Agency recognizes award-winning individuals as part of Community Action Month
LANSING, Mich. – Celebrating May’s Community Action Month 2023 and participating today in Michigan Community Action’s Legislative Day at the State Capital in Lansing, Wayne Metro, the designated Community Action Agency for the City of Detroit and Wayne County, celebrated the following individuals for recognition of special achievement:
● Legislator of the Year: District 3 Sen. Stephanie Chang
● Client of the Year: Dawnyell Thompson, Wayne Metro community resource navigator and two-term AmeriCorps Service Member
Previously nominated by Wayne Metro and chosen by Michigan Community Action (MCA), individuals were presented with Community Action Awards at the Heritage Hall at the Michigan State Capital. Wayne Metro CEO Louis Piszker spoke on behalf of Senator Chang as he and other agency colleagues participated in the event.
More about the nominees:
Sen. Stephanie Chang: Legislator of the Year Nominee
Sen. Stephanie Chang is a Detroit resident and steadfast advocate for low- and moderate-income Wayne County residents. As the first Asian American woman to serve in the Michigan Legislature, she is a model for women leaders across the state. Chang is also a fierce champion for seniors, working individuals and families. Through the Lowering MI Costs plan, which Sen. Chang supported and was signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this March, Wayne Metro clients who receive free tax preparation services through its VITA tax program and qualify for the Working Families Tax Credit will see an average return of $3,150 dollars starting this year.
She has also introduced legislation to extend the 2022 poverty tax exemption through 2025 for eligible clients whose local assessing unit adopts a resolution to do so. If adopted by the City of Detroit, this legislation will make a massive impact on the Detroit Tax Relief Fund by giving some much-needed breathing room to those most in danger of losing their homes on a yearly basis through tax foreclosure.
Dawnyell Thompson: Client of the Year Nominee
Dawnyell was interested in achieving greater self-sufficiency and enrolled in one-on-one financial counseling through Wayne Metro’s Financial Empowerment Center (FEC). Through the FEC, she was able to set aside money for management goals and take stock of her current finances. After successful completion of the program, Dawnyell was awarded a match savings of $5,000, which she used to purchase a vehicle.
Dawnyell’s experience helped her realize her life-long aspiration toward a career in community centered advocacy. She applied to an AmeriCorps Service Program and, as destiny would have it, was placed in a position with Wayne Metro. Upon completion of her two service years with AmeriCorps, she was hired as full-time Wayne Metro employee. Today, she serves as a community resource navigator in the agency’s Detroit Tax Relief Fund program, where she assists residents in need with their back taxes, focused on impact and helping others.
2023 marks the 59th year since the Community Action Network was established to help American families and communities overcome obstacles to poverty. Community Action Agencies serve 99% of all American counties with life-changing services to help families achieve financial stability. There are 27 action agencies in Michigan.
Wayne Metro is a member of the National Community Action Partnership and Michigan Community Action, which was born out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.
More About Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency
For more than 50 years, Wayne Metro has worked to eliminate poverty in Wayne County by providing economic independence programs that nurture families and build communities. The organization serves as a lifeline for residents – and its impact increased exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic – by providing assistance to those in need with rent, utilities, home repairs, food and other essentials, education, childcare and more. For more information, visit www.waynemetro.org or follow Wayne Metro on Facebook (@waynemetro), Twitter (@WayneMetroCAA) or Instagram (@waynemetro).