Programs provided by Colorado East Community Action Agency focus on assisting with energy and heating bills, help seniors, and offer referrals. The non-profit community action agency assists residents of the counties of Elbert, Cheyenne, Lincoln, and Kit Carson. Case managers work with clients to help them address long term concerns and gain self-sufficiency. Other assistance may be available for short term bills (such as utility) in a crisis.
Most of the utility and heating bill help is available as part of Energy Outreach Colorado. The non-profit processes applications and for those that qualify, up to one grant can be paid out per year. Call 719-775-8586.
If qualified, once per year financial aid (which runs from October through September) is for low income clients who have already exhausted their LEAP funding for the year. This can help those households as well with paying their heating bills and costs.
Senior assistance is offered for a couple different needs. Colorado East Community Action Agency has certified SHIP/SMP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program and Senior Medicare Patrol) Counselors on staff. They may be able to assist clients with federal government Medicare part D enrollment. They can answer questions on medical bills as well as other aspects of the Medicare program. The non-profit will provide advocacy, offer referrals and conduct presentations informing the public about Medicare and fraud issues.
General outreach work is available from Colorado East Community Action Agency - CECAA. The agency provides guidance and support to families in counties such as Cheyenne and Kit Carson, and hundreds of families use the services of the non-profit. In order to provide access to their services and advice, program facilitators contact clients in their own communities in settings such as public libraries, senior meal sites or community centers, or if necessary an qualified, in their own homes.
One of the services is free Income Tax Assistance from the VITA, or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. IRS certified tax preparers provide this preparation service for both Federal government and State of Colorado returns. Also, mobile tax clinics are available throughout the four counties of its service are. Call (719)-775-8586 for details.
In some years, free income tax preparation was provided to hundreds of low income families and seniors. They have received, in aggregate, hundreds of thousands of dollars in refunds. The tax clinics remain open by appointment at the Limon Colorado office throughout the entire year. It is offered and paid for by grants from Colorado Department of Local Affairs as well as the federal Community Services Block Grant.
Employment barriers can be addressed. The purpose of this Colorado East Community Action Agency (CECAA) is to remove barriers to long term stability, employment, and incomes. The non-profit has sponsored a series of workshops and provided eligible, low income and unemployed clients with mini grants to promote long term gainful employment.
Basic needs from the NU2U Thrift Store is a core activity of CECAA. It is based at 219 "E" Avenue in Limon, Colorado and is open most days of the week. Customers, regardless of their income, may purchase top quality, previously owned small household items, clothing, winter coats, and books at bargain prices. Not only that, but staff offer referrals and advice, so people can get information on other available assistance in the region.
Please donate items if you can. They can be brought to the thrift store and are sold to the general public. Money raised is used to pay for assistance programs. In many cases, local outreach workers, pastors, school or county officials refer individuals who need items, particularly clothing.
If you need help, the Colorado East Community Action Agency is located at 224 1/2 Nebraska Avenue, P.O. Box 416, Stratton, Colorado 80836. Call (719) 348-5303.
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