The non-profit community action agency for Central Arkansas is known as Community Action Program, or CAPCA. They provide resources to those from the region, including White, Faulkner, and Cleburne County. The resources are for those that are less fortunate, including the unemployed or people looking to overcome poverty. A combination of private or government grants are used to fund the programs.
While resources are limited, there may be assistance for food or paying utility bills. The organization will also try to address nutritional needs and help with housing or preventing utility shut offs. Throughout this process, the community action agency and its case managers will address any employment or educational needs of the client.
Grants for paying utility bills are part of the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP. Whenever possible, the program helps income-eligible individuals pay natural gas, electric, heating and propane bills. Under the regular assistance component of LIHEAP, clients receive a one-time subsidy for the payment of the energy bill of their choice, and it will usually be in the form of a credit on their account.
The second option in counties such as White or Cleburne is crisis LIHEAP. This helps renters and homeowners connect or reconnect electric or gas service, or ideally prevent service disconnection in the first place. Based on funding levels, crisis assistance from CAPCA also provides propane or free heating oil to clients whose tanks are at or below 10% capacity. Not resources are limited, and funds are usually not available on a year-round basis.
While much rarer, there may be some non-profits or churches in Faulkner County Arkansas that can assist with paying water bills in an emergency. Staff from the community action agency may have information on places to call for aid, or customers should contact their provider directly to work out a payment plan.
The Power to Care program is run in partnership with non-profits such as the Salvation Army. Together, using money donated from the community, there may be emergency funds for utility and electric bills.
Weatherization is for income-qualified individuals and families. The goal is to help them save money on their heating and cooling bills. The federal government program, which is administered by Community Action Program for Central Arkansas, provides full-scale home energy conservation services at no cost to the homeowner or tenant. As another benefit to reducing energy expenditures, weatherization also makes homes safer and more comfortable, especially for the elderly or disabled.
Rent help and nutritional support is part of the EFSP - Emergency Food and Shelter Program. Using government funds, the agency provides shelter, free food and support services for homeless persons or people facing evictions. There may be loans issued by CAPCA in some cases for a client’s rental costs.
The community action agency receives EFSP funding periodically throughout the year, and this is what is used to help the less fortunate. There may be cash grants for clients for their rent or energy bills. Low income families can contact the agency regarding the current availability of funds.
Low-income households, senior citizens, and families with children can obtain healthy food via the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Commodities Program. As part of this process, the agency works with local food pantries to distribute both USDA commodities and donated items to qualified residents. The agency will also have referrals to other resources in the community, such as Salvation Army soup kitchens or Catholic Charity sites.
Community Action Program for Central Arkansas operates the low cost Meals on Wheels program as well in counties such as Cleburne, and this can provide hot, freshly prepared meals to the homebound or others that qualify, including seniors. The agency also offers frozen meals on weekends and certain holidays (such as Christmas or Thanksgiving) and during inclement weather.
The organization’s senior centers, which are run in partnership with the agency on aging, are communal hubs for individuals who are 60 years of age and older. The centers offer lending libraries, free meals, snacks and coffee, media rooms, and workshops on issues important to senior citizens.
Both Early and “regular” Head Start is available from CAPCA. The non-profit uses federal government grants to help ensure children from low income families are on the correct path. Head Start addresses health care challenges, provides food, and of course helps children learn and grow. There are at home and classroom sessions across Cleburne, White, and Faulkner County, and the program is available for the disabled and migrants as well.
Case management is part of the resources provided by the agency. The goal of Community Action in Central AR is to help families achieve self-sufficiency. Clients of the organization partner with family development workers to create written, strength-based plans and goals that cater to personal needs.
These plans build on family strengths in order to help clients pursue and accomplish their objectives, whether that is employment, improved credit scores, or educations. Participants in the case management program can also attend monthly seminars that cover diverse topics in a fun and informal environment.
Single parents that reside in Faulkner County can benefit from a Scholarship Program. This increased educational level can really help clients overcome any barriers to lack of employment or life sustaining wages.
For more information on the agency, Community Action Program for Central Arkansas is located at 707 Robins Street, Conway, AR 72034. Or call the center at 501-329-3891.
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