PCACS marks another year of success with service to community

Written by Bruce Lindner. Posted in Featured, Senior Living

Published on August 02, 2017 with No Comments

PCACS board members highlight the impact of the agency during the annual meeting.

We recently had the opportunity to celebrate another successful year at our annual meeting.

We are proud of our continued impact on the community through our transportation and ramp programs, as well as our participation in the United Way Emergency Assistance Grant, State Health Insurance Program (SHIP), Energy Assistance Program and the Federal Housing Voucher Program.

Our transportation program is in great shape as we replaced five buses last year and have five new bus drivers who all have driving experience.

Our buses were in service 248 days, making 23,010 one-way trips and averaging 93 trips a day. We served 279 new clients and had 183,024 total passenger miles.

With Dave’s Automotive as a new provider for bus maintenance and repairs, we saved money from the previous year and are looking at adding buses in the future to serve even more clients.

Our transportation department continues to flourish due to our support staff’s attention to details, dedication and genuine caring for those we serve.

The annual Energy Assistance Program assisted 1,048 clients during the season running from November 2016 to May 2017. This included 370 senior clients, 299 disabled clients and 138 new clients. The amount distributed through the program totaled $397,790.93, up from the previous season of $296,851.

Energy Assistance is an income-eligible program, as well as a program to help seniors and individuals with disabilities who are struggling to pay their energy bills. When participants qualify for a determined amount, the payment is electronically paid to the appropriate energy company.

We are fortunate to have Deputy Director Judy Peracki lead the program and intake staff members Carol Hammond and Marilyn Lindner, as well as volunteers Gail Galvan, Inge Nimtz and Dorothea Price.

As an administrator of the United Way Emergency Assistance Grant, we utilized $45,460.59 to help 93 clients with such emergency situations as medical and housing repair expenses as well as mortgage or rent payments and car repairs.

This fund is for community members who are stable but come across a challenge requiring assistance for a one-time event.

For four years, Valerie Martinez has worked with clients through the Federal Housing Voucher Program, helping 308 clients in the last year. Martinez cultivates positive relationships with landlords and is resourceful at finding additional avenues to better serve clients.

Our last ramp building season saw 14 ramps completed due to increased funding and the skilled members of the UAW/Ford Community Service and Task Force Tips teams. We are striving to construct 15 ramps this season and already have wrapped up six ramps that are helping community members access their homes.

We are proud to be a program site for SHIP, which now has five volunteers: Ginger Brockwehl, Tom Murphy, Deborah Brann, Sandy Schaffer and Brenda Bocek. Their dedication to their volunteer roles is obvious in the work that they do.

SHIP is a free and unbiased counseling program provided by the Indiana Department of Insurance for Medicare beneficiaries in Indiana. Throughout the year, SHIP counselors assist those new to Medicare as well as those who’ve been on it for years.

While the open enrollment period runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, the counselors are available year-round to answer questions and offer guidance. The team submitted 39 Medicare Savings Program applications last season and nine Medicare Part D Extra help applications.

We also were successful in selling our allotted tax credits for the ninth straight year through the Neighborhood Assistance Program. We were awarded $5,504 for 2017-18, which we are currently in the process of selling.

Finally, I want to thank our board members who do a wonderful job understanding what we do and supporting our mission.

We appreciate the service of Ethan Lowe, Michael Lipp, Rondi Wightman, Kimberly Wiseman, Barb Kubiszak, Bob Macmahon, Cathy Ellis, George Iemmolo, Cliff Malings, Ed Gottschling, Diane Bates and Sylvia Graham.



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About Bruce Lindner


All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle.  Bruce Lindner has worked in the not-for-profit world for more than 25 years and has been executive director of Porter County Aging and Community Services for five. A native of the Region, he was raised in Portage and he graduated from Valparaiso University. You can call him at 219-464-9736 or e-mail at bhlindner@frontier.com.

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