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Happy New Year! Wow, it’s almost here. As I drove in this morning, the sunrise was so beautiful in my rear-view mirror that it reminded me it does pay to look back. It’s been a great year and we’ve been busy. We continue to monitor our work against our own strategic roadmap and we’re doing well.

In our education initiative, we’re doing well with students enrolled in alternative education programs and schools, including school in Juvenile Justice.

Our income work continues to expand to stabilize families with growth in Hope Chest to reduce toxic stress in people’s lives and our VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) and FSA (Facilitated Self Assistance) site is expanding to year-round tax prep for free! You can schedule your own appointments right on our website, FSA is new and if you’d like to keep your documents private and file your own taxes, earn less than $75,000 a year, we’ll pay the tax preparation fee after you complete your filing on one of our computers with a facilitator nearby if you need help! The partnership with the Teresa McCormick Center is expanding and there will be a full-time program staff come January. The expansion is thanks to our legislature creating a funding stream and DHS for managing the grants.

Our health work continues to be our biggest impact area with partnerships on funding for the mobile health crisis pilot with much thanks to Providence Health System for funding and the remarkable efforts of Jackson County Crisis Mental Health and Mercy Flights. Our In This Together programming continues thanks to KOBI NBC5 and our sponsoring partners.

Our transportation efforts continue to reduce barriers to help low income, aging, and people with disabilities (visible and invisible) get where they want and need to go. Watch for the exciting new wheelchair charging stations in the coming year.

Thanks to our amazing board, committee, and council members we’re able to do this work thanks to their community engagement and advocacy. We do this work with all of you and as this year draws to a close, thank you.

I am deeply grateful to get to do this work. See you next year!