Colorado families can receive help from community action agencies. The non-profit organizations provide a number of assistance programs to the unemployed, low income, and working poor. Case managers can help you apply for resources such as government grants for bills, employment training, and offer job search assistance. Various services are administered in an effort to help individuals regain self-sufficiency.
Almost every agency offers their local residents resources from the Community Services Block Grant Program. The exact services offered will vary by town and county in Colorado, and that also greatly depends on funding. Some of examples of what may be provided include resources for youth, children dental assistance program, homeless prevention, transportation for work or medical reasons, and much more. All of these programs provide services to working poor and low- income residents, and CSBG relies heavily on federal government grant monies received from the State.
Veterans services are offered. They can assist residents, and their immediate family members, who served in the Armed Forces of the United States. Your local agency, working with the government, can help people obtain any and all VA or public benefits for which they may be eligible.
Offices can often arrange assistance to veterans and dependents in filing for pensions, service connected disability, burial benefits, and support them on the enrollment in VA healthcare and education. Case managers will advocate on your behalf and assist you with the preparation, presentation and appeal (if needed) of your VA benefits. If a center can’t help, they can usually offer referrals for other benefits or job training programs.
Weatherization provides income-eligible households, in particular high risk families such as seniors and children, with free energy conservation measures. The assistance offered can help households conserve energy and save a significant amount of money on their annual heating and cooling bills.
Contractors will install energy efficient appliance and conservation measures in a home to achieve long-term and permanent cost-savings. Weatherization services can also improve the comfort and safety of a home by helping to moderate indoor temperatures. The program can pay for the sealing of major air leaks; replacing appliances with high efficiency units; adding extra insulation to attics, walls and crawl spaces and installing CFL bulbs. Homeowners will also receive free tips and information on steps to take to conserve more energy in all seasons. Studies show that families that have gone through this process have saved on average 20% on their utility bills.
Senior transportation is also available in some parts of Colorado. It will help the elderly and senior citizens continue to live independently in the community. They will be able to receive rides to medical appointments, grocery stores, senior dining centers, and local food banks. Many of the buses or automobiles involved in this service are handicap accessible vehicles. These resource is also usually partly funded by the Older American’s Act Funding and your local county government.
Financial assistance is very limited, and may be offered in a crisis. Some non-profits may have grants for homeless prevention services, medications, or when someone is faced with a utility disconnection. More likely is that a case manager will help a low income individual apply for government aid, such as food assistance, Long Term Care, or grants from the federal government Low-Income Energy Assistance Program/LIHEAP.
For example, the LEAP program in Colorado is a resource that begins in November of each year. It helps low-income families and individuals with paying their winter gas bill and heating costs. The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program will provide customers with a credit on their account, and it is paid directly to the heat supplier or utility company, unless the heat source is coal, propane, wood or shared meter. It will only pay a portion of your bill as well, with a maximum limit in place.
Case management, financial aid and Family Stabilization Services address the emergency needs of tens of thousands of low-income individuals, seniors, and working poor families each year. Work with a case manager on applying for needs such as emergency rent or mortgage, utilities, food, and medical prescriptions. Other more non-emergent needs can be met as well, including assistance with obtaining a valid identification, transportation, housing rehabilitation, and free credit/budget counseling.
Some communities could call this General Assistance, and this is usually offered for families or individuals who are not currently on government public assistance. While funding and program terms will vary, it may include rental assistance for families that are not eligible for subsidized housing assistance. Emergency grants for utility and heating bill may be available. Other costs including prescriptions, transportation (bus tokens) and burial expenses may be paid for in Colorado.
Transportation Assistance, including services such as Mobility for all, will help low income families reduce their transportation costs, and it can benefit seniors too. Some charities and non-profits provide transit support and other types of transportation assistance to help the working poor, elderly, low income individuals get to an interview, job training, doctor appointment, job interviews or schools.
Food distribution is often coordinated with local pantries, churches, and charities. The organizations work together to oversee the supply of commodity foodstuffs obtained from the State Department of Human Services as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Case managers can also help people apply for SNAP food stamps from their local public assistance or human service office.
Meals on Wheels is offered to homebound seniors. This too is usually offered with other non-profits, such as agency on aging offices and the Salvation Army. The service provides free nutritious, fresh, home-delivered meals to income-eligible seniors; however a donation is always appreciated. A side benefit is that the senor will receive a visitor who will in effect be checking up on them.
Many Colorado agencies also process applications for, or can advise families on programs, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Food Assistance (FA). These federal government resources can assist individuals or families with paying a portion of their monthly food costs.
Job skills and higher education training is available at most community action agencies. It can be called different names, such as the Transitions to Independence Program or Workforce Investment. Regardless of the name, case managers will work with the client in establishing a goal setting program utilizing one-on-one case management. This will help assist low-income people and the unemployed in Colorado attain higher education and job skills.
Job programs can assist individuals that are under educated or skilled as well as those that are under employed. Examples of services offered to participants include job coaching, education assistance, transportation, reimbursement for testing costs, uniform assistance and many other services.
Cash assistance can also help pay for what people need in order to find and keep a job, so receive help in buying work attire or a suit. The goal is to enable the client to increase both their education level and job skills. In general, a higher education will lead to improved income. Case managers also offer an assessment and goal setting process followed by intensive, long-term case management, advice and ongoing support.
Colorado workforce centers can offer employment services as well, including resources to connect people to employment, education, and job training. Services are available at the local county, state, and national level. Work with a specialist on personal and career development. Get access to Internet tools for employment and job training opportunities. Skills assessment, eligibility screening for career counseling and much more is offered. Counselors can also provide information about both local and regional employers as well as federal and state of Colorado government unemployment programs. Click here.
Counselors can help people solve problems that may threaten a household’s progress toward permanent self-sufficiency. Not everyone who seeks help in Colorado is low income. Many clients are otherwise stable households that are just facing an emergency due to some unfortunate or unplanned event. So case managers work with you to stabilize the situation so that they can get back on the road to self-sufficiency. Services provided can be unique to fit your situation. It can include onetime grants for assistance. A focus is on citizens that are hard-working and who would otherwise fall through the cracks and not qualify for other social welfare or government programs.
A matched saving program is the Individual Development Account Program. It is offered for low-income individuals who are employed. The Colorado IDA program addresses the issue of self-sufficiency and elimination of poverty by helping people acquire assets. If a client saves money, the IDA program will provide a limited matching grant to them. Money needs to be used for paying for an education, home, or starting a business.
Colorado Volunteer Income Tax Assistance/VITA will help low income families and seniors prepare and file their income taxes, including provide e-filing. IRS certified volunteers, who work with non-profits including community action agencies, will help consumers prepare basic tax returns in towns and counties across the state. The VITA tax preparation centers are generally located at community sites such as post offices, neighborhood centers, libraries, shopping malls, schools and other convenient locations.
Head Start is the state’s comprehensive Child Development program. It is offered to children and infants from low income families in Colorado, including children with disabilities. It is designed to meet the individual educational and health care needs of children through a partnership between teachers and parents. Among other things, the program will help prepare them for school. Head start can address some basic needs as well, such as provide free meals and basic health checkups. Parents will also have access to social services, including employment programs and job training.
Adams County Community Development
4430 South Adams County Parkway, 1st Floor
Brighton, Colorado 80601-8205
Telephone: (720) 523-6200
Arapahoe County Human Services
14980 E. Alameda Drive
Aurora CO 80012
Customer Service Center number is 303-636-1170
The organization administers food, financial and medical assistance benefits for qualified families. The federal government funded LEAP Program (utility and heating assistance available November through April) contact number is 1-866-HEAT HELP.
Boulder County Community Action Programs
Location - 3482 N. Broadway
Boulder, CO 80304
Colorado East Community Action Agency
310 Kansas Avenue
Stratton, CO 80836
Telephone: (719) 348-5303
Supports counties of Cheyenne, Elbert, Kit Carson, and Lincoln. Food, loans for paying bills or rent, information on Colorado public aid such as job training and TANF is offered. Case managers also offer counseling and self-sufficiency. Click here.
Larimer County Human Development
Location is 1525 Blue Spruce Drive
Fort Collins, Colorado 80524
Call (970) 498-6826 for intake
Location of office - 17 N. 6th Street
Montrose, CO 81401
Telephone: (970) 249-4774
Regions and counties covered are Delta, San Miguel, Montrose, Gunison, and Ouray Colorado.
Pikes Peak Community Action Agency, Inc.
Mailing address - P.O. Box 2468
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80901-2468
Serving El Paso County Colorado, the non-profit offers emergency assistance and referrals. Low income families can receive rental or security deposit fee assistance, free food, and information on government benefits such as weatherization. Care for children and seniors is also offered, such as Head Start. Read more Pike Peak community action.
Pueblo County Housing & Human Services
Address: 2631 E. 4th Street
Pueblo, Colorado 81001
Telephone number - (719) 583-6308
Families in Baca, Bent, Crowley, Custer, Huerfano, Kiowa, Las Animas, Otero, Prowers, Pueblo can call this non-profit. Homeless prevention, budgeting classes, and other government grants and aid may be offered.
Southwest Community Resources
Main address - 295 Girard St.
Durango, CO 81301
Call (970) 259-1086 for information
Weld County Human Services
Mailing address - P.O. Box 1805
Greeley, Colorado 80632
Main telephone number - (970) 353-3800