SOTU says “expanding opportunity works.” We promote access to opportunity.

Long before the 2015 State of the Union, we, members of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Network and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) Network, committed “ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort.” We, like President Obama, believe that expanding opportunity works. But beyond just expanding opportunity, we believe in promoting programs that eliminate barriers to that expanded opportunity. At its core, NASCSP aims to enable administrators of the CSBG and WAP to respond to poverty issues in their state and to reduce barriers facing low-income families working towards self-sufficiency through training and technical assistance, quality data collection and analysis, and the creation and distribution of cutting edge research and resources.

The CSBG and WAP Networks around the nation give individuals and families the tools they need to succeed in this economy through supportive, innovative, and localized programs that help restore the link between hard work, opportunity, and self-sufficiency. These programs have and continue to assist vulnerable populations like seniors, veterans, people living with disabilities, families living in inter-generational and long-term poverty, families in distressed neighborhoods with poor quality housing and at-risk environmental conditions, and individuals with limited English as they strive to climb ladders of opportunity in the growing economy.

Since the Weatherization Assistance Program began, 7.4 million homes have been weatherized, saving each household an average of $250 and $450 annually in heating, cooling, and electricity costs. Households receiving weatherization services can redirect their money towards food, medicine, housing costs, and other essentials and are less likely to face health risks from substandard and unsafe housing.  CSBG agencies provided services to 15.7 million low-income individuals in 6.7 million families in the last fiscal year alone. Of those 6.7 million families served, 70.3% were in poverty, living below 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The CSBG Network achieved 31.5 million outcomes indicating movement towards self-sufficiency and community revitalization.

NASCSP’s vision encompasses the empowerment of low-income families to reach self-sufficiency in its broadest context. NASCSP pledges to continue its work to realize this vision through helping states implement an extensive array of programs and services to these families, including weatherization, energy assistance, child care, nutrition, employment, state energy programs, job training, and safe and healthy housing in urban, suburban and rural communities across the nation.