News

The Greater Springfield Community Health Equity Partnership is Seeking to Fund Proposals that Address Stigma as a Barrier to Access and a Harm to Mental Health

The Greater Springfield Community Health Equity Partnership (CHEP), which is coordinated by SEVCA, will be funding proposals seeking to reduce health disparities in the Springfield District of the Vermont Department of Health, as identified in its health equity challenge statement: 

Stigma is a major barrier to health and wellness for residents in our community. Both actual and perceived stigma prevent many community members, including those with substance use disorder (SUD) and those experiencing mental health challenges, from accessing necessary physical and mental health care, social services, community support, housing, transport, employment, and social opportunities. Stigma is also harming many residents’ already strained mental health by negatively impacting their sense of belonging, connection, and hope, leading to feelings of isolation. These experiences and outcomes are particularly acute for our most marginalized and underserved community members.  

Available Funds & Timeframe 

We seek applications for projects that can be completed in the 6-month time frame of this grant period (November - May) and that address the root causes of the health disparities mentioned above. We have a total of $150,000 in one-time funding and will issue awards ranging from $5,000 to $50,000. 

Request for Proposals Published – Friday, October 14, 2022 

Applications Due – November 4, 2022 at 5 pm EST 

Applicants Notified of Decisions – November 18, 2022 

What are we doing to ensure the grantmaking process is equitable and accessible? 

  • Upfront payment installments to grantees - While the grant program is based on a reimbursement model, meaning that SEVCA won’t be provided funds until after they are spent, we are providing payments upfront to be inclusive of more applicants and projects. 
  • Simple eligibility requirements – Anyone with a plan to address the root causes of our challenge and a tax ID can apply. This includes: individuals, community groups, nonprofits, businesses, and more. 
  • Short and simple application & reporting – We’re looking for short, clear responses that illustrate your work. Project impact is more important to us than proposal polish or grammar. 
  • Multiple options & formats for applying - Applications may be submitted as a written document, through an online form, as a PowerPoint or video, or through other methods. 
  • Application information in multiple formats - More detailed information is available in written form here. We also held a virtual information and Q&A session on Thursday, October 27th from 4:30 - 5:30 pm. Slides from the session are available here and a video recording of the session is available here.
  • Opportunities for application support - If you would like to meet one-on-one to ask questions or for support applying, please schedule a phone call or virtual meeting here
  • Community member application reviewers – Our Steering Committee, made up of community members from towns in the district, will be reviewing applications and deciding which proposals to fund. 

Want more info? Request for Proposals Packet available here.

Ready to apply? Application here. See above link for other application options. 

Want to help spread the word? Flyer available here.

Have questions or need support applying? Contact Kelsea Burch: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 800-464-9951 ext. 1107 

Last Updated: October 27, 2022 

Please note: We may find it necessary or helpful to make additions, adjustments, or corrections to the information provided. The latest version of the Request for Proposals Packet will be available on this page and we will update the date above should this occur. 

Volunteer with SEVCA- Recruiting community members to help with tax program

Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) will provide free tax preparation for lower income taxpayers for the 2022 tax filing season through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.  SEVCA is now recruiting volunteers to help as many families as possible claim the tax credits and refunds available to them. A volunteer orientation meeting will be held in the fall at our SEVCA’s main office, 91 Buck Drive, Westminster, VT.  
 
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who are low to moderate income, persons with disabilities, elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free federal and state income tax return preparation with electronic filing. 
This part will be online, link to be provided
 
Don’t know that much about taxes? Don’t worry — you’ll receive specialized training from a certified VITA instructor plus IRS online courses.  We are looking for individuals who are willing and able to commit 3 to 4 hours per week, or a full day or more as necessary from the last week in January – April filing deadline.  Although prior tax preparation experience is not necessary, a commitment to training and certification is required.  Training sessions will be held in Westminster beginning in mid-October and at your convenience using online IRS self study training materials.  Continuing on-site training and supervision is provided during the tax preparation season by the SEVCA Tax Site Coordinator.
 
To learn how you can make a difference in your community by becoming a VITA volunteer contact Leslie Wood at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (802) 722-4575, ext. 1603.
 

Sign Up Today- Computer and Workplace Skills Program Starts in September

SEVCA and VAL Offer a Free Workshop Series


SEVCA (Southeastern Vermont Community Action) in collaboration with VAL (Vermont Adult Learning) is providing a series of six free basic Computer and Workplace Skills workshops. This workshop series will provide participants with training, support and resources to gain foundational knowledge using a computer and improve workplace skills. Classes start September 21st, 2022, with additional dates: 9/28, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19 and 10/26. Enrollment is limited to 10.

SEVCA will provide a gift card incentive to Vermont residents who attend all six sessions. Springfield Area Working Communities Challenge (WCC) will provide a refurbished laptop to *eligible* participants attending all 6 sessions. The workshops will be held in person at Vermont Adult Learning, 100 River Street in Springfield and will be taught by SEVCA instructor Diane Heileman. *For more information on laptop eligibility or to enroll in the workshop series, contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Computer and Workplace Skills Workshops, Descriptions and Schedule:

1. The Laptop: Wednesday, Sept 21 9:30am – 11:30am
Basic knowledge of laptop care can extend the life of a laptop by years and supports efficient laptop performance. Students will learn about basic computer care plus become familiar with the physical components of the laptop, including ports and connections, keypad, specialty keys, TouchPad, battery, power charger, webcam, speakers, indicator lights and more.

2. The Desktop: Wednesday, Sept 28 9:30am – 11:30am
Students will learn the parts of the desktop and how to personalize it, how to find and open applications, use the TouchPad and optional mouse, understand the parts of a window, open and manage multiple windows, find, save and search for files, create folders and organize files. We will review maintaining Windows via system updates, manage disk space, troubleshooting techniques, and backups.

3. The Internet- Connecting, Searching and Safety: Wednesday, Oct 5 9:30am – 11:30am
This class will address the steps involved to connect a laptop to a network and navigate through the internet. Students will search the internet for information, save and organize websites for easy access (“bookmark” and “favorites”). We will also cover what to look for in a safe website, signs of a possible fraudulent site, review web browser options. This class also addresses workplace policies for internet usage.

4. Email skills using Gmail: Wednesday, Oct 12 9:30am – 11:30am
Students will learn the parts of an email, how to create, search, send and reply to an email. Topics include formatting options in text (fonts, size, colors), attaching documents and photos, website links, and email customization options, recognize and deal with unwanted email (spam), plus email usage in the workplace.

5. Introduction to Microsoft Word: Wednesday, Oct 19 9:30am – 11:30am
This class will focus on basic Microsoft Office Word skills. Students will create, edit, save and print Word documents, set up fonts and text formatting options (bold, underline, bullets, indents, margins, etc.), insert graphic objects and photos from the desktop and internet, use spelling and grammar tools.

6. Introduction to spreadsheets using Microsoft Excel: Wednesday, Oct 26 9:30am-12:00pm
Excel is a spreadsheet program that is easy to use and allows you to store, manipulate, analyze, and visualize data. In this beginner's Excel class, students will learn how to create and update a basic spreadsheet, enter and format data, calculate totals through formulas, create simple reports and charts.

 

SEVCA Offers Free Online Money Management Class in October

Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) is providing a series of 4 Financial Fitness workshops to provide training, support, and resources to help participants gain control and manage their money. Workshop topics include: creating a personal, workable budget; reducing debt; setting personal goals; modify spending; basics of banking; plus credit building.

Workshops are free to Vermont residents. SEVCA will provide a gift card cash incentive to those Vermont residents affected by Covid who attend Workshops 1,2, and 3. Courses will be offered on Zoom, an online platform. Additional counseling is available to attendees.
For more information email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Zoom Workshop dates and time for October 2022:

Workshop 1: Thursday, October 6: 6pm-7pm
Workshop 2: Thursday, October 13: 6pm-7pm
Workshop 3: Thursday, October 20: 6pm-7pm
Workshop 4: Thursday, October 27: 6pm-7pm

Workshop 1: Take Control of Your Money – Create a Budget
Date: October 6: 6pm - 7pm
Understanding and tracking the details of your financial situation is the start to making better money decisions and building a more secure future. When life situations change, and it often does (job loss, illness, birth of a child, new job, divorce, etc.) it’s time to review how to manage your money. This workshop will help you take control of your money by taking the first step by...creating a budget. We’ll learn what a budget is, why use it, and create and review a budget step by step.

Workshop 2: Manage Your Expenses - Set Your Goals
Date: October 13: 6pm - 7pm
After creating a budget, the next step is to review the expenses then identify goals. Goal examples are: paying off debts, saving for a car, or building an emergency fund. Creating a plan and taking control of income and expenses helps achieve goals. We’ll look at ways to lower expenses, increase income, what to do with bills you can’t pay and using strategies to achieve goals.

Workshop 3: Credit – Tame the Credit Beast
Date: October 20: 6pm - 7pm
Let’s face it, using credit to make purchases make life more convenient. But when credit (loans and credit cards) are overused, they become a trap and one of the biggest barriers in reaching financial goals. This workshop reviews credit: The do’s and don’ts of credit, how to avoid credit traps and ways to get out of credit card debt. We will learn about “Your FICO Credit Score”, how it affects your lifetime of interest rates, how interest impacts monthly payments, and how to improve a credit score.
,
Workshop 4: Banks and Credit Unions – Protect and Grow Your Money
Date: October 27: 6pm - 7pm
Where money is kept, whether it’s in a bank, credit union or under the mattress, does affect finances. This workshop explains the differences between banks and credit unions plus describes the accounts, benefits, and services (and fees) they offer. We will look at checking accounts, debit cards, savings accounts, loans and interest rates, plus strategies to grow and protect money. We’ll look at “Instant Cash” payday loans, how to protect your information and Identity theft.

This workshop is open to all, and a required program for those participating in our Individual Development Account (IDA) program. This course provides essential information about managing everyday finances as well as long-term expenses. Planning, budgeting, and building credit are crucial for financial independence. Topics include: Saving; Spending; Credit Retirement; Investing/Insurance; Real Estate; Protecting your family and yourself; Paying for college; Future goal setting

Duration: 4 weeks; 1 day / week; 1 hours / day

Prerequisites: None

Cost: Free Restrictions: None

SEVCA seeks community members to serve on Board of Directors

Ensure that Everyone and All Communities Thrive

Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) is actively seeking community members to work with our agency. Residents in Windsor or Windham Counties are asked to consider joining our Board of Directors: Invest your time & talent, and together we will work to ensure that folks in our communities have the resources needed to thrive.

Interested? Your life experiences can support our work:

  • Have you experienced poverty?
  • Are you a member of an under-represented or historically excluded group?
  • Do you have insight about hardships facing folks and/ or have a job serving folks experiencing hardship?
  • Do you any of the following skills, legal, fundraising, governance, financial or multi-year budget planning, human resources, assessment & strategic planning, early childhood education, social work, diversity and inclusion, and / or other assets essential to a strong and resilient business?
  • Are you an elected official who has a heart for effective & accountable social services?
  • Are you committed to alleviating, and, ultimately, to eliminating poverty in our communities?

Board service supports low and moderate wealth community members, AND it can be an excellent way to gain professional development skills while meeting other community members who share your commitment to social justice. You will attend one board meeting per month & one or two committee meetings monthly or bi-monthly. Meetings are conducted primarily via Zoom. Together, our team cultivates an even more effective and accountable SEVCA.

As a member of the SEVCA board, you will participate in our work and together we will continue to implement solutions to the deep-seated problems of poverty, largely by empowering and collaborating with those whose lives are affected by it daily. More information about SEVCA is available at www.SEVCA.org. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more, please contact SEVCA at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 800-464-9951.

Since 1965, SEVCA has worked in Windsor and Windham Counties ‘to empower and partner with individuals and communities to alleviate the hardships of poverty, to provide opportunities to thrive, and to eliminate root causes of poverty.’ For information about all of SEVCA’s programs & services, and to get help to navigate and access available resources, visit https://sevca.org/, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call (800) 464-9951.

“Unless the investment in children is made, all of humanity’s most fundamental long-term problems will remain fundamental long-term problems.”

UNICEF "The State of the Children" (1995)