Representative Patty Stinson Interim Executive Director of the South-Central Georgia Community Action Council Discusses Disruption of LIHEAP Grant

Published 10:28 am Monday, March 11, 2024

Representative Patty Stinson and interim executive director of the South-Central Georgia Community Action Council recently discussed changes to the council and issues that are still being resolved during the transition to new leadership. Specifically, a disruption in the distribution of the low-income home energy assistance program or LIHEAP funds has occurred.

The Community Action Council has administered three grant programs through human services, including LIHEAP. LIHEAP services run through December 1rst through July 31rst, helping to pay for heating bills during the winter. Stinson explained how the process of getting the funds to the 8 Counties covered by the Council has slowed due to the organization losing administration of the grant. When asked why the organization lost the grant, Stinson referenced major changes that had recently occurred with the Council, including a change of leadership, staff, and changes in the Board. When asked the specific reason why the grant was lost, Stinson explained the process by which the government provided reimbursement for the distribution of the grant after the monthly delivery of financial reports. A lapse had occurred in filing.

Stinson noted that another organization had been found to administer the grant. When asked about how this would affect service, Stinson noted they were unable to provide a timeline. She told how she had reiterated to the new organization that the eight counties were waiting for service. Stinson also expressed hopes for improvement in the Community Action Council under new leadership once the transition is complete.

When asked about the recent changes, Chair of the Council, Jill Harrison, expressed support for the interim executive director’s leadership. She referenced “growing pains” but expressed hopes the organization will stabilize. “We’ve had some changes in leadership and are trying to expand our footprint.”