SELF helps low-income individuals

By Kelsey Kimbler -

BUTLER COUNTY — Supports to Encourage Low-income Families (SELF) has been serving Butler County for 20 years. The organization is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for Butler County residents.

SELF is a private, nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization and the state designated Community Action Agency for Butler County. Founded in 1995, SELF focuses on offering employment and education services to help people achieve “self-sufficiency.”

They seek to address the causes of poverty and empower individuals to “achieve, sustain and advocate self-sufficiency.” They achieve this goal through several means. SELF reaches out to the community and acts as an “advocate” for needs. They act as a facilitator when linking individuals to existing services. They provide numerous services that are meant to improve the community. They even act as a “trusted and respected” partner with organizations.

The goals of SELF are to help clients move beyond their situations, improve well-being, help individuals obtain skills necessary for employment, and to break the “cycle of poverty.”

Being a Butler County agency, there is a lot SELF does specifically in Oxford.

The agency hosts Getting Ahead classes that are designed to help participants “understand the “hidden rules” of social class and learn methods to build self-sufficiency through development of financial, social, and emotional resources.”

The last session was held from October to December 2016 at Oxford Bible Fellowship and a future session is possible.

They also host office hours at the Family Resource Center for utility assistance. SELF provides utility assistance for those who need help during the winter and summer seasons. If an individual qualifies, they will receive a one-time payment of their utilities.

The idea behind SELF is not just to help individuals in difficult situations, but to treat the causes of those situations.

SELF aims to help as many residents in the Oxford Community as possible to gain employment and build a set of skills that are necessary to move forward.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH