I had lived in the Couleecap service area for a few years and wasn't truly aware of all of the programs that they provided. I have since been an employee for almost 1 year and am amazed at how many areas of life the organization can help low-income people with. All programs are geared towards low-income individuals and households in the region and aim to improve self-sufficiency and meet basic needs. It is truly "a hand up, not a hand out" organization. Programs can assist with preventing homelessness, reversing homelessness, car loans/car repairs to get to work, accessing social security benefits, home weatherization/rehab, improving employment skills for youth and young adults, emergency food/clothing, distributing food to food banks, drug/alcohol/tobacco use prevention, income-based housing units, 1st time homebuyer counseling, adult job skills improvement, business start-up help, etc. Most participants are very appreciative of the assistance that is provided to them and are definitely in dire need of assistance. All participants are assessed fairly for eligibility, as there are clear guidelines (from the funding sources) regarding who qualifies for a certain program. All Couleecap employees that I have encountered on a regular basis appear to truly be dedicated to making a difference in the lives of those they serve, go above and beyond their job descriptions to help someone out, and are great at referring applicants to other resources as well. Staff are not micro-managed, but are supervised enough that if an employee is not doing their job and participants/public are not being served appropriately, it will be addressed right away. Employees definitely earn their keep here, but that comes with meeting the high level of service that our participants deserve. I have heard many wonderful comments from those I/co-workers have served and it lets me know that Couleecap is doing the right things to decrease poverty and the impacts of poverty. Great place to work, great place to get help, great place to donate to as almost all funding goes directly into helping participants. I wish I would have known about Couleecap's services earlier, so I could refer low-income people in need to a place that truly cares (and so I could start applying for every job posting they had to become an employee sooner)!
I worked as an unpaid intern at Couleecap all last semester, and I cannot speak highly enough of the experience. Couleecap is a great place to volunteer and always has tasks available for those willing to help!
Couleecap is also a fantastic organization that works ceaselessly to help its clients. The staff works tirelessly to aid those in its four-county service area and is incredibly conscientious. They are constantly working to improve their services and how the internal mechanisms of the agency run.
Their programs are diverse and much-needed in the Coulee area. If you're looking for an organization to either volunteer for or donate to, Couleecap is the one. Our area would be far worse off without it.
Review from Guidestar
I worked at Couleecap Inc. and it was the worst year of my life. Instead of capitalizing on their workers' skills, the tendency of the organization is to rely on the "pay grade" status of it's employees and is rank with rankism.
As no one makes a great deal of money, those in power there hang on to it as a definition of who they are.
In 2010 there was a large turnover of staff, mostly removal of persons who had any ideas that may have been slightly out of the box.
The management system is punitive and unresponsive. There is an entire culture of denial and a reliance on tattle tales and gossip. It is truly the scariest, most gossiping place I have ever encountered.
The organization (mostly the Housing Department,) goes after the funding vigorously, despite their understaffing and true lack of expertise for some of the projects they try to run.
A good example of this was their work in Gays Mills, Wisconsin. The Housing Department took on a project to move the village to higher ground after the devastating floods of 2008 & 2009. The Housing Director and his assistance had never run a program like that, had no construction expertise whatsoever and eventually, after raising the hopes of the village, did not produce anything viable.
It was truly irresponsible.
The management refuses to recognize when supervisors who are unfit treat their employees badly. They just look the other way if that supervisor "produces;" and will not directly deal with that supervisor's inablility to lead.
Review from Guidestar