East Missouri Action Agency reducing hours due to funding cut - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

East Missouri Action Agency reducing hours due to funding cut

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

The East Missouri Action Agency is reducing its hours of operation due to funding cuts.

The Cape Girardeau County Outreach Office at 1111 Linden Street in Cape Girardeau will be open Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning September 6.

The community services office will be closed to the public on Wednesday and Thursday.

The reduction in hours is due to cuts to the Community Services Block Grant funding, according to the East Missouri Action Agency.

The agency is also experiencing job cuts. They started layoffs in March, and just cut more. They're down to eight people to cover eight counties, leaving the question how will the agency continue to service the community? 

"To see this transpiring is disheartening," said Eric Eakins. Eakins of Cape Girardeau came to the East Missouri Action Agency when he lost his job.

"I had a hard time when I got laid off from a job," said Eakins. "While I was in transition they were able to come to my rescue."

The agency provides energy assistance by doing things like helping clients pay high utility bills. Sometimes it's an overwhelming job, as the need continues to grow.

"We ask everyone to bear with us through this trying time," said Kathleen Capps-Community Services Representative. 

Kathleen Capps will now oversee the Cape Girardeau County, and Perry County offices.

She's the only person who will work out of the Cape County office. In to train her is Erin Gotto who just lost her job. Wednesday was her last day. Gotto says, it's a job she says she'll miss as she felt it truly made a difference.

"It's bad, I'm not going to lie to you," said Capps. "Tomorrow is our going away party."

Capps says employees didn't work there for the money. 

"You did it because you love the work, not the paycheck," said Capps. "You help people get on a better path to themselves."

While the energy assistance program remains, for now, other self help programs the agency provided are gone.

The reduced hours are expected to test everyone's patience.

"With the cut-backs in our office-it will take awhile," said Capps. 

Former clients like Eric Eakins hope this is the worst of it. 

"In this community there are a lot of people who need help," said Eakins. "With the economy the way it is, it's a shame."

Call 573-334-5533 or toll free at 1-800-392-8663 if you need assistance.

Clients who do not have a disconnect notice are urged to send their energy assistance applications to the Park Hills office by mail.

East Missouri Action Agency

403 Park Way Dr.

Park Hills, MO 63601

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