Case managers from Community Services work to address poverty and also assist low income families with their basic needs. In order to make this happen, a number of short term assistance programs are available by referrals to other organization in Denton, Collin, and nearby counties. Resources include free food, information on financial assistance for paying rent and utility bills, and more.
In addition, staff will work with clients to help them overcome any barriers to employment or education. So case management is a key focus. The agency supports the counties of Collin, Denton, Anderson, Ellis, Henderson, Hunt, Navarro, Rockwall, Van Zandt, and Kaufman.
Homeless prevention is always top priority in the region, including Denton. While resources are limited, the non-profits in the area will try to assist people with an eviction notice or homeowners that are facing a foreclosure. Some examples of what may be available in the region include funds to pay back rent as part of the federal government emergency solutions grant. There is also HUD certified foreclosure counseling, transitional housing, shelters, and other housing assistance in Collin, Denton, and other Texas counties.
For individuals that are currently homeless, they can explore the local shelters, where they can gain access from case management services, meals, and other support. Once they are stabilized, some cash assistance or loans may be available for paying a security deposit or first month’s rent. All funds in the region are very limited.
CEAP is the state of Texas utility bill assistance and conservation program. It is for very low income households in the area, including Denton, Henderson, and Rockwall. The community action agency can help residents apply for this benefit, which is very similar to LIHEAP.
A priority of this is on families with young children or infants, the elderly, or individuals with a disability. While the focus is on paying gas and heating bills during the somewhat colder months in Texas, there may be some year round assistance offered as well. Or individuals can be referred to other resources during the summer, such as Lite Up Texas.
The Crisis Assistance program, which is a component of CEAP, is available in Texas as well. This will help when someone has a disconnection notice on their account. The application process is accelerated as part of the crisis program, and qualified low income families in Anderson as well as Collin and other Texas counties will be issued funds in a shorter period of time.
Weatherization and free energy conservation services from Community Services will help families save money on their utility bills. Another benefit is it will address of minor safety issues of the home. The goal of this federal government and state of Texas sponsored program is to increase the home's energy efficiency and also reduce overall dependency on expensive electricity.
Some of what may be offered will vary based on the condition of the home. For example, an older home may need different types of conservation updates than a new condo. Regardless, weatherization may install extra insulation, repair or replace a furnace, seal leaks, install carbon monoxide detectors, and more.
Staff from Community Services can direct families to resources where they can find help in applying for grants or cash assistance from TANF. This is also combined with job training, and funds are used for basic needs such as rent, energy bills, shelter, or medical expenses. This is a time defined program, and clients will only be supported for a certain period of time. They also need to be enrolled into all possible self-sufficiency programs in order to receive any benefits from TANF.
Most of the assistance is available for the non-profit as part of the Community Service Block Grant. This is an annual funding allotment offered by the government. So not only may the resources above be offered by Community Services Inc. or its partners, but there may also be referrals to free income tax e-filing available, debt reduction programs, life skills classes, and the IDS savings account program. So CSBG, as it is known, can provide much more in the region.
Very low income families and those facing poverty can apply for the federal government food assistance program known as SNAP. Those who enroll will be issued an EBT debt type card that can be used at most major retailers for buying groceries, food, and canned items. While it won’t pay for prepared meals, it will cover fruits, vegetables, and meats. The Community Services case managers can direct clients to this, resource, and applications are reviewed and processed by the state of Texas.
Often combined with SNAP is job training and placement. In fact, it is almost always required by participants. This will help ensure the client is working towards stability and self-sufficiency. It includes skills assessment, care counseling, and job placement services from case workers.
Information on one stop job centers, career counseling, and other employment resources are always available at Community Services Inc. as well. After all, a job with decent wages is always the key to self-sufficiency. If it turns out that someone needs more education or skills, then that may be arranged as well.
Educational and development programs for youth in the area are part of Head Start. This is the states, and federal govenrment’s, primary resource for children as well as infants under the age of 6. It can also assist parents as well.
Teachers and staff from local center will work with young children. They partner together to coordinate services for needs such as educational, medical care, food, and more. Parents of the child will also need to participate, as the community action agency fully understands that they are key to the overall development of youth and students.
For more information and referrals to programs in the service area, dial 877-541-7905.
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