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Behind 40 Years of 'People Helping People': Jennifer Montgomery's ATCAA Story

Story by: Tori Bors

Published: August 9, 2021

Chances are, if you have walked into Amador-Tuolumne Community Action Agency's Jackson offices, you may have come face to face with its bubbly-bright, dedicated, and welcoming Service Center Secretary.

Jennifer Montgomery, both an ATCAA employee and unabashed cheerleader for the agency, shares that she first learned about ATCAA through its early childhood education offerings and subsequently benefited from essential support programs that helped her through a particularly difficult family transition period.

ATCAA, founded in 1981 in partnership with Amador and Tuolumne counties' governments and other entities to access local needs and harness federal, state, and local program funding, is one of the state's oldest and most successful Community Action Agencies. During its year-long 40th anniversary celebration, the agency is grateful to share behind the scenes stories of ATCAA employees, clients, and others who are all part of its continuing "People Helping People" success.

Jennifer recounts, "I loved what ATCAA has provided for me and my three children when it came to Head Start during two different time periods. Also, Housing [support] when I was in a rough spot -- transitioning from a major split up and had to find housing for my children and myself -- and the financial assistance I received to get into the housing."

Among the support services Jennifer was able to tap through ATCAA was family counseling. She also took classes related to housing, parenting, and budgeting that she highly recommends to this day for those who might benefit from them. As she puts it, "All of it meant the world to me -- I can’t rave enough about that to clients when they are seeking help, letting them know how wonderful the programs are."

Jennifer adds she has been able to qualify for the LI-HEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance) Program, commenting "its benefits helped me tremendously."

To learn more about ATCAA programs and services, its open to the public 40th anniversary activities, and ways to help or apply for assistance, click here


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