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ANNUAL REPORT 2014


SERCAP’s Programs & Services • Housing Services • Housing Counseling • Indoor Plumbing & Rehabilitation • Owner Occupied Housing Rehabilitation • Aging in Place • Technical Assistance • EPA Technitrain • SMART Solid Waste • Financial Services • Debt Consolidation & Credit Counseling • Individual Household Well Loans • Individual Household Septic Loans • Individual Home Improvement Loans • Community Development Loans and Technical Assistance • 502/504 Loans • VFC Alternative Break Program

2014 Water Is Life Conference & Luncheon The Keynote Address at SERCAP’s 2014 Water Is Life! Conference & Luncheon was delivered by Walter K. Hughes of the Rocky Mount Rotary. Hughes works in Africa providing communities with access to clean water, through the drilling of manual pump water wells called Boar Holes. Each year SERCAP assists with dozens of individual, families, and communities in need of water, wastewater, housing, and community development assistance. The Water Is Life! Conference & Luncheon gives SERCAP the opportunity to share the many stories of triumph over adversity the agency’s clients experience in a public forum. To support SERCAP’s efforts you can make a donation to the Water Is Life! Fund at: https://npo.justgive. org/sercap. The Water Is Life! Fund goes directly to assisting with water, wastewater, housing, community development, and related programs. You can also support SERCAP by sponsoring an upcoming Water Is Life! Conference & Luncheon.


Nonprofit Reporting, A Change in Approach: Short-term Outputs vs. Long-term Outcomes By: Lauren Mason For years charitable organizations evaluated themselves in terms of total number of individuals, families, and/or communities served by a variety of services. In the beginning, service organizations were formed to fight a specific injustice or tackle a specific need. By counting the number of homeless who spent the night in their shelter or the number of meals served at a soup kitchen, these organizations could measure how many people they were helping. But only in the short-term. As needs have become more complex and services have become broader, the business of helping people has become just that, a business. With this change in goal, structure, and purpose, the industry, has in recent years seen a Change in Approach. It is no longer adequate to simply measure in terms of services rendered or people served. Funders, donors, and the federal government

want nonprofit organizations to quantify long-term outcomes and prove that goals are being met. In other words they want to know that the dollars they are spending are having the impact that the agencies say they are. In order to quantify these longterm outcomes and quarantee the accomplishment of specific goals, SERCAP and other similiar organizations are in the process of learning how to report to outcomes. Meaning, not only are nonprofits collecting raw numbers of people served and services delivered, but they are figuring out a way to look into the future at the long-term effects of each delivered service. For example: SERCAP serves rural communities by providing individuals and localities with water, wastewater, housing, and community development assistance. As a part of SERCAP’s core services the agency provides housing rehabilitation to lowincome homeowners who have incomplete indoor plumbing or a failed septic system. SERCAP will

go in, inspect the house, and either build a bathroom or, in some cases, a whole new house. The short-term output: SERCAP built a family a new house with complete indoor plumbing. The long-term outcome: SERCAP provided a family with a warm, safe, and dry home with complete indoor plumbing that will help the family by reducing energy costs, decrease chance of illness due to contaminated water, and improve the family’s overall quality of life. This also helps the greater community by increasing the local tax base through increased property value and reducing environmental health risks by preventing sewage waste leaks into the local ground water. This new approach in tracking results will take time to develop, but with the support of both funders and clients, SERCAP will be able to make this change and quietly march into a new day for nonprofits.


Regional Programs SERCAP Assists Town of Ivor, VA with Funding for Engineering Study By: Larry Wallace The Town of Ivor, Virginia, is located along U.S. 460 in Southampton County between Petersburg and Suffolk. In the Fall of 2013, Mayor Sandy Vick contacted SERCAP to inquire about possible funding sources that would assist the Town in addressing issues with their drinking water and storm drainage infrastructure. Larry Wallace, Virginia State Program Manager, visited with the Mayor at that time to discuss their needs and to review the situation in the field. The surface drainage issue concerns a large area in the residential areas south of the Norfolk Southern railway. Being located in the Virginia Coastal Plain, and adjacent to large areas of swamp and low ground, the area suffers from a very high natural groundwater table.

Sometime in the 1960’s, a piped drainage systems was installed through the center of the residential portion of town in order to alleviate some of the periodic standing water and shallow flooding that was affecting the homes. This system is now collapsing in several areas, forming sinkholes and surface ponding of runoff at the rear of the dwellings. To complicate the issue, the Town has no central wastewater collection or treatment system, with all of the homes in town being served by septic systems, most of which are located in these same backyard areas. Again, due to the high groundwater condition, these septic systems are prone to failure much sooner than a normal system located in adequate soils. Over the years as some of these septic systems have failed, a number of “midnight” connections have been made between septic tanks and the existing stormwater drainage pipe. So they have septic graywater mixing with surface runoff, ponding in these collapsed areas and eventually draining into the

receiving surface waters. The Town has an adequate public drinking water system which is supplied by groundwater wells. The individual service connections to residents were previously unmetered, with users paying a flat rate for water. The Town then installed new remote reading meters, but never used the system due to an inability to make the reader operate and lack of training for the billing software package. But, as of July 2014, they are now reading meters and billing for actual usage, so they have made great progress in that area. Their main need here is to construct a new groundwater well to replace one of the under producing existing wells. This will require drilling a test well, and conducting yield and quality tests to approved by the Virginia Department of Health. As the Town is located in the Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Area, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has to approve and permit the groundwater withdrawal.


Regional Programs After SERCAP’s initial visit, Wallace returned to Ivor and met with the Town Council to discuss the drainage and other infrastructure issues, and to review the various loan and grant programs available from SERCAP. He advised that the drainage/ septic issue should be studied by an engineering firm that could evaluate the existing situation, perhaps conduct some field topographic surveys, and develop some preliminary options for solutions. Our recommendation to them was to submit requests for funding from our Facilities Development Grant Fund for a Preliminary Engineering Report for the drainage issue and for constructing a test well for the water system. Subsequently, Wallace met with Peggy Jordan of the local district office of USDA in Courtland, Virginia. Upon discussing the issues in Ivor with Ms. Jordan, it was determined that the Town would be eligible to apply for a USDA SEARCH Grant (up to

$30,000) that can be used for engineering studies and project planning activities. Based on this information, Wallace visited with Town Council again to explain

request. (if they were awarded $30,000 from USDA, our obligation to the Town would be $20,000). SERCAP then set up a meeting between Mayor Vick and USDA in Ivor to review the SEARCH Grant application package and go over the requirements. SERCAP offered to write the project synopsis and description that would be To complicate the included in the application. issue, the Town has no We also provided the Town central wastewater collection with the names of several or treatment system, with all of engineering firms that the homes in town being served would be suitable for this work, as the Town would by septic systems, most of which have to procure those are located in these same services prior to the grant backyard areas. award. In November 2014, the Town was successful in being awarded the $30,000 SEARCH Grant and the engineering studies are now underway. the SEARCH Grant process and to seek their permission to put This was a great example of the process in motion to seek the SERCAP’s efforts to partner with grant. We also informed the Town primacy agencies and municipal that SERCAP was going to obligate clients to leverage outside funding up to $50,000 from our FD Grant for projects which allows the Fund. The maximum amount agency to stretch grant funds obligated would be contingent on further and to help even more rural the success of their SEARCH Grant communities in Virginia.


Regional Programs Client Support of SERCAP

“It’s a wonderful program that people should know about in this rural area because a lot of people need help, and thank you SERCAP...” - Alberta Brown IPR Recipient

Georgia RCAP Brings New Wells to Willisville Community By: Phil Read, GA RCAP The Willisville Community is comprised of about 20 homes that are located approximately 2 miles outside the town of Rayle, GA located in Wilkes County in the Central Savannah River Area. Rayle has a population of only 199 citizens and is served by a small water distribution system. Most of the families that live in Willisville can be accurately described as lowincome and all have water provided by private wells. The city leaders explored the option to connect the community to their small system but the cost to do so was too high for them to undertake. When Georgia RCAP was contacted by a councilman from Rayle after a referral from U.S.

Congressman Paul Broun’s office, he described a situation that should not exist in our modern world. Many of the residents in Willisville were without running water in their homes and had been for months and in a few cases for over a year. Their wells were shallow and due to drought conditions were dry. The citizens of Willisville were dependent on water being donated by local businesses, churches and civic groups that was collected by the city. They would make frequent trips to the Rayle city hall to pick up gallon jugs of water and refill previously used jugs. Many of these citizens were elderly and did not know how to get the help they needed. Very shortly after learning of this situation the Georgia RCAP staff met with the city council of Rayle and developed a plan to provide assistance to this impoverished community. The local office of USDA was contacted and a


Regional Programs $180,475 in Loans to 26 Families for well replacement and repairs. meeting was arranged to discuss the USDA 504 loan program which provides low interest loans and in some cases grant funding for home improvements including well construction. The affected citizens of Willisville were invited and the 504 program was explained to them directly by the USDA Area Representative. The application process was outlined and with the assistance of the Wilkes County Commission an “application workshop� was held at their office the following day. As a result of the combined efforts of the Wilkes County Commission, the Town of Rayle and Georgia RCAP, seven households in Willisville were approved for loan and/or grant funding to drill new deep wells. One elderly recipient of

the grant funding even had her well drilled on Christmas Eve. The situation in Willisville had also been brought to the attention of the local paper and a television news channel in nearby Augusta, GA. Upon hearing the story a church in South Carolina offered to take up a collection to drill a community well to serve the families that did not meet the low-income qualifications of the USDA 504 program. That well now is shared by those families under a community agreement drafted by Georgia RCAP. This project demonstrates how Georgia RCAP was able to bring together multiple organizations and agencies, public and private, and create a solution to provide water to people in need.

320 Students provided 9,600 Hours of Service to 20 Communities as part of the VFC Alternative Break program

$623,155 to 24 Communities for Training & Technical Assistance


A Message from SERCAP’s President & CEO Dear Friends, SERCAP has assisted over 600,000 individuals with community development services and products. SERCAP offers over 15 programs and services to our clients who are the most vulnerable. As we look back, SERCAP’s founder, Cabell Brand, believed that one sure way to bring communities and individuals out of poverty was to ensure that water and sewer infrastructure was accessible. We know that water and sewer infrastructure will definitely spawn economic development and growth. In early 2015 we lost Cabell Brand, he often met with me to share his vision in helping rural communities. Cabell will be greatly missed by many. SERCAP’s mission is to improve the quality of life for low-income individuals by promoting affordable water and wastewater facilities, community development, environmental health, and economic self –sufficiency. Funding for infrastructure projects has not increased; nonprofits are forced to do more with less however the need for increased funding for infrastructure projects is a growing unmet need. Please donate to our Water Is Life Fund to provide us the needed support to help those without a voice. As you read through our annual report please note the following highlights: • Provided over $180,475 in loans to 26 families (Well Replacement & repairs) • Provided 20 communities with over 9,600 hours of volunteer service • Provided 42 communities with over $ 1,000,000 in Training & TA • Provided training to solid waste facility operators in NC • Provided residents in GA with water services (have been without water for a year) • Provided $483,970 for 21 housing rehabilitation projects • Leveraged over $2.1 million to support water, wastewater & community projects In conclusion, please know that there is still a great deal of work to be done as it relates to infrastructure funding development. It is important that we continue to invest in the infrastructure of our country to insure continued growth. I encourage you to support our efforts by donating to the Water Is Life Fund. You can learn more at www.sercap.org. Sincerely, Hope F. Cupit

SERCAP Sta Hope F. Cupit President & CEO Beth T. Pusha V. Russell Rice, Jr. Joan E. Douglas Bob Cole Lisa Banks Veronica Bitting Juanda L. Bradshaw Joseph Brown Kim Burns Rick Crews Andy Crocker John Crowder Brandy Dudley Ashton Fallen Joe Fields Val Green Amy Herzel Marie Betty LaFortune Lauren Mason Allen McEntire Cliff McKeown Charlotte Oliver Paul Parker Randolph Phillips Aisha Quarles Kenneth Rodgers Andre Saunders Rachel Silver LaJuan C. Thomas Ellen Vietmeier Larry Wallace Pat Walker Angela Whitfield


aff & Board Terry D. Lewis Chairman

“SERCAP wants to thank its service partners and clients who joined SERCAP to fulfill our primary mission. We ask that you continue to work with us.” Walter Fleming, Vice Chairman Carmela Moore-Orr, Secretary George M. Fitz-Hugh, Jr., Treasurer Bertha Armstrong Keith Ashby Kevin Belcher James Brunswick Willard Douglas, Jr. Swynice Hawkins Rev. James Johnson Clarence E. Martin Wilma McKay Freddy Mitchell Winfred E. Owens Claude Thomas Shawn Utts Marie E. Watson

SERCAP’s Financials SUPPORT AND REVENUE Grants $3,984,301 Other Income $271,218 Total Revenue $4,255,519 EXPENDITURES Personnel $1,214,392 Fringe Benefits $442,119 Contractual $943,996 Travel $261,506 Space Costs $146,226 Interest Expense $20,658 Consumable Supplies $140,185 Rental, Lease or Purchase of Equipment $45,247 Other direct costs $75,997 Project Development $274,000 Depreciation $49,365 Total Expenditures $3,613,691 Change in Net Assets $641,828 Net Assets-beginning $3,200,654 Net Assets-ending $3,842,482


In 2013/2014 SERCAP. . . Provided Housing Rehabilitation to 21 homes. Placed 320 student volunteers in rural communities through SERCAP’s VFC Alternative Break Program. Reached over 152,000 Virginia residents through water and wastewater technical assistance. Leveraged over $2.1 million in funds for water, wastewater, and community development projects in Virginia.

Regional Programs SERCAP-NC Co-Sponsors Emergency Response Workshop By: John Crowder & Lauren Mason The terrorist attacks on the US on September 11, 2001 changed the operations of drinking water and wastewater utility systems forever. Essential utilities including water/ wastewater treatment facilities are now considered part of the emergency first responders team. On August 19th SERCAP-NC cosponsored an Emergency Response Table-Top Planning Workshop with NC WARN, NCDENRWater Resources (Public Drinking Water, Water Quality) and NC Department of Public Safety. The purpose of the workshop was to give the participants a tool for conducting emergency exercises or drills at their own water/wastewater facility so that they may prepare their staff in the case of natural disasters, biological emergencies, and even potential terrorist threats. The facilitator exposed participants to two non-natural disaster types

of emergencies including: exposure of a highly flammable substance in a wastewater system, and a massive E.Coli contamination in a drinking water distribution system. Both of these scenarios were pulled from real life emergencies and the facilitator walked participants through determining credibility and the steps that should be taken to determine specific hazards. Since water utilities were not considered to be first responders in the past, it will take time to instill an awareness of security and emergency response procedures within a water utility’s culture. Water and wastewater utilities are potentially vulnerable to a number of emergency situations. The small rural community type systems are more vulnerable due to lack of resources and this workshop was hopefully a tool for them to realize their vulnerabilities. As a result of the response to this program another workshop will be proposed next year with a possibility of providing a full on drill exercise for some of the utilities as a joint effort.


Regional Programs “RCRA” Means Jobs for a Growing Solid Waste Industry Training for Rural County Recycling Workers Lacking By: John Crowder & Lauren Mason Solid waste management has become a big business and the growth of the recycling business in North Carolina is thriving. However some of the more rural, poverty stressed communities in the state have been left without the necessary resources to conduct needed training of their recycling center personnel. In North Carolina, Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Inc. through the “SMART” solid waste grant provided by the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service, (USDARUS) Technical Assistance Grant Program, expanded its solid waste management educational and community development programming to implement the

SERCAP SMART Solid Waste Program. SMART Solid Waste stands for Skills, Maintenance and Assistance to Reduce Threats to water resources. In North Carolina, the grant was used primarily to provide technical assistance and operations training program for solid waste facility operators, staff and stakeholders. Recycling site operators were primarily targeted for this training. Modern solid waste management in the United States started with the passage of “The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act” or RCRA. RCRA is our nation’s primary law governing the disposal of solid and hazardous waste. Congress passed RCRA on October 21, 1976 to address the increasing problems the nation faced from our growing volume of municipal and industrial waste. RCRA, which amended the Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965, set national goals for waste disposal that will protect public health and safety.


Regional Programs The goals include: • • • •

Protecting human health and the environment from the potential hazards of waste disposal. Conserving energy and natural resources. Reducing the amount of waste generated. Ensuring that wastes are managed in an environmentally-sound manner.

To achieve these goals, RCRA established three distinct, yet

interrelated, programs including the solid waste program. Transitioning to staffed recycling and solid waste sites meant hiring additional personnel and a need for staff training. There has been some effort in NC to provide training, but the more rural communities cannot afford the programs. In an effort to fill this gap, SERCAP has provided training opportunities in NC.

Housing Programs An IPR House at 1717 Randolph Creek Road By: Randolph Phillips The objectives of this IPR project was to provide private onsite water and plumbing for a senior homeowner in Buckingham County, Virginia. Due to a failing foundation, wood decay, and termite damage the original home was removed and replaced with a new two bedroom house.

Before The house was crafted from the ground up by local homebuilding crews. The scope included a full functioning open universal design plan that promotes accessibility and safety. A heat pump system and high R-value insulation package

After was also included. “No more cold and buying firewood. I also don’t have to buy drinking water from my neighbor.” - Ms. Brown


SERCAP Introduces 502/504 Loan Processing SERCAP Staff Become Approved 502/504 Loan Processors in Partnership with USDA Rural Development and FAHE By: Lauren Mason USDA Rural Development’s 502 Loan Program is a Direct Loan that allows lower income individuals and families to purchase a home in a rural area with a monthly mortgage payment that is based on their specific income level. SERCAP has now partnered with USDA RD and FAHE to

package Section 502 Direct Loans in: MD, DE, VA, and NC. SERCAP Staff Members Hope Cupit, Charlotte Oliver, and Brandy Dudley have successfully completed the certification process for this loan program. USDA’s 504 Loans are for housing repairs for very low-income individuals and families. The program provides loans and grants to very low-income homeowners to repair, improve, and/or modernize their dwellings or to remove health and safety hazards.

This would include repairs to indoor plumbing and on-site septic tank systems. Clients who apply for 502 and 504 Loans through SERCAP will be required to participate in SERCAP’s Housing Counseling services offered by a certified housing counselor. This program promotes economic development and homeownership in rural areas and supports local governments through increased property tax income paid by new homeowners.

Client Support of SERCAP “...because of Mr. Randolph Phillips and Charlotte Oliver [SERCAP Staff] we are about to break ground and start building my brother a house. He can live a comfortable and wonderful life like you.” - Eugene Harris


VFC Alternative Break 2014!


A New Day for VFC By: Lauren Mason SERCAP’s VFC Alternative Break Program has been in operation since 1987. The program began as an opportunity for college students to travel to rural locations during spring break and emmerse themselves in the culture of rural America while providing community service to lowincome individuals, families, and communities. 27 years later, the landscape has changed. Alternative Break programs are becoming ubiquitous and global. A number of companies offer similiar experiences, but travel to developing nations accross the globe makes the prospect of these opportunities more exciting. However, while more and more students and schools choose to travel abroad, that does not change the need for volunteer labor and the alternative break model in modern day America. For those who do choose to stay a little closer to home, other programs provide service projects, but students and faculty advisors are on their own for evening meals and activities.

In an effort to keep up with the times and compete with many newer programs, VFC is adapting its model. For the 2014/2015 academic year, VFC Alternative Break is offering a choice of experiences and emphasizing the service learning aspect through specific educational tracts. Previously the Cultural Emmersion Experience was VFC’s primary focus, now SERCAP and VFC are excited to introduce the new Work & Play Experience for institutions and students who would like more freedom with their service learning break. SERCAP’s VFC Alternative Break Program is also in the process of developing a full slate of servicelearning tracts that are directly related to specific academic areas of study. By developing these tracts, VFC is offering academic institutions and their students an opportunity to work in the real world and apply theories and philosophy to practical applications.

$421,253 to 28 Communities for water & wastewater projects.

$18,564 to 18 Families for emergency water and wastewater system repairs.

$483,970 to 21 Housing Projects which leveraged additional program funds.


Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Inc. 347 Campbell Avenue Roanoke, VA 24016 Phone: 540-345-1184

Fax: 540-342-2932

www.sercap.org

SERCAP 2014 Annual Report  

SERCAP's 2014 Annual Report provides a glimpse at SERCAP's projects, financials, and successes in the world of water, wastewater, and commun...

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