Semcac reaching out to minority populations

Published 12:52 pm Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Despite the rough economy, one community group is still giving back to southern Minnesota.

Executive Director Wayne Stenberg updated the Mower County Board of Commissioners Tuesday on what the South Eastern Minnesota Citizen’s Action Council has accomplished in Mower County.

The group has served thousands of meals to local seniors and has helped hundreds of households with utility payments and weather proofing.

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Now, the group is looking to ensure it’s serving all the people in southern Minnesota. Semcac is looking to form a task force in house to address the growing number of Hispanic, Somali and Sudanese residents in Southern Minnesota, especially Freeborn and Mower Counties. Semcac Director Wayne Stenberg said the task force would try to reach out to such groups and ensure people are aware of the services and resources available through Semcac.

“We’re working hard to see that we don’t miss that population,” Stenberg said.

“We do connect with them, but we just want to do more,” he added.

However, Stenberg admitted there will be some hardships in the next year.

“We’re growing, and we’re looking forward to the next year, We’re sure there will be some challenges,” said Semcac Director Wayne Stenberg.

2009-10 South Eastern Minnesota Citizens Auction Council

South Eastern Minnesota

•20 programs

•79 locations

•7 contact centers

•11 head start centers

•55 senior dining centers

•251 SEMCAC Employees

Mower County

•20,680 hot meals served to 346 seniors

•5,214 meals were home delivered to 46 seniors

•1,729 households received assistance with utility payments during the last heating season

—additional 493 households received crisis utility assistance

•100 households received weatherization updates

— additional 75 households received energy related repairs

•120 children participated at Head Start Centers in Austin

•42 households received crisis financial assistance funds for housing, transportation or a medical issue

•167 households were assisted with monthly budgeting or financial literacy education

•59 households received assistance on paying rent or mortgage

•17 homeless households at risk of losing their home received help