Monday, January 06, 2014

COP 24/7: The Power Post 2014

Here Little CLIA
Here CLIA...Here CLIA...where's my little CLIA? This bit sounded funny when conceived but then it somewhat fell flat because the back story is not really a laughing matter either. So what are we talking about? Let's just say COP 24/7 just doesn't make this stuff up, because you just can't. This forum was reached out to by Mr. Michael Kaplan, reigning Mr. Heartland Leather 2013 and principal organizer of Team Friendly which was organized to fight stigma, recruitment for HIV testing, finding people living with HIV that need support and creating an atmosphere in the community that raises awareness about HIV.

Kaplan stated that in his organizing efforts to support the TF program he and others enlisted the assistance of the Arkansas Department of Health's HIV Hepatitis Section to gain the necessary VCT training necessary to support their outreach work. The training was an expedited session that took place in 2013 with recruited member from the community.

He further recalled that even though he felt that initially this was a positive move he
now feels otherwise. His bone to pick with ADH is the fact that the group since then has been haphazardly assisted. He cited a sense of abandonment, unclear explanations and a directive to obtain a "CLIA" for which no formal direction was given as to how to obtain it or what the devil it was.

So what is this must have item you ask? Its a little ditty called Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments certificate. This instrument is used by agency whom perform all type of testing especially those using laboratories. With that said, organizations or agencies involved with testing such as HIV need to have either applied for or possibly partnered with a firm that has secured this certificate from the Department of Health and Human Services. This CLIA brouhaha also affected LA Corp which had to halt its testing activities until the needed certificate was processed. An even more glaring interesting fact to this revelation is that fact that HIV testing has been occurring for years through community based organizations and otherwise with out the knowledge of this missing link. So were those testing event outcomes invalid? Why didn't past leadership have the competency to know of this procedure? Wait there's more? Well of course there is and we will bring it to you in Friday's post. Stay tuned... 

Assistance Powered by LIHEAP

Amid government shut downs, unemployment benefits dissed and budget slashing, COP 24/7 pondered as to whether their would another round of utility assistance available to those who are in need of such help. Apparently, the budget God's smiled and some how, some way, there was cash found in the till to offer this service.

In full disclosure, I have used this assistance in the past when times warranted it. Although it was invaluable at the time, I took the position that this "assistance" was a mean for myself to improve my situation as I could and not take advantage to this service as means to sustain my utilities. I am proud to say that although I appreciated it at that time, I moved forward with increasing my money literacy as well as my earning power to enhance my personal responsibility for my living conditions. It was life lesson that I learned and live by today. Of course there are different strokes for different folks.

Meanwhile, the Central Arkansas Development Council will begin accepting applications January 6th, 2014 for the regular Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) utility assistance in its 12-county service area. Regular Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assists households with home energy and heating bills. Eligible households must meet income guidelines and furnish proof of all household income for the month prior to applying. Shut off notices will not be accepted.

Applications will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis at the following locations:

In Pulaski County, applications will be taken beginning January 6th and 7th at the mass intake day, 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Arts and Crafts Building at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds, 2600 Howard Street in Little Rock.

After the mass intake days in Pulaski County, applications will be accepted at the following locations and times:
• Arkansas Workforce Center of Jacksonville, #2 Crestview Plaza in Jacksonville. Applications will be accepted on a walk-in basis on Thursdays only, 9 am until Noon and is limited to the first 50 customers.
• Arkansas Workforce Center of Little Rock, 5401 South University in Little Rock. Applications will be accepted on a walk-in basis only, Monday-Wednesday, 8 am until Noon and is limited based on staff availability. For more information in Pulaski County, call 501-603-0909.

Applicants for LIHEAP assistance must meet income guidelines. For a household of 1, monthly countable income is $1,482. The income eligibility limits are set at 60% of the state's median income level. Countable income includes check stubs, child support, unemployment, housing utility assistance, SSI, SSA, TEA, VAS and retirement benefits.

CADC is a private nonprofit community action agency that was formed in 1965 to fight and win the "War on Poverty." The mission of CADC is to improve the quality of life and build strong communities in Arkansas. For more information, please contact your local CADC office.

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