§ 3901. Findings and purpose
(a) Recognizing that the economic well-being and social equity of every Vermonter has long been a fundamental concern of the state, it remains evident that poverty continues to be the lot of a substantial number of Vermont's population. It is the policy of this state to help develop the full potential of each of its citizens so they can contribute to the fullest extent possible to the life of our communities and the state as a whole.
(b) It is the purpose of this chapter to strengthen, supplement and coordinate efforts that further this policy through:
(1) the strengthening of community capabilities for planning, coordinating and managing federal, state and other sources of assistance related to the problem of poverty;
(2) the better organization and utilization of a range of services related to the needs of the poor;
(3) the broadening of the resource base of programs to secure a more active role in assisting the poor, from business, labor and other groups from the private sector. (Added 1981, No. 173 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 20, 1982.)
§ 3902. Office of economic opportunity
(a) The director of the office of economic opportunity is hereby authorized to allocate available financial assistance for community services agencies and programs in accordance with state and federal law and regulation.
(b) The director may provide financial assistance to community services agencies for the planning, conduct, administration and evaluation of community service programs to provide a range of services and activities having a measurable and potentially major impact on causes of poverty in the community or in areas of the community where poverty is a particularly acute problem. Components of those services and activities may involve, without limitation of other activities and supporting facilities designed to assist low income participants:
(1) to secure and retain meaningful employment;
(2) to obtain adequate education;
(3) to make better use of available income;
(4) to provide and maintain adequate housing and a suitable living environment;
(5) to obtain services for the prevention of narcotics addiction, alcoholism, and for the rehabilitation of narcotic addicts and alcoholics;
(6) to obtain emergency assistance through loans and grants to meet immediate and urgent individual and family needs, including the need for health services, nutritious food, housing and unemployment related assistance;
(7) to remove obstacles and solve personal and family problems which block achievement of self-sufficiency;
(8) to achieve greater participation in the affairs of the community;
(9) to make more frequent and effective use of other programs related to the purposes of this chapter;
(10) to coordinate and establish linkages between governmental and other social service programs to assure the effective delivery of such services to low income persons; and to encourage the use of entities in the private sector of the community in efforts to ameliorate poverty in the community.
(c) The director is authorized to adopt rules pursuant to chapter 25 of this title appropriate to the carrying out of this chapter and the purposes thereof. (Added 1981, No. 173 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 20, 1982.)
§ 3903. Designation of agencies to provide services and activities to ameliorate or eliminate poverty
The director shall designate private nonprofit community based organizations who have demonstrated or who can demonstrate the ability to provide services and activities as defined in § 3902(b) of this title as community services agencies. (Added 1981, No. 173 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 20, 1982.)
§ 3904. Community services agency plan
Each designated community services agency shall determine the need for activities and services within the area served by the agency and shall thereafter prepare a community services plan which describes the method by which the agency will provide those services. The plan shall include a schedule for the anticipated provision of new or additional services and shall specify the resources which are needed by and available to the agency to implement the plan. The community services plan shall be updated annually. (Added 1981, No. 173 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 20, 1982.)
§ 3905. Community services agencies; administration
(a) Each community services agency shall administer its programs as set out in the community services plan and as approved by its board of directors.
(b) Each board of a nonprofit community based organization that is designated a community services agency under § 3903 of this chapter shall have an executive committee of not more than seven members who shall be representative of the composition of the board and the board shall be so constituted that:
(1) one-third of the members of the board are elected public officials currently holding office, or their designees, except that if the number of elected officials reasonably available and willing to serve is less than one-third of the membership of the board, membership on the board of appointive public officials may be counted in meeting such one-third requirement;
(2) one-third of the members of the board are persons chosen in accordance with election procedures adequate to assure that they are representative of the poor in the area served; and
(3) the remainder of the members of the board are officials or members of business, industry, labor, religious, welfare, education or other major groups and interests in the community.
(c) Each member of the board selected to represent a specific geographic area within a community shall reside in the area he or she represents. No person selected under subdivisions (2) or (3) of subsection (b) as a member of a board shall serve on such board for more than five consecutive years, or more than a total of ten years. (Added 1981, No. 173 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 20, 1982.)