In addition to our core services, OVO often implements short-term special projects with funding either from the federal Community Services Block Grant, or from local sources. See below for information on past projects. If you or your organization is interested in partnering with OVO on a future project, contact our office and ask to speak to our Executive Director: 812-265-5858.
2021: Indiana State Park Passes were provided to 1,915 families in OVO’s EAP and Head Start programs, using funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This provided those families with an opportunity to safely gather together outside and enjoy beautiful community assets they normally may not be able to afford to access.
2022: Indiana State Park Passes were to provided to 2,000 families in OVO’s EAP and HCV programs, as well as income-qualified families in the community.
Many families struggle with utility payment arrearages that have accrued over time. OVO’s Energy Assistance Program provides a one-time benefit to help families cover the cost of their heating utilities, but that benefit cannot usually go towards a long-term arrearage. To help families address this debt, OVO will sometimes offer an additional benefit with non-EAP funds.
2020: 181 households received a benefit, at an average of $497.
2021: 200 households with fixed incomes received a benefit. Many CARES-funded programs available at the time required that eligibility be based on loss of income, so most families on fixed incomes were unable to access other CARES assistance programs; this program helped address that gap in services.
One of the most requested services in OVO’s area is for a window air-conditioning unit. Many homes still lack central air-conditioning, and with temperatures often rising above 90 degrees, it can be dangerous for many individuals and families to remain in their homes, especially if they are elderly, disabled or have a child in the household. When funding allows, OVO will address this need by providing free air-conditioning units as well as free installation.
2018: 70 at-risk households received an air conditioning unit during the summer.
2019: 65 at-risk households received an air conditioning unit during the summer.
2020: 102 at-risk households received an air conditioning unit during the summer, with a focus on reducing exposure to COVID-19
Through a grant provided generously by the Women’s Giving Circle of Jefferson County and the Community Foundation of Madison and Jefferson County, OVO presented “Memories with Mom,” a four-part series of educational and recreational events for mothers and their sons and daughters. Throughout the spring and summer of 2017, we partnered with local businesses and artisans to provide fun, engaging classes on canvas art painting, Latin fusion dancing, and cake decorating for 92 individuals in our community. The events were free to participants and gave families great opportunities to grow, learn, make memories, and have fun together! Throughout the duration of this project, we were overwhelmed with incredible community support and leveraged an additional $938 in In Kind donations to make these events a success. This project also helped us address several identified needs from our 2015 Community Needs Assessment to include youth programs and healthy relationships.
Summer Fun with a Purpose! That summer, OVO hosted the Camp And More Project (CAMP). The purpose of this project was to provide meaningful recreational summer programming for youth in our community. Recreation has consistently been identified during our Community Needs Assessments. Furthermore, we recognized the value of summer camp experiences. Summer camp helps kids achieve all kinds of important outcomes: increased confidence, improved interpersonal skills, better understanding of personal responsibility, competence in a variety of skill-based activities, and a love of nature and the outdoors. As part of this project, we provided two different summer camp experiences for youth in our community
For Part 1 of CAMP, we provided a complete overnight summer camp experience for youth ages 10-13. We partnered with Jameson Camp, an accredited residential camp in Indianapolis, to provide a week long overnight summer camp for 17 kids from Jefferson, Jennings, and Scott Counties. For our campers, OVO provided full scholarships to Jameson, travel to and from camp for the youth and their parents, and essential packing list items. Our CAMPers attended Wellness Camp July 9-14th. During this special week of camp, they gained knowledge about the 6 Aspects of Wellness: physical, emotional, environmental, intellectual, spiritual, and social wellness. Additionally, our campers developed valuable character traits like confidence and self-respect and gained competency in activities like archery, art expressions, culinary arts, journalism, and outdoor adventures. We are so excited to have been able to offer such a rewarding and life-changing experience for these kids!
For Part 2 of CAMP, we provided an in-house leadership and recreational day camp for 10 teens from our three counties. CAMP was held July 17-21st, and throughout the week, teens developed leadership skills, visited cool places, made new friends, and completed a service project in the community.
One of our current special projects is Project Low-Income Versatile Empowerment (LIVE). By leveraging funding provided through the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) Tax Credits and the United Way of Scott County, OVO provides assistance to qualifying Section 8 voucher holders in Jefferson, Jennings, and Scott Counties. The program provides assistance with lease deposits to help bridge the gap to housing and assist individuals and families in utilizing their Section 8 rental voucher. Project LIVE builds our capacity to provide gap funding for affordable housing, particularly to those that are elderly and/or disabled. The program also helps us tackle homelessness and access to affordable and quality housing in our service area.
Special thank you to the United Way of Scott County for their support!
Through Project Jump On Using Less Energy Service (JOULES), our youth-led energy education initiative, youth became energy influencers with the tools they need to help families and communities embrace home energy efficiency while developing life skills. The program encouraged all Hoosiers to responsibly use energy, thus making our communities a better and more beautiful place to live. Project JOULES’s goal was to educate the community about energy conservation in order to minimize energy bills and maximize energy savings.
Project JOULES focused on community outreach. Participants had opportunities to meet with elected officials, representatives from major corporations, and community leaders to engage in discourse and raise awareness about the benefits of energy education. As energy influencers, the youth worked with professional production and web design companies and utilize print media, video, radio, online news outlets, and social media to reach out into the community and share their knowledge of energy production, consumption, and conservation. Project JOULES hosted guest speakers focusing on both energy education and youth development. Topics included power plant engineering, home weatherization, local public policy, crime prevention, career planning, and volunteer opportunities. Project JOULES endeavored to make a difference in the lives of youth by energizing, educating, and inspiring positive change in our community. Project JOULES was made possible through funding provided through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) and through community support.