Several of the programs run by Clinton County Community Action Agency are focused on basic needs such as food, educational services and utility bills. There are also additional resources provided to working poor families in an effort to help them overcome their hardships and gain stability.
Basic needs, such as groceries, are provided by the Community Action Food Pantry. As donations and resources allow, it provides up to a three-day supply of free food at no cost to qualifying households who are struggling to put a meal on the table. What may be provided in Clinton County includes vegetables, meats and fruits. The non-profit Food Pantry services are available to each household once per month.
One of the main priorities of the staff at Community Action is to ensure that affordable housing and low income apartments are available to all Clinton County residents, including seniors or the disabled. To that end, the agency began building apartment complexes for the purpose of sheltering residents whose lower incomes were still too high for them to live in public or government subsidized housing.
There are also several senior complexes, including Clinton Commons I off Thorne Avenue in Wilmington, the Community Commons off Nelson Avenue in Wilmington, and also a center at Nunn Avenue
The state of Ohio Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) provides financial assistance to the ever-growing numbers of eligible households who struggle with paying costly heating or natural gas bills. Dollar amounts of the grants provided are determined based on the availability of federal government funding, total household income, the number of people living in the home, and the primary fuel used to heat the home.
Weatherization provides consumers with free energy-efficient measures, with the goal of saving money. This is an option for the homes of income-eligible Clinton County residents. The program’s main goal is to create an energy-efficient environment that enhances the health and safety of the home, conserves energy and protects its occupants.
The Weatherization crew members insulate sidewalls, attics, and floors to eliminate air leakage, test all gas-fired appliances and make repairs. They will also Perform Blower Door checks, and will even replace water heaters or faulty furnaces.
A unique service, Community Action’s Cars Program, has been assisting Clinton County residents who were previously unable to obtain vehicle loans on their own because of an inability to make a down payment or a bad credit rating.
While this is a limited in service, in effect by the agency taking on the role of the banks, they will set a payment plan and find either a donated vehicle that fits the budget and needs of the client. They also take in donated vehicles to pass on to extremely low-income clients with some form of employment.
The Community Action Senior Center serves as a central location where Clinton County seniors as well as their spouses can socialize and participate in a multitude of activities. The agency will serve freshly prepared meals and also offer enough activities to keep people busy for an entire day.
Volunteers and staff also run a transportation program to drive seniors aged 60 and older to and from destinations such as banks, shopping centers, medical appointments, beauty salons and barber shops, and a variety of other places within Clinton County.
The Head Start Program serves three to five-year-old children and the youth from financially disadvantaged families. It provides services in the areas of nutrition, health, mental health care, transportation, education and social services.
The teachers are all highly trained and hold education-related degrees. It is a partnership as well, as parents are strongly encouraged to play a role in their children’s educational and developmental activities, and are provided with any information and tools necessary to do so.
For those in the county that need it, Head Start also offers a home-based alternative. This will involve a qualified teacher visiting the family’s residence each week to guide the parents through the process of providing children with the same developmental support offered by the on-site service.
Much more is available as well, including both private and government benefits and programs. Clinton County Community Action is located 789 N. Nelson Ave., Wilmington, Ohio 45177. The number is 937-382-8365
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