KCEOC would like to congratulate James Kyle Welch on being awarded the Father of the Year Award at this year’s Kentucky Head Start Association Family Summit.
James’ son, James Peyton Welch, has been enrolled in KCEOC Early Head Start since September 2015, and James has been a part of his son’s education ever since. During his son’s enrollment with KCEOC Early Head Start home based program, James participated in weekly home visits along with his son and wife. James has also volunteered at and attended socialization opportunities with his family. When his son transitioned to the Early Head Start classroom, James was there every day he could be to pick his son up, and help make the transition into the classroom go as smoothly as possible.
James is a full-time employee with the city of McKee, Kentucky. He is also a volunteer fire fighter, and has been recently appointed the fire chief of the City of McKee Volunteer Fire Department. He even brought a fire truck to his son’s Head Start Center in November 2016, and assisted in teaching the students about fire safety.
Marla Fields, McKee’s City Clerk, described James as “always willing to help. He enjoys doing things for his community. He’s always there to respond to calls for help through the Fire Department, or just whenever he can. He has given up many hours to help dig up water lines when there has been a leak, and answered many late night calls to move trees that have fallen and blocked roadways.” McKee Mayor, John Tompkins, added that “not only does James balance all his regular job duties, but he frequently responds to calls of assistance. He does anything that is asked of him and is always a help to others.”
The selflessness James shows in both his full time job and his fire fighting commitment is commendable and deserving of praise. Factor in the active determination James has for being a part of his children’s education, and we are happy to congratulate him once more on his recognition and award. Thank you, James and every KCEOC Head Start Parent, for playing such a vital role in your child’s education and helping make Head Start such an amazing program for our community.
Paul Dole, KCEOC President/CEO, is the recipient of the 2017 Jesse Amburgey Excellence in Community Action Award presented on Thursday June 15, 2017 in Louisville, KY.
The Jesse Amburgey Excellence in Community Action Award honors efforts and achievements of someone who has worked diligently to reduce or eliminate the causes or conditions of poverty. Annually, the award is given to someone who has excelled in advancing Community Action in Kentucky by their efforts at the local, state, and/or national level. Paul is very deserving of this award because of all the changes, advancements, and vast efforts put into his work for the past 43 years of his career in Community Action at KCEOC Community Action Partnership.
Paul began working at KCEOC after graduating from Union College in 1974, where he was later elected to the College’s Hall of Fame in 2003. He held many positions, and rose through the ranks, starting out as a Special Assistant and finally becoming Executive Director in 1980, the title was changed to President/CEO in 2006. In 2005, Paul was the recipient of the William Hacker Leader of the Year Honor from Leadership Tri-County. In 2009, he was recognized by the East Kentucky Leadership Foundation as the Outstanding Public Individual of the Year. In 2013, Paul received the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award for a non-profit.
Paul holds a multitude of honors and certifications, but most importantly he is the Certified Community Action Professional and the Certified Community Action Manager. Paul Dole is in his 37th year as President/CEO of KCEOC and his 43rd year overall serving his community.
Paul Dole has served as Treasurer and President of the Southeastern Association of Community Action Agencies, 1st Vice President of the National Community Action Partnership, and two terms as National Chair. He is currently serving as the Region IV representative on the National Community Action Partnership Board, and as VP of the state association. Paul serves as a Commissioner on both the Certified Community Action Professional (CCAP) and the Award for Excellence Commissions. He has also been a board member of the East Kentucky Leadership Foundation for 25 years.
Through the many positions held on boards and committees, serving through positions at KCEOC, and working with government officials and community members Paul has been a voice for the voiceless. At times when there seemed to be no hope for the future of Community Action, a firm believer in the power of Community Action, Paul worked diligently with other Community Action staffers and supporters to fight for Community Action and the low-income residents of Southeastern KY. Through his excellent leadership and entrepreneurship, KCEOC was the recipient of the 2015 National Award for Excellence.
KCEOC would like to congratulate our President/CEO, Paul Dole, on the well deserved award. KCEOC is as successful as it is because of the amazing leadership, and the dedication the staff have to recognizing human potential, improving communities, and creating opportunities for change.
By the time Chassidy Nolen had decided to come to KCEOC for help, she felt hopeless, defeated, scared, and exhausted. Her life, like a lot of ours, had its ups and downs. It just seemed that for Chassidy, however, the downs outweighed the ups. She was in a broken marriage. She lost part of her leg in an automobile accident a few years ago, and hasn’t been able to drive herself anywhere ever since. Her family was growing further and further apart as a result of her apathy towards her relationship. Loved ones became distant, and Chassidy felt like she had nowhere else to go, no one else she felt comfortable asking for help.
Chassidy met her husband in high school. She describes him as being athletic and good at every sport. “He still holds a lot of records there” she explained. The high school sweet hearts would soon marry after graduating. The two of them would go on to have three children together and Chassidy began growing more and more dependent on her husband. “I depended on him for everything - emotionally, financially, everything, especially after the car accident.He drove everywhere, I was scared to. I haven’t really driven since then.”
Things soon began to change for Chassidy and her family. Her husband began abusing drugs and it wasn’t long before he was addicted. Chassidy decided to stay with her husband, however, hoping he would beat the addiction and things could go back to the way they were. They didn’t, and Chassidy’s extended family weren’t happy, “they thought I was his cheerleader, that I was okay with him doing drugs.”
Chassidy’s relationship with her husband got even worse. “It became poisonous” she explained. “It was abusive, and I felt trapped. I didn’t know what to do.” Because of her disability, Chassidy felt she would just be adding to her family’s problems if she went to them for help. She feared they would just see her as another burden.
Chassidy was defeated, “I had nowhere to go. I just needed out of the situation.” Chassidy soon became desensitized to her husband’s drug abuse and had accepted their life now, “I needed support, for someone to tell me I could do better.” Chassidy fell into depression as a result of her husband’s drug abuse. “I would just stay in the house all of the time” she recalls. “I’m a people-person, a big talker, so staying cooped up was hard for me.”
After a 19 year marriage, many years of abuse, bouts of depression, losing the trust of her family, Chassidy decided she needed to get help. She had learned through the community that KCEOC Community Action Partnership had a homeless shelter. “I just looked for the phone number in the phone book. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I just knew I had to get out.”
Chassidy and her two youngest children showed up to the KCEOC Emergency Support Shelter in the middle of the night. “I was nervous and intimidated, I didn’t know what to expect. I had seen movies where they show homeless shelters, and thought this one would be like them: dingy, scary, big, cold, but that wasn’t the case.” Chassidy stayed in the KCEOC Emergency Support Shelter for 30 days, and while there her and her children were provided food, shelter, water, a place to sleep, support, etc.
The staff at KCEOC’s Emergency Support Shelter referred Chassidy to take part in the KCEOC Continuum of Care Program. While in this program, Chassidy’s case was turned over to KCEOC Case Manager, Sheila Wyatt. Wyatt and Chassidy met and discussed a needs assessment for Chassidy and her family. It was determined that the family needed a new place to live, and a steady income. Wyatt then constructed an Action Plan for Chassidy which included housing searches, counseling services by Wyatt, Wyatt discussing and making sure Chassidy understood housing leases by using documents such as “Finding a Place to Live” and “How to be a Good Renter.” These documents are keys in helping make sure any client that goes through KCEOC’s Continuum of Care Program is prepared for long-term housing.
Wyatt was also responsible for meeting with local land owners, and potential landlords for Chassidy. Wyatt also provided Chassidy with credit counseling, and helped resolved any credit issues hindering Chassidy from being successful after leaving the Continuum of Care Program. The program also aims to help program participants locate resources including federal, state, and local benefits outside of KCEOC. “I didn’t even have an ID when I came to the shelter, I didn’t have a social security card either. I needed both to sign up for food stamps, which Sheila and KCEOC helped me do.”