2010 Program Highlights
Download the full 2010 Annual Report
Mountain Health Choices – WV MedicaidWest Virginia was one of the first states to request a waiver under the Deficit Reduction Act to change their state’s Medicaid program. The new program, Mountain Health Choices, had a terrible impact on families. The two tiered program limited and/or eliminated many services including prescriptions, mental health services, and cardiac care. Because of miscommunication and lack of sufficient outreach regarding the change to Medicaid, many families lost vital health services. DAWG worked on many levels for several years to fight against this program in coalition with other members of FACES on Medicaid. In 2010, after being asked to review the state plan, the federal government ruled that the state cannot automatically enroll adults with children on Medicaid into the Mountain Health Choices program. With this ruling and the work we have done this program was ended in September 2010. This was a big win for us and a big win for 250,000 poor Medicaid recipients that were impacted by Mountain Health Choices, 79% of which were children.
Poverty AssemblyIn December, 2010, DAWG members traveled to Chicago to meet with other members of the Peoples Movement Assembly-Poverty Summit to evaluate the Poverty Summit and the Social Forum and to discuss next steps in building a stronger movement to end poverty.
DAWG Office ExpansionIn August 2010, DAWG expanded the office into two additional buildings. One building dedicated to donations and clothing giveaways and one building dedicated to a Teen/Training Center. Thanks to the help of many volunteers and the Pipefitters Union, the buildings were up and running in time for our Halloween Open House which featured Teen DAWG’s own rock band – Bad Karma.
Community GiveawaysDAWG held two community clothing giveaways one in the spring and one In the Fall. Thanks to a partnership with Believe in WV’s Storehouse, Mighty Visions Ministry, and community donors, we were able to provide over 150 families with new and gently used clothing, shoes, coats, and other household items.
Poverty ScholarsDAWG and Teen DAWG members were among veteran and emerging low-income leaders nominated to participate in Union Theological Seminary’s Poverty Initiative’s Poverty Scholars Program. The Poverty Scholars Program develops and expands upon an innovative, intellectually rigorous, human rights based, popular education program/curriculum for grassroots activists towards building a movement to end poverty. As part of the Poverty Scholars Program DAWG participated in several gatherings including:
- Domestic Workers United Gala to celebrate the passing of the Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights in New York.
- Planning for the 2011 Leadership School
- Lectures and discussions with author Chris Hedges and S'bu Zikode, President of South Africa’s Shackdwellers Movement
- DAWG wrote a chapter about our organization as well as organizing in rural Appalachia for a new book A New and Unsettling Force: Reigniting Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign published by the Poverty Initiative at Union Theological Seminary of Columbia University. We also attended a book signing event.
LiteracyFamily Bookshelf Through our Family Bookshelf program we have distributed over 600 books to low income adults, children and senior citizens in Kanawha County. Early Literacy Through our Early Literacy program we have educated 50 families on the importance of early literacy and the need to read to their pre-school aged children.
Fair Housing RightsDAWG has partnered with Northern WV Center for Independent Living, WV Association of Realtors, Community Living Initiative Corp., and WV Assistive Technology Center to present Fair Housing workshops throughout the state in 2010 and 2011. DAWG also worked with residents of low income housing in Wood and Kanawha Counties to deal with unfair treatment by management.
Teens - Community Service and VolunteeringTeen DAWG members were very active and involved in community service projects and volunteering. In 2010 Teens helped out with
- Moving furniture and painting the new office buildings
- Reading to young children whose parents were waiting for the bus at the stop in front of the office.
- Planning and hosting the Halloween Open House.
- Raising funds for the trip to the US Social Forum in Detroit.
- Assisting at the giveaways
Iowa Youth Mission TripIn 2010, Teen DAWG met with the First Baptist Church of Iowa’s youth during their mission trip to West Virginia. The youth visited Kayford Mountain and then met with Teen DAWG for dinner at the DAWG office. They spent several hours with Teen DAWG learning about the reality of life in West Virginia and discussing the issues teens face. The teens were surprised at how much they had in common since both Iowa and West Virginia are very rural states.
A Few Additional HighlightsDAWG and Teen DAWG members attended the Annual Family Leadership Conference. DAWG presented a workshop on homelessness and housing issues. DAWG participated in the Money Smart Week Financial Literacy Fair. DAWG conducted outreach and education on several state legislative issues including the need for a State Earned Income Tax Credit and the detrimental effects of drug testing welfare recipients. DAWG stood in solidarity with the Unified Taxi Workers Alliance of Southeastern Pennsylvania during their fight for workers compensation and handicap accessible cabs.