On Wednesday, November 28, 2018, SERCAP’s Virginia State Manager participated in the Equitable Economies Panel Discussion, as an invited Panelist, at the 2nd Annual Advancing the Human Condition Symposium at Virginia Tech. The Equitable Economies Panel focused primarily on Water/Wastewater Infrastructure both in the United States and abroad, covering specific topics, including: contamination, aging and failing infrastructure, accessibility issues, disaster recovery of infrastructure systems, and the link between access to water/wastewater facilities and poverty.
In the States Series, SERCAP is highlighting recent projects and the work the agency is doing in each state in its service region.
SERCAP’s VFC Alternative Break Program is a community service program which partners with Colleges/Universities and Community Host Sites to match civic-minded Student Volunteers with engaging service-learning opportunities during traditional school breaks. This program year, during their Fall Break in October 2018, students from Emory & Henry College travelled north to Fishersville in Augusta County, VA, to team-up with the Alleghany Mountain Institute (AMI) in order to immerse themselves in a truly grass-roots service-learning experience.
Currently, SERCAP is providing Housing Rehabilitation Specialist Services to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Construction Improvement Grant (CIG) Project for the East Atlantic Street Neighborhood in the City of Emporia, VA. SERCAP was selected as the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist for the project in late 2016, and has been diligently working to complete the rehabilitation of 16 investor-owned housing units and two owner-occupied housing units for the past two+ years.
SERCAP’s VFC Alternative Break Program is a service program which partners with Colleges/Universities and Community Host Sites to match civic-minded Student Volunteers with engaging service-learning opportunities during traditional school breaks. This year during their Fall Break, students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Massachusetts, travelled to the Roanoke Valley to team-up with Lick Run Farm and the Rescue Mission in order to provide a variety of services.
Recently, SERCAP’s Housing Department completed an Indoor Plumbing & Rehabilitation (IPR) collaborative project in Fluvanna County, VA. The client, a low-income disabled gentleman, was referred to SERCAP back in September of 2017 by the Fluvanna Housing Foundation, after he experienced difficulty with his well and septic system. Due to the run-down condition of the house and the client’s qualification as Extremely-low Income under the HUD Income Guidelines, the project qualified as a Substantial Reconstruction. However, the cost estimates for the project far exceeded the Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development’s (DHCD) cost limits for a Substantial Reconstruction under the IPR Program.
A trivia question for you: what has two legs, a great singing voice, and works magic with a spreadsheet? It’s our very own Bob Cole! Able to bend spreadsheets to his will for the good of our work, Bob Cole is a finance wizard and our Director of Finance & Operations here at SERCAP!
Beginning in 2016, SERCAP partnered with BB&T Bank to conduct a series of Focus Groups across the Commonwealth of Virginia as a crucial part of SERCAP’s Biannual Community Needs Assessment process. The Biannual Community Needs Assessment allows SERCAP to obtain a true sense of what the rural communities in Virginia struggle with the most and allows the agency to have a real understanding of what the actual needs are, in the localities SERCAP serves.
Currently, SERCAP’s Housing Department working to get a new project approved in Pulaski County, in order to help a low-income, elderly, disabled woman and her daughter to replace their rotting deck. The rotting deck is connected to the main entrance of their home and is a major safety hazard. If the deck were to collapse, anyone standing or sitting on it could be severely injured.
Would you guess that we’d have a Colorado native on our team? We do! Kaylah Crutcher is one of the newest members of the SERCAP team, joining us at the start of this month. Kaylah grew up in Mountain Time with an appreciation for the outdoors, community service, and bringing people together. She came east to attend George Mason University, and has since worked in Washington D.C., New York City, and Roanoke, Virginia.
At SERCAP, we support a diverse group of individuals and communities across our organization’s seven-state region along the east coast of the United States, including: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Did you know that our headquarters is located in Roanoke, Virginia?
Here at SERCAP, our mission is to improve the quality of life for low-income individuals by promoting affordable water and wastewater facilities, community development, environmental health, and economic self-sufficiency. In order to do so, we encourage donations through our Water is Life Fund. The generosity of our supporters makes the incredible work we do possible, and helps us change the lives of those in our communities.
Pat Walker, the State Manager for South Carolina, has a special connection to the Palmetto State. He has spent his entire life living, learning and working in South Carolina. “I was born in Greer, grew up in Spartanburg, went to Clemson University, and worked for 35 years for the state of South Carolina,” he said. Being able to serve his fellow South Carolinians had always been Pat’s dream, and through SERCAP, he’s able to do just that.
For Russ Rice, answering the question, “Why do you come to work each day?” is easy. “People are the most important thing,” he says, “and when you’re lucky enough to find a job that lets you help people in significant ways, then you get to live out the old adage of ‘choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’” Russ joined the SERCAP team in 2002 as a grant writer, transitioned to Director of Regional Programs, and has been the Director of Planning & Development since 2011.
It’s finally starting to feel like spring. As the weather is warming, we are getting excited for barbeques, pool days, and trips to the beach. The warm spring and summer months are also a great time of year to catch up on some home maintenance.
Ricky Crews is not a man you’d find paper-pushing at a desk. He’s a tradesman, and proud of it, deservedly so. For decades he’s worked in public service positions, from utilities to law enforcement and back again. He’s an amazing SERCAP employee, with an incredible resume and a heart for service.