Government grants and private funding is used by the Community Action of Eastern Iowa in order to help the poor and low income. The non-profit community action agency offers emergency and also long term assistance to those that are struggling or facing a hardship. Some of the key details on their resources are as follows.
The community action agency helps families in the regions of Cedar, Clinton, Muscatine, and Scott County. Qualified low income and struggling families can apply for various assistance programs. Some, such as funds for paying rent or utility bills, are very limited. Other programs, including food and case management, may be a little more readily available but they are still focused on qualified applicants only.
The utility bill assistance program known as Low Income Home Energy Assistance/LIHEAP. It was created many years ago to help low income families, including the elderly and disabled. Grants can be used to pay a portion of their winter heating bills, such as electricty, gas, or propane. Households in eastern Iowa that are approved for the Energy Assistance program will receive a onetime cash payment for paying their heating bills. The application period is usually once a year, with the elderly and disabled able to apply before others. Eligibility for LIHEAP will be based upon federally established income guidelines, and another benefit is that families will often be enrolled into weatherization (see below) at the same time.
Free fans or air conditioners are available to the vulnerable (such as sick or seniors) during the hot summer months. Community Action provides qualified lower to moderate income clients with air conditioners or a high powered box fan, when available. They are passed out to the most vulnerable individuals, such as seniors. There are conditions that need to be met, such as all applicants will be required to have an approved statement form completed by their everyday physician certifying that the fan or air conditioning unit is a medical necessity. This needs to be done prior to being approved for the program.
In some cases, box fans will be used. Households are limited to receiving one air conditioner per lifetime or a fan once every three years. Call the Community Action of Eastern Iowa to see if they have units available during the summer.
Emergency funds for a crisis may be available at the Community Action of Eastern Iowa. The programs will in general help with paying rent, food, or utility type bills. Most of the aid is available as cash assistance ,but in some cases a loan is issued. The community action agency runs several local utility company customer contribution funds. The money from these are used to assist households that are experiencing emergency energy needs, which will often include some type of disconnection. In addition, staff from the agency will also try to work with your utility company in order to enter the household into a payment plan or some other type of arrangement with the company.
In some cases, emergency rental assistance may be offered. This depends on funding and is usually only available during certain times of the year. If you are homeless, then inquire into money for paying aa security deposit. A number of conditions will need to be met by applicants, including usually needing an eviction notice.
Food Pantries can also be turned to in an emergency. They are available in the Clinton County Community Services offices and staff will also have referrals to other pantries in nearby counties.
Weatherization Program helps homeowners (or even renters) save money by conserving energy and using less heat on their homes. The agency used federal funds to pay for safety testing, pressure diagnostics, insulation, and other weatherization measures on the home. Owners and renters may be eligible. Energy education, tips, and advice is also offered by Community Action of Eastern Iowa as part of weatherization.
Low income disabled and elderly can benefit from the Chore Service Program. This will help people remain living in their homes. Funds may be used to pay for the cost of having outside chores done, such as Yard Cleaning, Lawn Mowing, winter Snow Removal, Trimming, Plowing, and other chores.
A small dollar amount is paid out, and this is available in Cedar and Clinton County. If you live in a senior home or apartment in which this is done by the community, then of course the agency won’t pay for chores.
The Child and Adult Care Food Program, or CACFP, was created and is paid for by the federal government. The United States Department of Agriculture works with the Community Action of Eastern Iowa on this. The food is passed out by third party providers, such as day or child care centers. All children, including the disabled, between the ages of 0-12 years are eligible to participate. Children in Iowa will receive nutritious meals and snacks, learn about nutrition, and gain other benefits.
FaDSS - Family Development and Self-Sufficiency will help individuals overcome barriers to stability. Staff from the agency work with residents of the Iowa counties of Clinton, Cedar, Jackson, Muscatine and Scott Counties. Case managers and counselors will help clients address barriers and overcome challenges on their path to self-sufficiency.
The Department of Human Services works with the Community Action of Eastern Iowa, and the government will usually offer referrals. Another key partner is the PROMISE JOBS Program. Any type of participation in FaDSS is a voluntary option for individuals receiving FIP / Family Investment Program benefits.
Family Development and Self-Sufficiency will also provide assistance such as goal setting, support and general assessment. Clients can get referrals and linkages to non-profit community resources and agencies in their town and city.
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