Clients of the non-profit Community Services Program of Beaver County include the low income, senior citizens, disabled, and unemployed. The organization will try to provide for basic needs, such as food, housing, and energy bill assistance while addressing long term challenges. Individuals who qualify for their services will be provided support, as resources allow.
The demand for rent assistance and food is always in high demand. The agency will do its best to meet this need, while also offering information on job training or government benefits. More information on their services is below.
The agency’s weatherization program helps homeowners and other clients lower utility bills, including both heating and cooling. It works by improving the energy efficiency of their homes. Community Services trained and certified energy auditors analyze the structure to determine what work needs to be done, and that is then assigned to contractors.
Although the exact type and amount of work varies from home to home, contractors typically caulk and repair windows, add free insulation, weather-strip doors, add door sweeps, insulate attics, patch roofs, install energy-efficient lighting, and service gas or oil heaters.
Income-qualified customers of the energy company known as PECO who have lost service or face imminent service termination can receive financial assistance to help pay their energy bills through the PECO Matching Energy Assistance Fund.
This aid is generally for households in Beaver County with an income level that does not surpass 175% of the federal government poverty guidelines, however the cut offs can change each year. When seeking help, applicants must have their name on the bills or shut-off notices as well. Financial assistance can be provided once every two years t most to those that qualify.
Some customers in Pennsylvania may be able to get help with water bills, and this is only for people that use American Water for their services. The program is known as Dollar Energy, and it helps struggling customers pay their water costs.
There are many terms of this, and Beaver County Community Services can advise on them if need be. It is usually for households with an income of under 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, and accounts with Pennsylvania-American Water must be in the name of an adult currently residing in applicant households. A deposit as a good faith will also usually need to be made on the account to partially pay down and arrears, and American Water may also offer payment plans too.
For people that receive their service from Aqua Pennsylvania, they also administer a program that can assist low-income households with their water bills. They provide a resource known as Helping Hands, and it is for households that meet low income guidelines.
Other types of utility bills, such as heating, can be addressed using grants from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP. This supports needy individuals and families facing a heating emergency. The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare manages LIHEAP in Beaver County, and persons in need of a crisis grant should contact their local county assistance office or Community Services can offer a referral.
Community Services Program of Beaver County works to provide assistance with clothing, food, housing, rent and other necessities are available through this service. If and when possible, staff from the agency visit clients at their homes in the county on a monthly basis to monitor their progress. Self-sufficiency case management supplies information regarding financing and money issues as well.
Case managers may also have referrals to other funding for housing issues. There are occasional federal government grants issued in Pennsylvania that are focused on preventing homelessness, so there may be money for paying rental costs or other expenses.
There are options for people facing hunger. The non-profit community action / services agency helps operate the food stamps program, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP). Clients are given a debit card to use to buy their food or groceries, and it will provide financial assistance for those costs. The government aid can in effect help reduce the cost of food and groceries that families need.
Through a contract with the Department of Public Welfare, many community action agencies across the state provide information regarding SNAP and help enroll eligible individuals or working poor families into the program.
Individuals and families in need of nutritional support can make use of the resource center or local food banks too. These are mostly run by faith-based and social service organizations in an effort to eliminate hunger, and there are many across Beaver County and nearby towns. Referrals can be provided by Community Services Program to places for all-meat, baby formula, all-produce and mixed packages of groceries.
There are some pantries in the region that will require applicants to take part in community service for free or low cost food. Services go by the name of SHARE and others.
Like almost every community action agency, the location in Beaver County provides advice and support to help families become financially independent over the mid to long term. Counselors meet with clients to determine family needs (such as education or employment) and barriers to self-sufficiency.
One of these services is the Individual Development Account program, called IDA for short. It is a savings account in which federal and private funds comprise the matching grants given to participants, and the money can be used for school, employment, or other needs.
The VITA Volunteer Income Tax Assistance from Community Action of Beaver County offers free federal and state tax preparation services to taxpayers with low to moderate incomes. The program also includes secure electronic filing and direct deposit as well.
While resources are limited, programs may be available. Or the agency will offer referrals to government aid or local non-profits. The phone number is (724) 847-3889, and the main office is at 1013 Eighth Avenue, Beaver Falls, PA 15010.
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