As the new year begins in earnest, the Kane County Assistance Program (KCAP) is looking to increase its fundraising efforts and increase its ability to serve community members who may be in need in 2024.
Once a program functioning under the authority of Kane County administration, KCAP has since graduated into its own independent 501c3 non-profit organization. The KCAP evolved from the County Program for Transient and Homeless (PATH) as an aid to various social and religious organizations being asked for aid by people in need. “Rather than having someone transient or homeless go to each church or government office in town and asking for little bits from each one, all of these organizations contributed to a common fund administered by county officials, and they could just refer individuals in need there,” says Kristi Bundrick, one of the current Community Advocates for KCAP. “It started as a County deal, but we’re our own 501c3 now.” Bundrick continues, “It’s nice because people can donate knowing it’s a non-profit, dedicated to helping and also totally accountable. We’re very careful with our money - people donate that money, so we have to be careful, transparent and accurate.”
According to the KCAP website, “[The] Kane County Assistance Program is a community-based, nondenominational organization that provides direct assistance to residents who live in Kane County, Utah and surrounding areas. If you’re in need of short-term assistance for food, utilities, gas or other specific needs please use this simple application to send us your information and you will be contacted within 48 hours by a Kane County Assistance Program representative. All information received in the online application will be kept confidential.” The web page cites over 200 families helped in the greater Kane County area since its inception in 2016.
While the primary service of the program is immediate financial relief, the long term solutions come in the form of education. “We can help with immediate needs … but sometimes what someone really needs is counseling on the different programs and options that can help them in the long term,” says Bundrick, giving examples of this process as highlights of her service in the program so far: “We had a person come in at the end of COVID who couldn’t afford their rent. Now, the program doesn’t pay for rent, we simply don’t have the funds for that sort of long-term expense - but we were able to tell them about the COVID rent forgiveness programs that were in place and help him apply. We didn’t have the funds to give them outside of money for food right away, but the real help was informing them of the options they had access to.” Bundrick cites another memorable example of short-term aid turning to long-term wellness, “We had a lady come in that needed repairs to her car. A lot of people can just walk to work if they live here in town in Kanab, but this individual lived too far out of town to make it on foot … we helped her get her car fixed, that saved her job and she was able to handle it herself after that.”
The KCAP is funded exclusively by donations from private individuals and organizations, and its everyday operations are performed mostly by volunteer. Bundrick and other members of the board are all volunteers, including co-founders Sandy Kerr and Will Leonard, who continue to participate as Community Advocates, and Betty Colston, who acts as President and Treasurer. Bundrick states, “We all work together to help people find what they need - religious leaders, community and civic leaders and social service people, the board has all sorts who are experienced with helping people.”
Individuals interested in applying, volunteering for or donating to the KCAP can do so at their website Kanecountyassist.org, or by leaving a message on the organization’s voicemail at (435)-644-7570.