The focus of Community Action of Rock and Walworth Counties is on coordinating housing assistance. However, the non-profit agency will also offer free food, job training, and other support to qualified low income families.
Most of the aid provided is targeted at encouraging long term self-sufficiency. The non-profit Community Action wants clients to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty, so case managers will focus on that as well.
Housing Stability Counseling is for both tenants facing eviction or homeowners facing a foreclosure. Support is for families who are currently homeless or at imminent risk of it. Examples of may be offered by Community Action include Foreclosure Mediation, Credit Counseling & Referral, Pre-Purchase Homeownership workshops, Free Foreclosure Prevention Services, Rental Counseling / Assistance and Advice for the Homeless.
Some of the specific assistance provided to clients may be the creation of a housing stability action plan, including a budget. While much more limited, some families may qualify for financial assistance for mortgage or rent payment assistance, security deposit, eviction prevention, first months rent and other costs.
No qualified applicants will be turned down for the Housing Counseling Services. However, all financial aid, including grants for paying expenses such as rent, is very limited and only a few people will qualify. But referrals may be offered in lieu of that.
Assistance is targeted to serve households or tenants that are most in need and that are on the path to stable housing and self-sufficiency. Any help provided is short term in nature and is not meant to solve all of the issues facing the family. Programs from Community Action of Rock and Walworth are targeted on housing stabilization, helping households to develop a plan for future housing stability, and also linking participants to community resources and government benefits.
Shelter Plus Care is offered by Rock County Human Services and community action. It will provide tenant and rental counseling to homeless, mentally ill households. The federal government program also provides a recurring rental subsidy to assist these households in accessing, and paying for, permanent housing. Case management and other services will assist households in becoming stable as well.
Homes and affordable apartments are located in the region for seniors age 55 or older. There are also housing units for the disabled. Over the years hundreds of tenants have been able to find safe, affordable homes or apartments to live in.
The TLP - Transitional Living Program is for homeless families or individuals, with a focus on single parents or young mothers. Those Rock or Walworth County residents who qualify can also receive rent assistance, employment workshops, intensive case management, educational support and additional support from life skills trainings.
A homeless shelter known as Twin Oaks is based in Darien, Wisconsin. It will allow an individual to stay for up to a few months. The shelter also has a professional case manager on site who works with residents in resolving their crisis and finding stable housing. Topics covered by Community Action and case management include landlord tenant relationships, employment, budgeting, and mental health issues.
The Weatherization Program installs, at no cost to homeowners, energy-saving improvements that help to reduce heating and energy bills. The conservation program is open to renters, homeowners and landlords who rent to low income-eligible tenants. The energy conservation updates made to a home will include efficient lighting, air sealing, insulation, replacement or repair of heating systems, water heaters and saving devices, or maybe even new refrigerators.
After school programs are available at regional Community Kids Learning Centers. The location focus on Janesville, Delavan and Beloit Wisconsin. All of the teachers are highly trained, and the Learning Centers implement developmentally appropriate curricula for students. This is done while they are tailoring programming to each individual child's needs and interests. Some of what may be offered includes hot nutritious meals, field trips, learning activities, and more. In some cases, financial Assistance may be available based on the applicant’s income.
Job Training, or Skills Enhancement, operates in both Walworth and Rock Counties Wisconsin. The program has a goal of increasing the economic self-sufficiency and income of low-wage working households. Teachers and staff work with clients and help them acquire the skills they need to obtain higher paying jobs from in demand careers.
The Community Action Agency is a major contributor to Skills Enhancement. The non-profit provides financial aid to pay for training and classes. There may also be support to pay for childcare or transportation costs. Participants of the sessions receive assistance in job search tactics, developing individualized training plans, problem-solving, career assessment, and enrolling into community resources.
Emergency Food Assistance is a available in the region. TEFAP was established as a federal government program that provides free food or grocery assistance to low-income or working poor households. It is operated in partnership with the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS) as well as Food and Nutrition Services.
Community Action of Rock and Walworth coordinates TEFAP with other local assistance programs, such as pantries or soup kitchens. This is done in an effort to maximize and target limited funding as well as local resources. To learn more, or where to get help for your nutritional needs, call the agency.
Work-n-Wheels is offered in both Rock and Walworth Counties. It is a low cost car loan program, and all funds need to be used to purchase or repair an automobile. Program participants are responsible for title, tax, insurance and license fees. The car will also need to be used for work related reasons or an activity that leads to self-sufficiency.
The main office is at 20 Eclipse Center, Beloit, Wisconsin 53511, dial (800) 424-8297 in Walworth County or (608) 313-1300 in Rock County. Information on these or other services are available.
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