The Community Action Program of Western Indiana provides financial assistance and information on government resources to income qualified families. There can be referrals to resources such as weatherization as well as section 8, which are government funded. Many other services are also available in Benton, Fountain, Parke, Vermillion, Montgomery and Warren Counties.
CAPWI is administrator of the federal government HCUD Section 8 Rental Assistance Program. This is the primary federal resource that offers support in Benton, Fountain, Vermillion, and Warren Counties.
For families that qualify, Section 8 provides financial assistance with monthly rental payments for income-eligible Indiana families, which is defined as one or more persons living in one household. In order to be qualified, among other factors the applicants income does not exceed 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).
The Community Action Program of Western Indiana administered program also ensures that a rental unit is affordable as well as sanitary before a family moves in. Applications may be picked up at any CAPWI office in counties such as Vermillion or other areas. If needed, the non-profit will be glad to mail applications upon request.
Once a completed application is submitted by the family, the household is added to a waiting list for their county of preference as there is a long waiting list in place. Low income families or individuals with members who are disabled, homeless, elderly or victims of domestic violence are given preference points.
Families from the region who declare more than one preference may be moved up on their counties’ waiting lists, pending verification of their application by CAPWI. If a declared preference cannot be verified by the staff members, the household is placed on the waiting list, but without preference points.
Community Action Program of Western Indiana also manages rental properties as well as apartments in Fountain, Montgomery, Benton, Parke, Vermillion, and Warren Counties. The non-profit will not offer rental assistance or subsidies, but the monthly rent charged is slightly lower than that for similar units in the same general area.
Funding for these low income apartments comes from several different grants and funders, and income guidelines apply when qualifying a person. The guidelines are based on a middle point in the area’s income levels, and they then use a percentage of the Area Median Income (AMI) for the various counties in which properties are located.
Purchasing a home in Western Indiana is a major step that should never be taken lightly. CAPWI’s Homeownership Education and Counseling Program helps residents of Fountain, Montgomery, Parke, Vermillion, Benton and Warren Counties make informed decisions.
The home purchase advice program is divided into several modules that guide participants through the important steps in the process of buying. The service also cover ways to avoid putting a home at risk when finances are tight, how to shop for a home wisely, how to create and manage a budget and ways to pay down debts as well as clean up a credit report. The staff at the non-profit will also encourage prospective homeowners to assess their current circumstances, in order to know with a certainty that they are ready to be homeowners.
If there is any doubt to whether buying is the best option or not, Community Action Western Indiana will strongly suggest waiting for a year or two until they are better prepared for owning. Areas of concern from the specialists at the agency would be whether the household has developed a budget that they follow, and what their debt-to-income ratio is.
The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) helps low-income clients manage high winter energy as well as heating costs. It works by providing a one-time payment in the form of a grant. The money is paid directly to the utility company in Indiana on the clients’ behalf. The amounts paid out vary according to each situation, and a household’s income cannot exceed 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
In operation from June 1 through August 31 by the Community Action Western Indiana, the statewide Summer Cooling Program helps income-eligible families defray the costs of cooling their homes. It works by providing a one-time electric bill payment or funds for air conditioning expenses. The money is once again paid directly to the utility company on their behalf. Or this version of LIHEAP may give the person an air conditioner at no cost.
Benefit amounts from CAPWI vary according to funding availability. In addition, to receive an air conditioner, one family member must be a senior citizens, sick, elderly, disabled, or under the age of six years and have a verifiable medical need for air conditioning. If found to be qualified, each family in Vermillion, Parke or Benton is limited to one air conditioner per five-year time period.
The supply of free air conditioning units is limited, and they are distributed on a first come, first served basis. Household income must be at 150 percent of the poverty guidelines, which will be updated prior to the June 1 start-up date.
Weatherization Assistance provides energy-efficient measures to the homes of Benton, Fountain, Montgomery, Parke, Vermillion, and Warren County. The applicant will need to have an income of 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines or less. Proof of this is required. These measures will result in lower fuel consumption and lower costs for heating and cooling a home.
CAPWI Weatherization services include the following. Staff will offer client education, Water heater system treatment, Furnace tune-up, repair or replacement of furnace, water heater, cook stove, and other appliances, as well as the sealing of air leaks in attic and basement bypasses and/or ducts. The community action agency can also offer installation of compact fluorescent light bulbs as well as other home repairs, as necessary.
In order to provide maximum benefits to homeowners, the Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Program (OOR) partners with the Weatherization service to make repairs and improvements. While OOR is furnished at no charge, applicants are required to sign an agreement stating that they intend to remain as the primary resident. They will also need to agree to keep the home insured, and, if they sell the property, they will sell it to a purchaser with a similar level of income. OOR receives Community Development Block Grant funding through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority to pay for these services.
Community Action Program of Western Indiana Friendship Circle Center in Covington Indiana serves low-cost, nutritious meals to seniors who enjoy getting out and socializing in a friendly environment. For those who are unable to leave their home to make it to the center, they can sign up for the Meals on Wheels service, which delivers hot food right to their doors. In addition to meals, the program offers Free tax return preparation, Monthly hearing tests, Life Line screening, Screenings for blood pressure and blood sugar, and more care for the elderly.
The Adult Services and Dislocated Worker Program provides access to multiple services and products from a single location. This CAPWI service supports both the elderly and disabled too. It offers Unemployment insurance (Uplink), Career counseling, Work registration and labor exchange (Indiana Career Connect), Skills assessments, as well as Tuition assistance for occupational skills training.
CAPWI has other support for the disabled. The Mobility for Area Citizens provides the elderly and the disabled in Fountain and Warren Counties with transportation. They can get a ride for medical appointments, groceries, transportation to social service agencies, Pharmacies, and shopping.
No matter the program being applied for, whether housing or help for seniors, the application process is extensive. In addition to income requirements as well as criminal background checks for household members over the age of 18, other support includes the following. Applicants need Proof of income from all sources, current copies of birth certificates and Social Security cards, Photo IDs for any household member over age 18, and more.
Locations of Community Action Program of Western Indiana
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