Northeast Kingdom Community Action
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|Founded||1964 (Orleans County, Vermont, Caledonia County, and Essex County)|
|Headquarters||St. Johnsbury, Vermont and Newport|
|Counties of Caledonia, Orleans, and Essex|
Northeast Kingdom Community Action or NEKCA is a non-profit 501(c)3 government community agency in the Northeast Kingdom area of the U.S. state of Vermont founded in 1964 to address the needs of disadvantaged residents. It has Executive Offices in the historic US Customs House Building at 70 Main Street in Newport, Vermont. It has administrative offices in St. Johnsbury and Newport with satellite facilities in Island Pond and Canaan. For the fiscal year ending 2004, the agency reported a gross income of $5,147,565. The Executive Director is Joe Patrissi. The President of the Board of Directors is Mary Grant, Vice President is Kenn Stransky, Treasurer is Harold Nadeau and Sec. is Eugene Levine.
NEKCA maintains several services for youths: transition services from foster care and for the homeless; program for runaways; court diversion for non-violent crimes; Vermont Youth Development Corps/Americorps; Juvenile restorative program ensuring youths responsible make restitution as required; street checkers on probabationers; street (peer) outreach; and Teen Center. They serve about 6,000 families annually.
The agency advises micro-businesses in the process of starting up.
An outreach department assists low income residents in getting help they need by referrals, advocacy and case management.
24-hour support is provided to victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence and abuse.
They provide workforce training and development to people who have significant barriers to employment.
It formerly managed a program to facilitate visits between non-custodial parents and their children.
A Community Coordinating Council helps coordinate efforts to aid the poor with th this organization, the Northeast Kingdom Mental Health, Northeast Kingdom Mental Health, Parent Child Centers, Youth Services, The Youth Wellness Center, Northern Counties Health Care, Umbrella, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, Adult Basic Education, Area Agency on Aging and other social agencies.
They attempt to educate the public to be aware of the concerns of the homeless.
In 2008, it was attempting to convert a building to a transitional shelter for parolees in Newport.
In the winter of 2003-4, the agency provided fuel assistance to 461 applicants, and denied 206 because they did not meet income criteria.
The original organization was Orleans County Council of Social Agencies (OCCSA), founded as a Community Action Program in 1965 as part of the War on Poverty. It was headquartered at the Old Customs building on Main Street, Newport.
The successor NEKCA agency was established in 1980.
The original executive director of OCCSA had political difficulties with the then governor of Vermont, Richard Snelling, who had been born out-of-state. The director described the governor to a newspaper reporter as a "porky flatlander." The agency was subsequently dismantled and the director moved to a western state.
When NEKCA attempted to rezone a St. Johnsbury building for transitional housing for parolees, neighbors objected, as did the local paper. Attempting to reverse the rezoning, 13 litigants took them to Environmental Court in 2007. The petition of the litigants was denied in 2009.
When they discovered that Newport police were recording conversations between NEKCA victim advocates and victims, four advocates resigned, two dismissed, for going public with the information.
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