Western Ark Counseling & Guidance Center

Contact Information

PO Box 11818
3111 South 70th Street
Fort Smith, AR 72917 - 1818
(479) 783-4155
FY 2015 RSVP Competition

Executive Summary

Since 1974, WestArk RSVP has been a program of the Western Arkansas Counseling & Guidance Center, Inc. The Guidance Center's mission is to provide a comprehensive network of quality behavioral healthcare services that are consumer sensitive, outcome-oriented and cost effective within a six county service area in western Arkansas. The Guidance Center generously supports its' program, WestArk RSVP, which will operate in Washington County on an annual budget of $98,234. The Corporation for National and Community Service will provide $68,024 in federal funding.

The mission of WestArk RSVP is to enrich the lives of our members through significant volunteer service which enhances life in our communities. Our program purpose is two-fold: to engage persons 55 years of age and older in volunteer service to meet critical community needs; and to provide a high quality experience that will enrich the lives of volunteers. At least 258 RSVP members from Washington County will volunteer through WestArk RSVP. WestArk RSVP will serve the communities of Washington County and the RSVP members from the RSVP Center in Fort Smith, Arkansas and the RSVP office in Rogers, Arkansas.

In addition to partnering with community organizations, WestArk RSVP will direct its own program: RSVP Community Outreach. The program will increase the disposable incomes of low and modest income families and increase access by disabled and elderly Medicare beneficiaries to affordable healthcare. RSVP Community Outreach volunteers will serve by:

1. Partnering with the Internal Revenue Service Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs by preparing and electronically filing federal and state (Arkansas and Oklahoma) income tax returns for senior citizens, Active Duty Military, disabled, non-English speaking, rural, and low income families.

2. Partnering with the Arkansas Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) by serving as SHIIP Advocates to assist Medicare beneficiaries (both aged and disabled) in applying for federal LIS and Arkansas MSP, aiding Medicare beneficiaries in choosing Medicare Part C or D plans and by counseling new Medicare beneficiaries.

The primary focus area of this project is Healthy Futures. WestArk RSVP will be providing financial literacy services to over 300 families annually by Year Three of the grant.

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