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Dodge County Board

Chris Bristol

Dodge County Board of Supervisors is looking at a new initiative that would address basic community needs.

During Wednesday’s regular meeting, board members listened to United Way Executive Director Shawn Shanahan share details that were the result of a community partner meeting back in 2011.

According to Shanahan, the actual basic needs initiative started in the planning phase in 2014 with full implementation Jan. 1, 2015.

“The program was developed for our community with our local community partners,” she said. “It is meant to reach outcomes of meeting the immediate need, connecting families to supports and services as well as providing case management to help a family or individual build a lifelong sustainable plan to meeting the basic needs of the household.”

Community partners chose this model and program to help those who were in need of help and to stop the enabling with the opportunity of connections and recourse that will last a lifetime.

It is the hope of the community partners that this will help families build connections to resources, learn budgeting, and help the family be part of building their family plan to meet the needs of the home.

“We are hoping to use this initiative to move the needle in poverty in our community, connecting families to resources and helping them reach their full potential. It is also a better use of donor dollars and tax dollars,” she said.

Community Basic Needs Initiative is intended to be a hands up, not a hand out and is available to anyone in Dodge County.

It will help with one month’s bill, one time per year for any resident of Dodge or Washington County, both individuals and families. This program has no income guidelines. Applicants must be able to show how they will cover this need in the future. Case management will be provided to applicants and together they will work through a budget to determine sustainability.

Shanahan noted that this initiative is funded through Walter Scott-Private funds, community churches, Fremont Area United Way and City Care and Share Funds. Applicants also will be referred to other agencies for their other needs.

“While most funding will support Dodge County residents due to the specific funding requirements, there are some funds to support Washington County residents,” she said.

Shanahan said potential applicants can access this program through the following agencies: Care Corps Homeless Services Inc., Low Income Ministry, Northeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership (NENCAP), The Salvation Army and Uniquely Yours Stability Support.

“As the funding manager, this initiative would determine which smaller funding source to pull from, cut the checks and mail the payment, provide backbone support, guide, and lead and support the agencies involved,” she said.

Shanahan believes the goal of this initiative is clear.

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“We want to stop the enabling, to become part of the solution not the problem, to help families move out of poverty and to empower community individuals,” she said. “They are good enough and worth it. We want to open the door to other resources in the community to improve their family wellbeing.”

According to Supervisor Bob Missel, the board will continue discussion regarding the initiative with the Dodge County General Assistance Welfare Director Fred Mytty.

In other business, the board:

• Considered a memo from Larry Dix, executive director of NACO (Nebraska Association of County Officials), regarding election procedures for voting for officers at the NACO Convention.

• Received a copy of letter to County Treasurer Cathy Dill from Russell J. Kreikemeier of Kreikemeier Law LLC with copy of Petition for Determination of Amended Inheritance Tax correcting previous allocation of tax on the estate of Dorothy Kreikemeier and consideration instructing Dill to reimburse a portion of the tax in the amount of $5,608.12, due to farmland in Cuming County.

• Approved the request from Highway Superintendent Alan Doll to purchase a 2016 Ford three-quarter ton extended cab 4x4 pickup off of the Nebraska State Bids at a price of $31,208.00.

• A date was set for the Annual Highway Department Road Tour for 8 a.m. Nov. 18 at the Dodge County Highway Department office.

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News Editor

Tammy Real-McKeighan is news editor of the Fremont Tribune. She covers news, features, religion stories and writes the weekly faith-based, Spiritual Spinach column.

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