Bridges West Children Learn About Money Smart Week

Mon, Apr 18th, 2016

Center For Consumer Credit Counseling counselors, Mindy Hartz and Lori Scott,  presented financial information to the children at Bridges West.  They did projects teaching them about money and savings.  The kids were given quarters to start their very own savings in their very own piggy banks they made themselves!

Last Super Saturday to File Your Taxes For Free and No Appointment Needed

Thu, Apr 7th, 2016

REMINDER - The SUPER SATURDAY on April 9th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. is the LAST Super Saturday! You can file your taxes for FREE. NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY. This Saturday you may go to the Le Mars Public Library or the Robert M. Lincoln Center at Morningside College located at 1501 Morningside Avenue, Sioux City, Iowa. See the Morningside College Campus map below.  Call Center For Siouxland at 712-252-1861 ext. 11 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Center For Siouxland's VITA program would like to remind you to bring these documents with you to your tax appointment:

Required Items:
A valid Photo ID for taxpayer and spouse
Social Security Card or ITIN card for all household members
Proof of Income (W-2’s, W-2G, 1099’s, and all other income forms)
Proof of Healthcare Coverage
Copy of last year’s tax return
Childcare receipts and childcare tax ID #
Bank account and routing numbers
If filing jointly, both adults must be present to sign

Additional items to consider:
Tuition and college expenses
Mortgage interest statements
Property tax statement
Car taxes
Medical Expenses
Charitable donations

Easter Schedule

Tue, Mar 22nd, 2016

Attention: Center For Siouxland will have NO Super Saturday tax sites this Easter Holiday weekend. If you would like to schedule an appointment for tax preparation with our VITA program or get information about the remaining Super Saturday sites where walk-ins are welcome please call 712-252-1861 ext 11.

Le Mars Public Library Tax Preparation Information

Tue, Mar 22nd, 2016

People wanting their tax returns prepared in Le Mars will be given the opportunity to file their taxes for FREE at the Le Mars Public Library with NO appointment. They will be taking walk-ins on Thursdays from 4-6 pm and the scheduled Super Saturdays on April 2nd and April 9th from 9 am to 3 pm. Hurry in, the tax deadline is quickly approaching.  For more information call Center For Siouxland at 712-252-1861 ext 11.

The Sioux City Journal's Story About Our Bridges West Resident

Sun, Mar 13th, 2016

Center For Siouxland is proud of one of our Bridges West residents who is working on her sobriety and helping others work on theirs too!  Thank you to The Sioux City Journal for printing this article and picture about our resident.

SIOUX CITY | Weary hands cup wispy plumes of smoke and wash it over their bodies. Hope rises from the smoldering South Dakota sage.  In the Native American tradition, the ceremonial smoke bath is used to clear negative energy and to bless, cleanse and heal the body, spirit and mind.  The Talking Circle always begins with the sacred art of smudging and a serenity prayer. Together, they recite the words from a slip of paper, "Creator, grant me the strength of eagles' wings, the faith and courage to fly to new heights and the wisdom to rely on his Spirit to carry me there."

Lydia Rouillard shows up to the sobriety meeting every Saturday held in the back of the Four Directions Community Center. She opens the door, makes the coffee and sets out the chairs – always in a circle that’s only broken by an opening to the east, like the tipis of her ancestors.  “I was raised in a foster home,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to fit in somewhere. I just feel like I fit in here now with everybody coming in, Native and non-Native, together.”  Rouillard is seven months sober and a volunteer with Htanipi Owas, a grassroots volunteer organization that has been serving the community through initiatives for the youth, parks and the city’s homeless population.

The group was started by Michael O’Connor, partly to counteract the vile, vitriolic comments made about Native Americans online. Htanipi Owas, pronounced hit-tawn-ee-pee o-wahs, means “working together” in the Dakota Sioux language.  They’re a force of good among a group of people that faces higher rates of alcoholism, drug addiction, high school dropout, poverty, unemployment, incarceration and youth suicide. 

For years, Veronica Kulawik internalized the negative perception of Native Americans and struggled to see beyond it. After her mother died when Kulawik was 18, she didn’t know how to handle it. Her mother was her role model. She turned to drinking to cope but then found a better way to live.  “I don’t want my daughter to feel how I used to feel growing up and looking at my life, like this is it. I’m just going to get stuck in this cycle of depression and drinking and wanting to die,” she said. “I don’t want that for her.”  She’s been sober for almost eight years, and she’s back at school, studying biology at Briar Cliff University in hopes of becoming a dentist.  As a volunteer with Htanipi Owas, she is able to be a positive role model in the Native American community and beyond.

Since the group formed last year, members have volunteered at the Gospel Mission and Girls Inc. They’ve scooped snow for the elderly and disabled, made care packages for the homeless and cleaned up War Eagle Park through the city’s Adopt-a-Park program. And then, there’s the Talking Circle.  On a recent Saturday, about a dozen men and women corralled into the empty seats.  Between choked back tears and heads held low, there was an overwhelming sense of loss, maybe even shame, for the lives they lived and the people they hurt, for the time and the children they can’t get back.  When one spoke, the others sat in silence, letting the words wash over them, at times gently nodding in agreement. After going down in the depths, a final prayer for strength and healing rose up to the heavens like the wisps of smoke. 

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