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C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation

1805 S. Banker, PO Box 928
Effingham, IL 62401-0928
Executive Director: Paul White
Telephone: 217-342-2193
Fax: 217-342-4701
Website: http://www.cefseoc.org

People Served: 22,600
No. of Employees: 210
No. of Volunteers: 3,000
Service Area: Christian, Clay, Effingham, Fayette, Montgomery, Moultrie, Shelby

Success Story

Kelly has been a participant in the CSBG ARRA Transitional Housing Program since April 20, 2009. She is due to exit the program in September 2010. Kelly came to us from a domestic violence homeless shelter in Chicago. She was separated from her two sons for several months while she underwent intense counseling. She was reunited with her children in Moultrie County when she had completed her counseling at the domestic violence shelter.

Through C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation , the family has received services through the Moultrie County outreach office including: food pantry assistance, rental assistance through the CSBG ARRA Transitional Housing Program, energy assistance from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and comprehensive case management through the Housing and Urban Development Supportive Services Only Program and specific information about other community services, resources and programs. 

Besides being a domestic violence survivor, Kelly had to locate employment, housing and pursue housing assistance for herself and her two children.  Her ex-husband had not only physically abused her, but he had also burnt all of her personal identification, a major obstacle in her pursuit of self-sufficiency.  Kelly has enlisted the help of her past and current caseworkers as being advocates for her during this lengthy process and is hard-working and determined.

Some of Kelly’s achievements to date:  replaced all of her personal identification, began paying off her debts, purchased a reliable vehicle, transferred her domestic violence case from Cook County to Moultrie County, got her Medical Card back, purchased a computer, promoted at work, secured new employment,  began receiving court-ordered child support, and enjoyed their first real family vacation.

According to Bri Griffith, CEFS’  FCD Specialist , “Kelly is relentless in working for what her and her children need to achieve self-sufficiency.” During this process Kelly and her children have really grown closer together. Griffith observed,   “They have made the sacrifices necessary to make it work, and are now enjoying more of the rewards of life and more time together.” 

Kelly sums it up, “Most of all I have gotten the strength to keep positively motivated to keep moving in the right direction.”  Kelly has recently returned to the domestic violence shelter in Chicago to share her experiences and to inspire others to move forward.


Central Illinois Public Transit Community Services Block Grant, Comprehensive Housing Counseling Program, Emergency Food and Shelter Program, Emergency Shelter Program, Golden Circle Nutrition Program, Head Start Program, Homebuyer Program, Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program, Literacy Program, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Outreach and Referral Program Services, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, Single Family Owner Occupied Housing Rehabilitation Program , Energy Conservation and Home Repair Program, Supportive Housing Program, Teen Parent Services, Transitional Shelter Program, Welfare to Work Program and Workforce Investment Act Program.