Hetti Brown, Executive Director

The story of poverty connects people across geographic boundaries and life experiences. I heard this story growing up in economically depressed rural Missouri, as a young adult volunteering at free medical clinics, and while working in impoverished urban neighborhoods on the East Coast. The story was about hard-working people who had a strong desire to provide for their families and give back to their communities. People who felt that they just needed a chance to improve their lives. A chance to secure a better job, learn new skills, and offer their children opportunities they did not have growing up. The story was optimistic. That chance would be there for them if they continued to work hard. However, for many it never comes.


What would our community look like if every resident had the same access to quality healthcare, primary and secondary education, a safe and stable place to live, and jobs that offered a living wage? What would our community look like if every child had enough to eat and people with different abilities were recognized for the skills they can offer? Where poverty was no longer the reality for over 40% of our population. The truth is that the door to these opportunities is closed and locked for too many people in our society.


Couleecap routinely collects feedback from current and past clients to ensure that we are meeting their needs and to inform new program ideas for serving more people. I was recently reading some of this feedback. When asked how Couleecap has impacted their life, one client stated, "I felt like my community cares." This statement is a tribute to why the organization was formed - to expand the network of caring in our society. Where we view poverty as a community issue that should be addressed by the entire community.


Couleecap not only unlocks the door of opportunity, but we open the door wide and welcome people with a handshare and smile. We are there to encourage and assist in their success. The Couleecap team helps to ensure a family is not made homeless because they had an unexpected expense, that children do not go hungry because the utility bills were too high, and that people seeking new skills to find better jobs are afforded that opportunity. Couleecap threads together public, private, and community resources to build new doors to business opportunities for low-income entrepreneurs, loans for homes and transportation, affordable housing, and help for persons with mental or physical disabilities. We see the person behind the struggle. We create chances because, as one of our clients recognized, our community cares.






























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