A letter from Board President Pamela Morse
My name is Pam Morse, a local business owner. More than six years ago I was asked to sit on the Board of Lifeline. Today, I am currently serving as the Board President of Lifeline, Lake County’s Community Action Agency. Over the past six years, as a Board member, I have been continually learning about the fight against poverty and how Lifeline impacts the life of our low-income residents by helping them become more self-sufficient.
Lifeline’s original name was Lakeland Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) it was formed as a subsidiary of the NAACP in 1973. LEDC grew to become an independent agency in the 1980’s. Each decade brought change and growth, expanding programs to help the needy of Lake County.
Many exciting things have happened so far this year for Lifeline. Recognizing that our need was growing, along with our staff numbers, we were able to budget for an expansion in 2015. Our lobby is larger and features a children’s area for our visiting clients. The expansion doubled the size of our Board room and conference area. This larger conference room allows us to offer it to various community groups as well as Lifeline staff, and to present programs for clients.
The big fundraising event, Dancing Under the Stars, was a huge success. Through successful fundraising planning, we were able to create the “Endowment Against Poverty” for Lifeline. To help us plan for the future, Lifeline is partnered with the Cleveland. 2015 was our most successful Annual Campaign to date. More than 100 donors recognized the importance of Lifeline to Lake County.
As a team, we are working for the community. In 2014-2015, Lifeline assisted more than 3,200 households, including 7,500 individuals with health, housing, energy and consumer education programs. Lake County has had some brutal winters, and HEAP helped 1,100 households with the 2014-15 Winter Crisis Program and more than 350 households were served by the 2015 HEAP Summer Crisis Program. Other valuable programs include the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Clinics, Rental Assistance Program, Employment Training and Healthcare Services. The 2-1-1 staff answered nearly 40,000 incoming calls requesting information and referral services.
For Lifeline, 2015 has been a year of accomplishments, opportunities and challenges. As an agency, we have leveraged our resources and relationships to ensure that we remain a place within the Lake County community that enables our clients, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens.
As 2016 approaches, we will review our strategic plan to plan for the future and the next three years. With your continued support, we will strive to make 2015-2016 a year where our agency expands its reach and deepens the impact that we have in the lives of our Lake County residents.
About The Board
Lifeline’s Board of Directors is a diverse group of public officials, private citizens, and business owners. To accurately reflect the population of Lake County, our board representatives also include low income, minorities, and mental health advocates. It is the tradition of Community Action to engage low-income populations in the management of their local Community Action Agency. Our Board feels strongly that it is important for our clients to have a voice on our Board to actively advocate on their behalf. We are proud that our membership reflects that.
Lifeline’s Board also strives to accurately reflect the population of Lake County while also maintaining a Board with a diverse set of skills and resources.
Lifeline Board meetings are held at 6 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month and we welcome public comments at the start of each meeting.
Current Board Members
Alyea Barajas- Public Sector- Board Secretary
Alyea was appointed by the City of Painesville
Joyce Bates- Public Sector
Joyce was appointed by the City of Eastlake
Abby Begeman- Public Sector
Abby was appointed by the Congressman David Joyce
Aaron Burko- Private Sector
Aaron was appointed by Beacon Health
Cathy Bush- Private Sector
Cathy was appointed by Lakeland Community College
Anne Curwen- Representative of Low-Income Populations- Board Vice President
Anne was appointed by Lake County Department of Job & Family Services
Paula Gordos- Private Sector
Paula was appointed by Lake Health
Holly Hanna- Representative of Low-Income Populations
Holly was appointed by the Lake Metropolitan Housing Authority
Michelle Herron- Representative of Low-Income Populations
Michelle was appointed by the Lake County Department of Job and Family Services
Carolyn Knox- Private Sector
Carolyn was appointed by Lake Erie College
Rob Moore- Public Sector
Rob was appointed by the Lake County Bar Association.
Pam Morse- Public Sector- Board President
Pam was appointed by the Lake County Board of Commissioners.
John Shepard- Private Sector
John was appointed by Painesville City Local Schools
Terra Thorpe- Representative of Low- Income Populations
Terra was appointed by the WomenSafe
Sue Whittaker- Representative of Low-Income Populations
Sue was appointed by Beacon Health
Ed Zivkovich- Representative of Low-Income Populations- Board Treasurer
Ed was appointed by the St. Vincent de Paul Society