Sievers requests Sioux County funds

Mid-Sioux Opportunity CEO Dick Sievers reads his report detailing the services provided by the nonprofit agency in Sioux County. Mid-Sioux helped more than 3,000 individuals in Sioux County alone last year.

ORANGE CITYThe Sioux County Board of Supervisors granted Mid-Sioux Opportunity its annual contribution request for $15,000 during is meeting Nov. 26.

Mid-Sioux Opportunity is a nonprofit Community Action Agency established in 1965. CEO Dick Sievers said the group seeks to combat poverty by assisting low-income families in the N’West area so they can become financially self-sufficient.

The agency oversees 14 federal, state and local programs to assist in the areas of children and their families, community services, health and nutrition and energy services.

“We operate the Head Start and Early Head Start preschool program, WIC, dental and maternal/child health services, energy assistance and weatherization,” Sievers told the supervisors.

“We have a child care resource and referral department that covers 23 counties.”

Some of the prominent needs among the served individuals and families include affordable child care, affordable health care, affordable housing, transportation assistance and utility and rental assistance.

Mid-Sioux Opportunity has its administrative office in Remsen, along with outreach offices in Sioux Center, LeMars, Rock Rapids, Ida Grove and Cherokee.

The agency served 3,318 individuals in about 1,000 households in Sioux County last year, according to a report from Sievers issued to the Sioux County supervisors.

Most of the people served in Sioux County were Sioux Center residents. Mid-Sioux records that of the 3,318 Sioux County residents served, 1,024 were from Sioux Center, providing an estimated $961,536 in services.

Additionally, Mid-Sioux served 553 people in Hawarden, 494 people in Orange City, 439 people in Rock Valley and 316 people in Hull, with more people served throughout the other Sioux County communities.

The Mid-Sioux document indicates that the agency is also requesting funds from Sioux County community governments based on their populations, such as a request for $5,000 each from Sioux Center, Orange City and Rock Valley compared to $1,000 requests for Hawarden and Hull.

All funds donated from Sioux County will be put to use in Sioux County, Sievers said.

“They’re used primarily to support our outreach office in Sioux Center and from the report, you can see that the total value of services in Sioux County is about $3.1 million. That’s a return of about $206 for each dollar that you have invested,” Sievers said. “That’s a very good return on your investment.”

He had a separate successful request for another $1,500 to go toward Mid-Sioux’s family development and self-sufficiency program.

“That program is designed to get folks off public assistance. We work with about 35 families, and the return is about $2 for each dollar we invest in the program through increased earnings by those families for reductions in public assistance,” Sievers said. “It’s a very good project.”