GCCAA loses more funding - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

GCCAA loses more funding

GCCAA has lost funding for the Harrison County Head Start program. (Image Source: WLOX News) GCCAA has lost funding for the Harrison County Head Start program. (Image Source: WLOX News)
Attorney Dean Holleman says the state will allocate energy assistance funds through another agency. (Image Source: WLOX News) Attorney Dean Holleman says the state will allocate energy assistance funds through another agency. (Image Source: WLOX News)
The Gulf Coast Community Action Agency is best known for managing Head Start and helping residents with power bills. (Image Source: WLOX News) The Gulf Coast Community Action Agency is best known for managing Head Start and helping residents with power bills. (Image Source: WLOX News)
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -

The Gulf Coast Community Action Agency is best known for its management of the Head Start program and the power bill assistance they offer residents. Less than two weeks ago, GCCAA lost funding for the Head Start program, and now it has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money that goes toward its energy assistance program.

“The agency has been through some difficult leadership positions, experiences and a lot of that has been a problem for the board reoccurring,” said attorney Dean Holleman.

From executive director turnover to state investigations into Head Start abuse allegations, the agency has been plagued with problems. The newest is the loss of two grants that provide power bill assistance to those in need.

Holleman said those who receive the assistance shouldn't worry just yet.

“These services that are served by these grants, there will probably be very little disruption, if any, in the services, because the state administers them, and beginning Jan. 1, there will be someone,” said Holleman.

According to Holleman, the state will still provide the funding. It just won't be administered by GCCAA.

“It's almost like being in an apartment and you get a new apartment manager. You stay in your apartment. The lights stay on, and you don't know the difference except you have to pay the rent to somebody different,” said Holleman.

So, who will residents go to for help? Holleman said that is up to the state to decide. Meanwhile, GCCAA board members are focused on trying to salvage the agency.

“I think what the board is doing now is probably their desire to do what's best for the people in the district,” said Holleman.

As for the Head Start program, another agency has already taken it over, and GCCAA is currently cooperating to make for a smooth transition so students can return from Christmas break on Jan. 5 as originally scheduled.

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