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Sometimes progress can be hard to define, much less measure. Not so at Macon Program for Progress (MPP) whose measure is the degree to which they help clients achieve self-sufficiency. For nearly 60 years, MPP has helped Macon County residents with cradle-to-grave services that include early childcare, vocational training, and housing assistance help adults find, afford, and safely age at home.
Over the years, MPP has seen food insecurity rise, prompting them to partner with MANNA FoodBank and their local senior center to distribute food to community members in need. When North Carolina launched the Healthy Opportunities Pilot, MPP was eager to apply so they could expand their services for eligible Medicaid residents in Macon and the tri-county area.
“Initially, we were excited about the food services offered through the pilot,” explained Charam Miller, MPP community services director. “We already had experience preparing healthy food boxes through our partnership with MANNA. HOP offered another way to support our residents.”
In addition to healthy food boxes and meals, MPP helps HOP participants secure a safe place to live through housing navigation services, move-in and utility support, and home remediation and safety modifications.
“It’s rewarding to help folks find a place they can afford so they can stabilize their living situation and begin to build up some savings,” Charam shared. As a HOP network member, MPP can also help Medicaid members get caught up on their bills and make needed home repairs so they can focus on their health.
In the end, expressions of gratitude may be the best measure of progress. “The one-on-one interactions with our clients keep me going,” Charam acknowledges. “Hearing that a food box helped someone get through the weekend or that a home repair allowed someone to focus on their health makes it all worthwhile.”
Now that’s progress.
–Charam Miller, Community Services Director, Macon Program for Progress