Households with a very low income in Denton County, as well as the disabled and senior citizens, can turn to the Denton County Department of Human Services for aid. The organization processes applications for many state of Texas and Federal government public assistance programs, such as CEAP for paying utility bills, SNAP food stamps, grants from TANF, and more. Various income limits are in place, and many are tied to government poverty guidelines.
The City of Denton spearheads several efforts to eliminate homelessness and stop evictions in the region. Many rely on funds from HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) as well as the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. These government grants also help the City of Denton collaborate with local agencies, including Denton County Friends of the Family, Christian Community Action, Giving HOPE Inc. and Salvation Army to operate rapid re-housing services, provide emergency rental assistance, street outreach initiatives, and emergency shelters.
Furthermore, the City of Denton works in tandem with the DCHC - Denton County Homeless Coalition to address the needs of currently homeless persons or even entire families. They can also support individuals in danger of becoming evicted or maybe losing their home to foreclosure. DCHC uses information from non-profit providers and data collected from surveys of the homeless population to continually improve services for the county. Representatives from nonprofit agencies, Denton County cities and school districts, as well as other community members all work together on the program.
While limited, emergency financial assistance is available to low-income and impoverished residents of Denton County Texas. The human services department provides cash and public aid on a short-term basis to those that qualify. The conditions will be contingent upon clients obtaining employment, returning to work, participating in job training or finding support from other services or nonprofit agencies.
Using government grants and funds from the public, the emergency assistance includes help with rent payments and security deposits for the homeless, financial aid for paying utility bills to prevent disconnections, and transportation to job interviews or medical appointments. The Department of Human Services will also try to offer free or low-cost food and vouchers, which can be provided as well.
Struggling families can turn to the main public aid program for the very low income. This is TANF, or the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. It is intended for poverty-stricken households with children 18 years of age and younger.
Based on federal allotments, TANF offers monthly cash payments for buying food, paying for housing costs, utility and phone bills, clothing, furniture, transportation, home supplies, medical items not paid for by Medicaid, and other critical basic needs. In order to determine TANF eligibility, the social workers from the county’s department of human services assesses families’ saving, assets, income level and even such obligations as childcare expenses.
Children’s Medicaid, or CHIP, provides health coverage for children from indigent families. The low cost insurance program covers the costs of vaccines, prescriptions, doctor visits, standard lab tests and X-rays, glasses, as well as hospital and dental care. The Denton County human services department also supports children from low to moderate income families with disabilities or enduring illnesses, and these residents may qualify for special services as well.
WIC, or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, helps low-income pregnant women, new mothers and young children lead healthy lifestyles. Not only may there be free baby formula, but the Texas WIC program also offers education and counseling regarding nutrition. This will teach people how to prepare healthy foods, and there is also assistance with obtaining healthcare for newborns.
Low-income households in Denton County can meet the cost of energy by making use of the nation’s largest public benefit, which is the state of Texas Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). This program emphasizes support for senior citizens and/or disabled households by paying up to four of the highest bills for home heating and cooling during the year.
Department of Human Services, working with community action agencies on CEAP, also provides help during severe weather, energy-related crises or supply shortages. Moreover, the utility bill assistance program offers education to encourage consumers to control energy costs.
Homeowners with low- or moderate-income, including families with a disabled member, can perform major repairs to their residence through the home improvement program. Under this resource, homes can be rehabilitated or reconstructed by owners who could not afford to do so otherwise. Call (940) 349-7726 for more information.
Denton County Department of Human Services operates from several offices located throughout its service territory, and staff can help with applying for these public aid programs or offer other support.
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