Pictured (Left to Right) 2015 Family of Distinction Award recipient Serena Spencer receives plaque from C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation’s Moultrie County Outreach Coordinator Kristy Dawson.
The Serena Spencer family of Sullivan has been recognized by the C.E.F.S. Board of Directors as the 2015 Family of Distinction, exemplifying the spirit of hope and success that C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation has offered to all individuals and families during its past fifty years of service. The Spencer family was nominated for the award by the C.E.F.S. Moultrie County Outreach Office staff for the significant strides the family made in the pursuit of self- sufficiency since first seeking help from the agency. The family was also recognized and honored along with other families from across the state by the Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies earlier this year in Springfield as one of the outstanding Illinois families for their personal achievements to improve their lives.
According to Chief Executive Officer Paul White, “The Serena Spencer family is a great example of what Community Action programs can do to help a family achieve self-sufficiency.” After being referred by a family member, Serena Spencer came to the C.E.F.S. Moultrie County Outreach office in 2007 seeking assistance and access to community resources to help stretch her income. Over the years C.E.F.S. helped provide the family with assistance through various agency sponsored programs and also provided referrals for other local support. Serena Spencer dealt with many challenges in the past years, but together with C.E.F.S., Serena worked hard and achieved her goals.
C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation provides outreach and referral services in our field offices in the seven county service area. Staff members at the local offices are trained in basic information and referral to assist clients with problems relative to their needs. The staff are trained and certified Family and Community Development specialists and certified housing counselors who provide intensive case management services to individuals and families. The local C.E.F.S. outreach office personnel are usually the first contact made with the agency for assistance. Some major programs offered directly by the field offices are LIHEAP, weatherization, tax assistance, emergency food and shelter, budgeting, literacy, senior services and housing counseling. If the outreach staff cannot assist directly, a referral will be made to other community programs and providers. The outreach services are funded primarily by the Community Services Block Grant Program from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation is a not-for-profit community action agency providing comprehensive human service programs for over fifty years for low and moderate income individuals and families in Clay, Effingham, Fayette, Shelby, Moultrie, Christian and Montgomery counties. The agency mission is to provide opportunities for people through education and support to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. For more information about the community action agency and its programs, please contact your local C.E.F.S. County Outreach Office, the C.E.F.S. central office in Effingham at 217/342-2193 or visit the C.E.F.S. website at www.cefseoc.org