NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Coming off a harsh and wet winter, East Texans should be preparing homes for expected hot summers. The Greater East Texas Community Action Program is doing so with its weatherization and energy assistance programs.
This year it has added five southeast Texas counties to the 11 counties already served. The change will affect the entire region.
Weatherization and energy assistance during any season are costly. The expenses were putting a service agency for Hardin, Galveston, Jefferson, Orange, and Chambers counties out of business. So it asked to merge with Greater East Texas Community Action Program. It became effective just over two weeks ago.
"They see the merger as allowing them to have more funding to serve clients and yet reduce their administrative costs," said Karen Swenson, executive director for Greater East Texas Community Action.
Before today the staff logged thousands of applications with pencil and pen.
"We currently have probably about 3,000 applications in house right now," said Connie Gray, the area manager for the Southeast Region.
Today GETCAP's support allows staff from the Southeast region to enter the computer age.
"For us we've never had the security of a larger network, Community Action, to fall back on just being a non-profit agency," Gray said.
The combined programs provide a broad base of support for the residents of seventeen counties in East Texas who are served by GETCAP.
"We will now cover from as far north as Mineola and Quitman, which is Wood County, all the way down now to what we're going to call our service area with a beach as a backyard," Swenson said.
Funding will remain a challenge, even for Community Action, but its broad base will provide the foundation needed to equally serve a much larger region.
Greater East Texas Community Action Program is receiving applications now. No guarantee of service can be made. Each application is carefully reviewed and funding sources fluctuate.