By Michael R. Moser
The government agency that provides pass-through resource services and funding is sending out representatives to all county governments in the Upper Cumberland region to provide an "update" on services rendered during the past year.
For Cumberland County commission members, it was an interesting report because the local county ranks seventh out of 95 counties in Tennessee when it comes to federal, state and local dollars received from a resource agency.
Upper Cumberland Human Resources Agency Field Operations Specialist Randall Killman visited county commissioners last week and handed out fact sheets that recapped programs and expenditures that were passed on to benefit the low income populace.
UCHRA came under investigation and great criticism after expenditures made under a former director's watch were criticized in a state comptroller's audit of the agency's books.
The report provided Cumberland County commissioners was titled, "Delivering Hope," with a subtitle of, "It's about the people, transparency and being good stewards."
According to Killman, UCHRA administers 62 programs with 110,458 people helped by the social action agency last year. This computes to 4,562 residents (most receive more than one service) and represents $2,777,085 of federal, state and local dollars brought into Cumberland County by UCHRA in fiscal year 2011-12.
Services range from court advocacy for youth to rural transportation and meals for the elderly.
UCHRA transported 959 Cumberland County residents last year, traveling 266,519 miles on 23,059 trips. Although UCHRA provides transportation to the airport in Nashville and to various locations in Knoxville and Nashville, most of the trips are made locally, to medical facilities, utilities, shopping locations and other requested venues.
Currently, 83 people are served home delivered meals. In June, 41 persons were on the waiting list for the home meal program, and as of Jan. 31 of this year, the list had been cut to six.
Some 35 senior citizens were served congregate meals in January, and 1,115 congregate meals were served in Cumberland County from July 1 to Jan. 31.
There are 387 who receive food stamps with the value of the commodities distributed locally placed by UCHRA at $23,622.23. That represents 36,053 pounds of food, Killman said.
On the first week in March, those in Cumberland County receiving commodities will be given ten pounds of potatoes in a special distribution of 80,000 pounds of spuds locally.
Some 1,115 people received $469,674 in the form of Low Income Home Energy Assistance n Cumberland County, and another 45 people received $90,266 in the Weatherization Assistance Program.
Child and Adult Care Food Program assisted three child and adult daycare providers with $27,973. Two households received $2,922 in home modifications, and 21 persons in Cumberland County received housing assistance $19,430 through the Ryan White Community AIDS Partnership and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS.
At the end of the presentation, county commissioners were given an opportunity to ask questions but no one responded to the opportunity to ask.