of poverty.

The theme of the conference was ‘together for change, empowering communities to take action.’ Herald said it also included training on their weatherization program, young professional development, leadership, equity, and inclusion. Herald said that the conference provided assistance in how to tell stories through data collected relating to UCHRA’s mission.

“One thing we try to do at UCHRA, we’re very transparent in the data that we collect,” Herald said. “So we let our communities know how many individuals we assist with certain services each month, how many funds are spent on those services, so it’s really that integrity of the data.”

Herald said the importance of data integrity is to make sure that the services being provided are services the community needs.

“You’re getting to hear from individuals who are doing kind of the same work as you, but they have a different spin on something,” Herald said. “Or maybe they have a better practice than you do on something.”


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