Joan Douglas, Regional Program Manager in Gainesville, Fla., for Southeast RCAP, reported that she had a fortuitous encounter recently with Jeannie Chaffin, Director of the Office of Community Services in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Douglas was able to show Chaffin some of RCAP’s work and take Chaffin on her first visit to a water plant.
The Office of Community Services is a long-time, major funder of RCAP’s work in assisting water and wastewater systems. It helps to fund RCAP’s annual budget.
Chaffin was a speaker at the recent Florida Association for Community Action conference. While at the conference, she visited RCAP’s booth, where Douglas was stationed. Chaffin remarked that it was good to see what RCAP was doing with the funding support from the Office of Community Services.
Chaffin told Douglas that she had some time after the conference and asked Douglas to take her to see one of RCAP’s projects. Douglas and Ricky Crews, a Technical Specialist in Florida, took Chaffin to Lake Hamilton, Fla.
The town’s new water plant was just completed and will go online on June 1. Chaffin also saw the old plant that it is replacing.
Douglas learned that the Assistant Director from the Office of Community Services is from Florida. Chaffin commented that she thought he would be interested in visiting important events if he can fit them into his schedule. Douglas reports that she and Crews will invite the Assistant Director to a plant opening scheduled for June 19. Crews has been working with the community on the construction of the new plant.