ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS (May 3, 2022) — Annually, the month of May is designated as Community Action Month. Project NOW is one of 1,000 agencies across the country are working every day to create opportunities and transform the lives of their neighbors making communities stronger and helping families across the US thrive. Project NOW is a member of the National Community Action Partnership and the Community Action Network, which was born out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. It exists to eliminate the causes of poverty and alleviate the negative conditions wherein poor families live. We are comprehensive in our approach, providing supportive services and advocacy in housing, homelessness-prevention, education, skill development, economic security, justice, and health-care. We believe our mission can only be accomplished through meaningful relationships and partnerships. We provide services in three counties — Rock Island, Mercer, and Henry Counties.
“Each May, during Community Action Month, we reflect on the impact Project NOW and our network has had on families,” said Executive Director Dwight Ford. “Last year alone, we served roughly 13,000 individuals and families in our three-county service area and over fifteen million across the country with immediately needed services such as shelter and food, and also long-term solutions like education and job placement.”
At the state convention this week Project NOW’s client, Tyrone Holloway, was honored with the "Achievement in Housing Stability". Project NOW first met Tyrone after he was released from prison. After serving forty years, he needed a new beginning and it started with finding a place to live. He lives in one of Project NOW’s affordable housing units and has been thriving. He’s fully integrated into the life of his community. He has become a value-added member of a local church, where he donates his time and expertise. He assumes responsibility of keeping his community clean and free of litter. He commits his personal time during inclement weather to clean sidewalks of snow and ice.
Dir Ford, says affordable housing is difficult without barriers, and Mr Holloway, because of his past conviction, had additional challenges finding a new home. However, Project NOW is an agency sensitive to people living with past records and it has given him an opportunity to anchor himself with decent, affordable housing. Ford says having a place to lay your end at night allows a person to pursue economic self-sufficiency. “His rental home provides dignity, and it honors him as a person. He has taken steps forward with his new opportunity that leads to his productive citizenry. This would not be possible without Project NOW giving him this opportunity.” Holloway says if it were not for Project NOW, he does not know where he would be right now.
Holloway has enrolled in GED classes at Black Hawk College and now serves as a Board Member of Fully Free, exercising his leadership. Fully Free is a state-wide campaign to end permanent punishments for those getting out of prison. Tyrone says Project NOW gave him a chance to have his freedom back. He says whereas other property owners refused to rent to him because of his background, Project NOW welcomed him. Project NOW works daily to embody its mission to strengthen communities by helping people help themselves and one another…and Tyrone’s situation is an example of Community Action Agencies at work.