Advisory Councils

The Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) Committee

West Central Minnesota Communities Action, Inc. (WCMCA) was recognized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Minnesota Housing and Finance Agency (MHFA) as a Community Housing and Development Organization (CHDO) in 1996.  The purpose of the CHDO is to involve local persons affected by housing development to participate in the design and monitoring of HUD and MHFA projects. CHDO organizations are given priority in some housing grant programs.

The WCMCA CHDO Committee has five members of the Agency Board of Directors who were elected by project participants who serve as the CHDO Committee members.  The CHDO Committee sets policies and priorities for the MURL program and other housing and homeownership projects.  CHDO members advise Agency staff in the use of the Institution Community Work Crew (ICWC). The CHDO Committee generally meets quarterly in Elbow Lake.

For additional information contact Joe Niehaus at 320-304-3458, Ext. 7216 or e-mail at

Head Start Policy Council

What is the Policy Council?

Policy Council is a group of parents and community members who meet monthly to oversee the delivery of services to children and families. Through Policy Council, members actively share in making decision about the program.

Who are the Policy Council Members?

  • Parents of enrolled children - Over half the Policy Council membership is made up of parents with enrolled children.
  • Community representatives include; past parents, representatives from local resource services, professional organizations or collaborative adventures.

What is my Role on Policy Council?

  • Attend the scheduled Policy Council meetings.  Members who can’t attend will arrange for their Alternate Policy Council member to attend in their place, making sure your center is represented.
  • Listen to the needs of your local parents and represent their interest at the Policy Council meetings.
  • Report the work of Policy Council to your local parent group. (A meeting summary will be mailed to members to assist in reporting on the Policy Council meeting.)
  • Call the office if you will be absent.
  • Serve on committees such as hiring and firing of staff, budget or fiscal review, program self-assessment, and serve as Minnesota State Parent Affiliate (SPA) representative.
  • Communicate if you are no longer available to participate in Policy Council.
  • Submit your expenses for attending (child care and mileage) and collect a $20-35 honorarium for attending each meeting.

What is the Work of Policy Council?

Policy Council works with Head Start management staff and the WCMCA CAP Board to develop, review, and approve or disapprove:

  • Funding applications
  • Procedures for shared decision-making about long and short-range program planning
  • The composition of the policy group and their selection procedures
  • The annual and on-going self assessment process
  • Criteria for recruitment and enrollment
  • Personnel policies
  • Decisions for hiring or terminating staff

Family Homeless Prevention Assistance

What is the More than Shelter Advisory Committee?

This committee is intended to be the oversight for WCMCA’s Family Homeless Prevention Assistance Program. As the grantee of the FHPAP program, WCMCA consults with the advisory committee in preparing the project proposal and in the design, implementation, and evaluation of the project. The advisory committee shall assist the grantee as follows:

  1. Designing or refocusing the grantee's emergency response system
  2. Developing project outcome measurements
  3. Assessing the short and long-term effectiveness of the project in meeting the needs of families who are homeless, preventing homelessness, identifying and developing innovative solutions to the problem of homeless families, and identifying problems and barriers to providing services to homeless families.

Who serve as Advisory Committee Members?

The committee is made up of various community members from throughout the five-county service area. All are welcome to attend and participate.