The local non-profit Community Action Commission provides support to residents of Huron, Erie, and Richland in Ohio. There are several assistance programs available from the agency that address a number of needs. Case managers will also partner with low income families to provide self-sufficiency and ongoing support.
During the summer, electric bills can be paid as part of the federal government and state of Ohio funded Summer Crisis Program. It provides emergency utility bill assistance for paying electric bills. For those who qualify the program, they may also be given air conditioners. A couple hundred dollars may be paid out per year.
Free air conditioners are available to those over the age of 60 who have not received one in the last 3 years. Or the units may be offered to those under 60 if they have current documentation from a doctor stating that the applicant or someone residing in the home has an illness that would benefit from continued electric service and/or air conditioning.
The Social Services Program is available through offices in Norwalk, Sandusky, Willard and Mansfield Ohio. Participants may receive financial help, either as a grant or interest free loan, with emergency needs of food, monthly rent, utilities or security deposits.
This assistance is provided directly by the organization or through another agency by referral. Staff work with participants to help them obtain employment or in seeking educational opportunities.
These services are funded by the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), Ohio Housing Trust Fund, Emergency Shelter Grant Program, The Erie County Board of Commissioners, Area Agency on Aging District 5, the Norwalk Area United Fund and the Erie and Huron Counties local Emergency Food and Shelter Grant (EFSG) boards. Other aid is from donations from local churches, businesses and other persons.
WHEAP - Winter Home Energy Assistance Program is there from Community Action Commission of Erie, Huron & Richland Counties to help provide utility assistance for electric and heating bills to very low income households. The unemployed may also benefit. It can pay for propane, gas, and electricity, among other sources.
This is the states version of LIHEAP and grants are for those that are threatened with a utility shut off; who have already been disconnected; or who have less than 10 days of heating oil or fuel left.
Referrals are available from the Ohio Benefit Bank. The goal of this service is to make sure that low and moderate income households get information and access to the resources they need, even including federal benefits such as SSDI disability or food stamps.
New income limits that are in place allow the OBB to connect more qualified low income families with this information as well. Clients can learn about important tax credits, such as the Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC), education credits, low income housing, government benefits and the they also offer help paying health insurance premiums from certain credits. These can allow families from the counties, such as Richland, to save a substantial amount of money on their bills.
Save money on utility bills from HWAP (Home Weatherization Assistance Program). This is a government funded service for low-income and working poor residents. It will in effect allow them to reduce payments for their monthly and heating utility bills. The energy efficiency program was created to reduce the usage of electricity for qualifying households throughout the state of Ohio, and counties of Erie, Richland, and Huron.
The HWAP services that you may be eligible for includes wall and basement insulation, attic, leakage reduction, heating system repairs or replacements and more. Staff will also address any health and safety inspections and testing.
This grant program from the federal government was created to improve the energy efficiency of a participant's home making it weather tight and it will greatly lessen their utility expenses. It will therefore help maintain and or improve the participant's quality of life.
Food pantries from CACEHR are available in the counties of Erie and Huron. The facilities are open throughout the year to those who are income eligible. There is limited availability of non-food items such as diapers, baby formula, clothing and other items. To contact the Erie County location please call 419-626-6540 and in Huron County call 419-668-9823 for additional information.
Summer Food Service and Meal Program from CACEHR is for eligible children in Erie and Huron Counties. Free groceries, meals or even snacks are made available to qualifying children 18 years of age and under. In Richland County Ohio, the Cleveland Food Bank, which is a key Community Action Commission partner, operates the Summer Food Service Program.
By partnering with the City of Sandusky Transit Department, CACEHR is an option that can provide one-way trips for elderly residents to doctor/medical appointments or maybe work or shopping centers. This is known as their Senior Transportation Program. As needed, transportation is provided to banks, job training, medical offices, stores, or pantries and nutrition sites.
The Norwalk Center operates 2 temporary emergency shelter type apartments. The units are made up of multiple bedrooms with kitchens and everyday living items.
Social workers and other staff at the Norwalk Center are trained to provide assistance to families or individuals that are working through their problems. The resources are intended to help them with the issue that has caused them to become evicted or homeless in the first place.
Provisions are available at the shelter and can be clothing, free food, referrals to security deposit programs, and homemaking skills. Staff from Community Action Commission of Erie, Huron & Richland Counties are there to work with the shelter families in securing permanent income from employment or from public assistance. Referrals and appointments are made for shelter residents with the state of OhioHealth Department and Jobs and Family Services.
Other services offered from the shelter include budget counseling, crisis intervention, goal setting, supportive resource with referrals, and transportation assistance. Some of the key government and non-profit partners for this transitional housing include the Norwalk Area United fund, local churches, Offices of Government Services, and other non-profits.
Housing Assistance Loans and Grants from CACEHR can pay for emergency home repair and handicapped accessibility modifications. This aid is for households at or below median income levels that live within the counties of Huron, Erie and Richland.
The Ohio Office of Housing and Community Partnership is able to fund this program for CACEHR. They are there to help families in nearby Counties with home repairs. CACEHR also works with the City of Sandusky to help residents within that City with to receive emergency home repairs.
Head Start is a free educational and preschool service that is for very low income families with children between the ages of 3 and 5 years of age. The focus of this program is on the whole child. To be eligible a household must be within an income range that is determined by federal and state guidelines and policies.
The Community Action Agency Head Start is there to provide services to households and children with the following things, such as Child Mental Health, Education/Literacy, Health/Nutrition, Family Services, Disabilities/Suspected Disabilities, Transportation, and Family Engagement.
Parents of the child are welcome and encouraged to help the Head Start Program in a multitude of ways. They can get help from community service referrals, job placement, and other support services.
There are a few offices of the Community Action Commission of Erie, Huron & Richland Counties. they include the following.
908 Seavers Way, Sandusky, OH 44870, (419) 626-4320
Huron County, dial 419-668-9823
Richland County families should call 419-589-2520
Erie County - Dial 419-626-4320
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