The programs and services offered by non-profit Connecticut based community action agencies are extensive. While clients can apply for financial help and government grants at the centers, the focus is on providing long term self-sufficiency. Case managers will work with families in Connecticut and help them find a job or gain new skills. Individuals can also register for financial literacy, which can include budgeting, credit counseling, and similar services. Thousands of residents use the services offered by these non-profits.
Applications are accepted for Weatherization. This federally funded program can help homeowners and even qualified renters reduce their heating and cooling costs. While there is a waiting list, a focus is on those Connecticut low-income families with an elderly member, people with disabilities, and children. Not only will it improve the energy efficiency of their homes, it will also ensure and improve health and safety.
Some of what can be paid for includes insulation of attic walls, floor, duct, pipe and water heater, Air sealing, and CFL lighting. While not as common, your heating system can be tuned up or even replaced. Weatherization may also provide for repairs of broken windows, glass, doors, and primary and storm window replacement.
Veteran programs and services are offered. Veterans and their immediate family members can sign up for services such as eviction prevention. Homeless veterans can get help in quickly finding and paying for new, more affordable housing. Also get help in applying for benefits, including health care and cash assistance.
The state of Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) was designed to help the working poor, unemployed and low income pay their primary heating bill. Any financial aid is limited and will only pay for a portion of your costs. Only a onetime cash grant will be paid out by CEAP, and your non-profit agency administers it at the local town and county level.
There is also a Furnace Replacement/Repair Program. This may only be offered as funding allows, and also when a heating system is broken, unsafe or inoperable. This particular repair or replacement program is available for CEAP eligible clients. Conservation programs offered at the same time include services such as Clean Test and Tune-up services. This is another services focused on heating systems and furnaces.
Yet another energy type program is CHAP/Contingency Heating Assistance Program. This resource is available for more moderate income households whose income is higher than Federal Government Poverty guidelines. Many people who don’t qualify for CEAP (see above) will receive financial assistance from this resource. It can provide a grant or extra oil or fuel in an emergency.
Operation Fuel is a non-profit organization that partners with community action agencies. It can help households facing a crisis. It follows its own guidelines when it comes to qualifications.
Beyond Shelter is a partnership with the Connecticut Department of Social Services as well as the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness. It can help reverse and prevent homelessness. It offers supportive services to assist in the transition from emergency shelter to permanent housing.
The program may provide education on landlord/tenant rights, life skills workshops, assistance with food and furniture, money management and more. Caseworkers from your local agency also provide up to one year of follow-up services.
The Connecticut Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Programs can assist low and moderate income individuals and families faced with losing their home and who may be at risk of homelessness due to inability to pay their mortgage or back rent.
It can provide landlords/mortgage holders as well as tenants the ability to use mediation in order to find a solution to their dispute. This is when a neutral person negotiates an agreement that is fair to both the tenant/homeowner and landlord/bank. The objective of mediation is to allow families the ability to remain in their current home.
Tenants can learn about their rights in the eviction process, and landlords are also available to get help including information about their responsibilities in housing matters. Homeowners can learn how to rework or modify mortgage payments.
Supportive Housing can provide rental assistance and housing support services for low income families and individuals who are living with HIV/AIDS. The program can help HIV positive people secure and/or maintain stable housing, gain self-sufficiency, and get referrals to other local and government organizations.
The transportation program provides limited and regionally based transportation services to low income and seniors. Rides can be offered for doctor's appointments, job interviews, senior centers, shopping, and personal appointments, such as banking.
Information is always readily available. Many Connecticut residents seek affordable child care, housing, financial, employment services, and holiday assistance. Case managers know it is very difficult to navigate the difficult and complex public aid and social service systems. Information on various resources are identified and you can get help in applying for them. Locate information on local and statewide resources.
Meals on Wheels provides healthy dinners and/or lunches to homebound seniors in Connecticut. The elderly and senior citizens can receive a free meal delivered right to their door. In addition, volunteers and staff of the various charities and non-profits that offer this service also provide social interaction through daily contact. Weekend meals may be offered, as well as special diets can be met.
Free Summer Food is offered for children and students. They can enjoy free healthy breakfasts, lunches, and snacks at summer meal programs and feeding sites. These meals are meant to replace school lunches and breakfasts.
Senior centers and community café distribute healthy yet tasty meals in a friendly atmosphere. Older adults in Connecticut can receive nutritionally balanced, hot, noontime meals. The centers may also offer other recreational activities or workshops.
Other critical services are offered for the elderly. The agencies will insure the wellbeing of senior citizens. So many centers, often working with agency on aging centers, offer affordable homemaking services for those finding it difficult to maintain their homes. Locations also serve as information and referral resource to seniors and their immediate family members.
Adult Job Training is offered at many centers in Connecticut. Clients, including the currently unemployed, can get educational services, career counseling, job training and placement services. A skills assessment guides the development of a training plan for each recipient, and that may include adult education classes and vocational training. Many recipients of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) register for this, as a well paying job is important to leaving TANF. Learn more.
Summer Youth Employment can provide work experiences and resume development opportunities to students. It will help them prepare for the world of full time work. Low income youth are also offered career counseling and educational support while learning on-the-job problem solving and leadership skills.
Case management and family services are available. A focus is on offering job search and employment training if needed, with a goal of eventually eliminating the need for government assistance.
A holistic approach is taken, whether your need is caused by some catastrophic experience or whether you have been facing poverty for an extended period of time. This should help make the process seamless for the client. The goal of any community action in Connecticut is to promote continual movement of low-income and unemployed people towards self-sufficiency.
While resources available depend on the center and government funding, some of the following assistance programs and services may be offered. Agencies can help people apply for food vouchers, rental and energy assistance, furniture and clothing referrals, and other state of Connecticut and social services.
Community Employment Services focus on empowering and assisting people in achieving long term self-sufficiently. Work-ready skills are provided for individuals on an as-needed basis. This can include such activities as basic computer skills training, resume review, and general counseling.
One-Stop Career Centers is offered by many community action agencies in partnership with Connecticut Works. The locations provide a variety of employment services to job seekers. Individuals who need help finding work or a better job will receive job search assistance, career exploration, resume writing, referrals to adult and higher education classes, access to training programs and other related services. Many centers also offer pre-employment and career development training programs to youth.
Assistance for youth from low income families is offered. Curriculums and workshops offered include The Apple Resource Guide as well as the widely used FDIC Money Smart Program. Community action centers can help arrange adult mentoring, cultural enrichment experiences, and extensive case management. Other workshops also help with developing money management skills and give insight on the ability to consistently save toward a goal.
Workshops and programs teach consumers and client’s ways to manage their money, pay down debts, and help them protect their homes. The Connecticut financial literacy classes help people take control of their money and improve their credit. Workshops cover needs such as credit repair, budgeting, debt management and more. Home buyer counseling and classes are available. For example, a matching grant savings program known as IDA helps individuals save money for a new business, a new home, a car or an education.
As part of these workshops, staff and volunteers also work one-on-one with participants. They can counsel people on their personal financial situation. This includes how to deal with outstanding debts, money management and credit rebuilding. Volunteers may offer free tax preparation and filing, and sessions can also help people at clear risk of facing foreclosure.
Free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, is a service that allows trained volunteers to help taxpayers prepare and file their federal and state returns. Your tax forms are completed with guidance by IRS certified staff, and they will be filed at no cost to the client.
The Individual Development Account will help people acquire savings. The state’s IDA program will provide participants with monies to assist in the purchase of a home. Funds, and the matching grants, will help people save money to starting a business or pay for school. It also offers budgeting and other classes.
Many people are also signed up for Money Smart, which offers free basic information concerning credit repair, loans, homeownership, budgeting, retirement savings, and other financial issues. Clients receive intensive case management to help them thru any hardships that may arise.
Connecticut Head Start Program is both a state and federal government funded and fully comprehensive child development program. It helps children from lower income families. Children who enroll will be provided with a learning environment that will help them develop intellectually, socially, physically, and emotionally in a manner appropriate to their stage of development.
The programs main goal is to allow the child as well as the parents to participate in a variety of educational activities, which help them to succeed. Services include education, physical and mental health, nutrition, social services, and family involvement programs. Parents can even be exposed to programs such as job training and financial literacy.
Action for Bridgeport Community Development, Inc. (A.B.C.D.)
Address - 1070 Park Ave
Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604-3400
Telephone number (203) 366-8241
Counties and towns served in the region include Bridgeport, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford, Trumbull, and Easton. Some of what may be offered includes homeless and eviction prevention, which is available in the form of emergency rent help. Or apply for funds to pay heating bills, free food, or utility reconnection assistance. Those who are on the path to self-sufficiency may receive loans for paying security deposits. Other aid is offered too. More on Action for Bridgeport assistance programs.
Bristol Community Organization, Inc.
55 South Street
Bristol, CT 06010
Call (860) 584-2725 for intake
Families from the regions of Bristol, Burlington, Farmington, Plainville, and Plymouth can call this non-profit. Read more.
Community Action Agency of New Haven, Inc.
Main address - 781 Whalley Avenue
New Haven, CT 06515
Call (203) 387-7700
The towns in the region covered are East Haven, Hamden, New Haven, North Haven, West Haven. If you need energy bill assistance, weatherization, eviction prevention or case management, then this non-profit may be able to help. Click here.
Community Action Committee of Danbury, Inc.
Main address - 66 North Street
Danbury, Connecticut 06810
Covers Fairfield and Danbury. A number of low income resources are offered, both short term financial aid and long term self-sufficiency. Read Danbury Community action agency.
Community Renewal Team, Inc.
Main address - 555 Windsor Street
Hartford, CT 06120-2418
Primary telephone: (860) 560-5639
The main cities and town supported are Avon, Bloomfield, Branford, Canton, Chester, Clinton, Cromwell. Deep River, East Granoy, East Haddam, Durham, East Hampton, East Hartford, Enfield, Glastonbury, Granby, Hartford, Killingworth, Marlborough, Middletown, Manchester, Newington, Rocky Hill, Simsbury, South Windsor, Suffield, West Hartford, Wethersfield, and Windsor Locks. Several low income assistance programs and resources are offered. Other services include Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention, home delivered meals, funds for heating bills, and grants or loans to pay rent. They also operate low income and supportive housing. Click CRT community action.
34 Woodland Avenue
Stamford, CT 06902
Telephone number - (203) 352-4844
Supports Darien, Greenwich, and the city of Stamford.
Human Resources Agency of New Britain, Inc.
Address is 180 Clinton Street
New Britain, CT 06053
If you live in Hartford or New Britain call this center. Learn more on programs from Human Resources Agency.
New Opportunities, Inc.
Location is 232 North Elm Street
Waterbury, Connecticut 06702
Telephone number - (203) 575-9799
Towns supported - Barkhamstead, Berlin, Bethlehem, Cheshire, Colebrook, Goshen, Hartland, Harwinton, Litchfield, Meriden, Middlebury, Morns, Naugatuck, New Hartford, Prospect, Southbury, Thomaston, Torrington, Wallingford, Waterbury, Watertown, Winchester, Wolcott, Woodbury, Meriden, Berlin, Worthington, Wallingford. Programs from the community action agency include weatherization, government aid such as LIHEAP or food stamps, and rental and deposit help. Click more details.
Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now, Inc. (NEON)
Main address - 98 South Main Street
South Norwalk, CT 06854
Telephone: (203) 899-2420
Provides assistance in Norwalk, New Canaan, Weston, Westport, and Wilton. Some of what may be offered includes grants from CEAP and food. Other services include self-sufficiency, homeless prevention/rent help, and counseling.
Center is at 30 Elizabeth Street
Derby, Connecticut 06418
Call (203) 736-5420 for information.
Cities and towns are Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Bethany, Milford, Orange, Oxford, Seymour, Woodbridge, and Shelton.
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