OSKALOOSA — Over $71,000 will be distributed to local organizations by the Oskaloosa Community Development Foundation.
According to a recent press release, the distributions have been made possible due to the dissolution of the foundation due to inactivity and overlap of other foundations.
The foundation was created in 1984. According to the release, the four goals of the group were to encourage community funding and development while lowering the burden on the government, to promote social welfare, to help the poor, distressed, and underprivileged people, and to fight the deterioration of the city.
Projects funded by the Oskaloosa Community Development Foundation have included the wooden playground in Edmundson Park as well as the Grant Elementary School playground.
According to the press release, in order to uphold the original intentions of the Oskaloosa Community Development Foundation, the funds include money collected in the spiral fountain that was located at Penn Central Mall for many years. Those monies were given to Mahaska Future View with the hopes of bringing back the spiral.
New Hope Community, Inc.
On Thursday, June 6, $5,000 was presented to New Hope Community, Inc. by Deb Bruxvoort and John Grahek.
Blaine Vos, of New Hope, said New Hope is a situational facility with a focus on developing relationships.
Joan Vos, of New Hope, told about a man who had said he planned to go to another state and harm the mother of his child.
"We talked him through it. And we could see in his body and in his reactions, trying to pull back that emotion. Not to go do what he wanted to do was very, very hard for him," she said. "That Saturday morning when he came, he was saying "you saved me, thank you so much for saving me.' Because we took the time. Not a lot of people's going to do that. We took the time to listen to him and help him through the steps."
Carol Houk said she would attest fully to that.
"They will stop anything they're doing," she said. "There have been a lot of transformations through here."
Mahaska County Homelessness Coalition
Debbie Howe and Jan LeBahn, representatives from the coalition, accepted a check for $2,000.
LeBahn said the coalition uses its limited amount of funds and help rapidly rehouse people in need.
"We can help pay the rent in some ways with supports from other community resources or help them with deposit or something so that they can get into a permanent living situation," she said. "That's number one what we like to be able to fund. And then we've helped people get back to their home communities, put them on a bus and got them back to where they need to be, or find a ride for them. Maybe they ran out of gas and they're here in town and we got them gas money to get back where they needed to be."
The coalition's aid is meant to be a transitional service to at least help keep people safe, especially during the winter. Funds are also used to buy food for those in need.
The coalition is creative and flexible, LeBahn said.
"And that's the beauty of this," she said, "is that we can be more flexible than other community resources maybe can if they get federal dollars or state dollars in other ways."
• Grant School Playground received $4,029
• Mahaska YMCA summer day camp location at Lake Keomah annual campaign $5,000; $12,000 to Bruce Sedrel day camp.
• Mahaska Future View received $2,686
• Oskaloosa Kiwanis received $40,689 to be used for a new park at Edmundson.