One of the leading non-profit organizations to call during your time of need is the Community Action Agency of New Haven. Not only can staff work with clients to help them regain self-sufficiency, but the organization will also coordinate short term, emergency assistance for families. This can include financial aid for energy bills, rent, foreclosure counseling, or housing assistance. Any resources administered depend on the limited funding levels that are in place.
The Connecticut Energy Assistance Program, or CEAP, can help pay the heating and energy bills of low income households in New Haven County. A focus of these grants are for seniors, the disabled, homes with children under the age of 6, and the very low income in New Haven. If an applicant doesn’t meet the income limits, then they may have other resources available to them, including the Contingency Heating Assistant Program (CHAP).
On behalf of qualified New Haven households, the winter heating bill assistance pays for expenses including natural gas, oil, electricity, propane, kerosene, wood, and coal. Those households in the New Haven region that are eligible for the winter heating program may also be qualified to receive weatherization upgrades to their home, which will help them save money through conservation.
While the Community Action Agency of New Haven (CAA-NH) coordinates applications for these programs, it relies on federal government funding levels and is coordinated across the state by the Department of Social Services. In addition, other municipal and non-profit charities and human service agencies are heavily involved in this program.
Another option is Operation Fuel. This is run by a private, non-profit organization and it is available in New Haven County and statewide. The program was created in an effort to provide one-time emergency energy bill assistance to households that are facing an emergency or crisis situation. The applicants income can’t be more than 60% of the State Median Income. When donations and funding is available, Operation Fuel offers seasonal programs that offer financial assistance with paying various types of heating sources. 203 387-7700.
As touched upon above, the Weatherization Assistance Program can be used to improve the energy efficiency of homes and dwellings of qualified low income families, especially many of the older homes in New Haven. This will help them reduce their energy costs, save money, and reduce their annual heating bills. It will also protect their overall health and safety.
While an audit will take place, examples of the improvements that can be made include additional attic and wall insulation, heating tune-ups, caulking and weather-stripping, and other repairs to say a furnace or heating unit. The benefits to a New Haven household will include less money spent on energy bills, improved safety and comfort of the home, and many others.
The high price of both renting or owning a home can present challenges to many New Haven County families. The non-profit does provide qualified low income families with help from the Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program. This is also sometimes offered at the same time as the Rent Bank Program and Housing Mediation program. It is paid for by the Connecticut Department of Social Services and applications are processed locally by the Community Action Agency of New Haven.
Housing assistance was created in an effort to help individuals or families whose total household income does not exceed certain State median income limits and who are at risk of becoming homeless through either foreclosure or eviction.
The Rent Bank can help both tenants and homeowners. The organization will provide mediation services to tenants, homeowners and even mortgage holders. While more limited, there can be some funds to pay back rent or mortgage arrearages. Case managers can help people individuals' secure long-term affordable housing in the region. The Rent Bank and any financial assistance is contingent upon eligibility and the availability of funds.
Residents of the following New Haven towns may apply for housing, including Branford, East Haven, Hamden, New Haven, North Haven, and West Haven. Anyone who applies must meet income limits and also be able to pay their rent or mortgage on their own in the year future. They also need to have experienced some form of hardship.
Another option is the Security Deposit Guarantee Program (SDGP). This has limited funding and will not always be offered. Funds and guaranteed loans can help tenants pay the deposit on a new home or apartment in the area.
Basic needs can be met by food pantries and the Diaper Bank. The New Haven Community Action Agency's Open Choice Food Pantry can provide groceries, canned goods, and other items to the needy and low income. On the other hand, the Diaper Bank will offer qualified low income households in New Haven Connecticut free or low cost diapers and related goods. Food drives are always appreciated from the community as well.
Employment assistance is provided by the Manage Your Future program. This is for the youth and teenagers that live in the Greater New Haven County area. Clients can be provided with assistance such as financial literacy, job readiness/summer work experiences, and emotional & social development. All of these are key to long term stability.
Among other things, it offers educational workshops. The participants will work with staff to enhance skills to become educated in the basics of budgeting, credit, investments, and savings. The students in the program will also have the opportunity to work at local business in the Greater New Haven area. This program is funded by a combination of resources from corporations, banks and federal government and state resources.
Multi Family Group Program help people with barriers to employment such as limited social supports, mental health diagnoses, long-term unemployment, limited transportation, housing instability and limited education levels. Clients will be able to participate in employment and pre-employment services.
Computer training may be offered as part of a program called surfing with seniors. It help the elderly and senior citizens gain or improve basic computer skills and even advance to more complex applications such as Microsoft products.
The main Community Action Agency of New Haven office is at 419 Whalley Avenue, New Haven, Connecticut 06511. Call 203-387-7700.
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