September Update

WOW!  What a busy time it has been!  The end of the summer has brought a lot of good news for all of us here at OVO!  Here is a little news update to get you caught up on all that we have had going on at OVO as of late.

Our organization was recognized at the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) Fall Training Conference back on August 12-13.  OVO accepted an award for Outstanding Performance in IHCDA Community Programs presented by IHCDA’s Executive Director, Jacob Sipe.  We also were the featured guest speakers during lunch on the 12th, presenting on the accomplishments of Project JOULES.  Project participants presented along with the project coordinator, and the updated Energy Education Training Video was premiered to the crowd of fellow Community Action staff from around the state as well as IHCDA leaders.  OVO was very honored for the invitation to speak to such a distinguished crowd as well as for our hard work being recognized at the state level!  We were also very excited to see an article in our local paper about these accomplishments!

Head Start has been incredibly busy getting ready for the new school year.  Staff have been processing applications and enrolling youngsters.  The first day of school was last Tuesday, September 15th.  This year, our program is excited to announce we are offering more full day classes as well as extending transportation services to full day families as well.  What an exciting time for that program!

If you have dropped by our office over the last month or so, you probably saw that our building has been undergoing some updates!  You may have also noticed our updated signs throughout the community at each of the Head Start Centers as well as our Administration Office.  We have been very thankful to Heitz Signs for doing such an excellent job preparing and installing these signs for us.  They look great! Staff have also been getting our agency prepared for a major interoffice move next month.  Files are being boxed, walls being painted, and furniture assembled to make this move smooth as can be.  This move will mean many of our staff will be shuffled around the building, but we are hoping to accomplish a much better customer experience for our clients that come to our office.  We are so happy with how our office space is coming along!

Our Weatherization Department has been hard at work this summer with a new program.  Our agency was one of six organizations throughout the state chosen to pilot the new Healthy Homes Program.  This new program is designed to help provide weatherization services to those homes that typically would not be unable to access them.  Under normal circumstances, there are many homes that we are unable to weatherize due to health and safety issues within the home.  With the Healthy Homes Program, we are able to fix these underlying issues for many homes, which then allows us to weatherize them and help these households enjoy the energy savings.  We were very honored to be chosen for this opportunity and have been thrilled to provide services to new clients that we would not have been able to serve otherwise.

Our Energy Assistance Program is gearing up for the upcoming Winter Program!  The program is set to begin on November 2nd.  We have already begun mailing applications to our at-risk households (elderly and disabled) and will continue throughout the month of October.  If you meet this category, were on the program last year, and haven’t received your application yet, fear not!  Keep checking the mail through the next month, as we are mailing them out in batches.

Looking forward, the fall looks like it will continue to be busy.  Many festivals will be coming up in our local communities, so be checking our Facebook page for more information on dates and locations of where the OVO booth will be!