Private as well as federal programs are administered by the Fayette County Community Action Agency. The non-profit is focused on tackling poverty in its region of Pennsylvania. They administer resources for basic needs and long term case management.
Some examples of the programs available in Fayette County include WIC for child care and LIHEAP emergency utility bill assistance. They also offer eviction prevention services in the form of rent and security deposit help. All resources are very limited and the agency can’t nearly come close enough to satisfying the demand.
A government funded, food and nutritional assistance program known as WIC is there to provide service to all lower income breastfeeding, pregnant and postpartum women. The Community Action Agency also offer services to infants and children under the age of 5. All participants to this federal program must meet the state of PA WIC requirements in order to be eligible. Working, more moderate income families may still qualify, so they are welcome to apply as well.
WIC is a great program that provides free vouchers and also supplemental nutritious foods to those who need them the most in Fayette County. Not only that, but it will also help by offering Nutritional Education workshops to help your family lead a much healthier lifestyle. Case managers and staff will teach participants how best to improve their overall nutrition.
Trained staff and counselors encourage participants to be more physically active. There are several different distribution sites and WIC clinics located throughout the county of Fayette. The non-profit Community Action is there to provide participants with individualized food vouchers, nutrition counseling, a free health assessment of the participant’s status, counseling, and more. Women can also get referrals to other programs that many new mothers may need after having just given birth, such as SNAP food stamps or information on diaper banks in Pennsylvania.
Vouchers are offered as part of WIC. They can be used at any local grocery store for purchasing a number of food or grocery items which include formula, infant cereal, dairy items, juice, milk, eggs and peanut butter. Or use the voucher to buy dried beans, fruits/vegetables (either fresh, frozen or canned), allowable whole grains, and infant fruits/vegetables. This government mandated program was made to reduce nutritional risks to both the pregnant mother and new child.
Other food assistance is from Farmer’s Market vouchers. These are made available during the summer from the community action center. They can be used for fresh vegetables and can be redeemed with participating area farm vendors. A number of farm stands throughout Fayette County Pennsylvania participate and accept these seasonal FMNP vouchers.
Groceries are offered in Fayette County from the FCCAA Food Bank. This is also a designated warehouse for the local community. Thousands of people get help from it every year.
The food is distributed through a network pantries, churches and congregate soup kitchens. The goal of maintaining the necessary nutrition level within the County is a vital role of the FCCAA non-profit Food Bank. Through partnerships with other area charities, food pantries, the Salvation Army, and free soup kitchens, the FCCAA Food Bank will continue its goal of providing free perishables, food, canned goods and nutrition for those in need.
Once a month the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, also known as CSFP, provides another source of free food assistance to county residents. It is available for seniors 60 and over, women, and children of the ages 5-6. When someone qualified, food boxes full of healthy and nutritious items such as fresh fruits, dairy goods, vegetables, canned foods and cheese are distributed to people who have a need.
The state’s Nutrition Education resource is yet another food program offered in the Fayette area. The Nutrition Education Service is partnered with the Fayette County Community Action Agency Food Bank Program so that participants, including low income families, are taught the best way to get the most from the income they have.
Housing programs, including both rent and help for utilities, is yet another program offered to the income qualified residents of Fayette County.
Studies show that shelter costs (such as rent) are the most important to those who need help paying bills. Low income and working poor families struggle to get extra money for the basic necessities, such as food and transportation, that other take for granted. Many families struggle to keep up with their housing costs, including rent, mortgages, or any home necessary repairs. Some aid and guidance is offered.
Services the Fayette County Community Action Agency offers are a Homelessness Prevention resources. This may have funds for paying overdue or back rent. There is also an emergency Re-Housing Program (HPRP), which assists homeless or near homeless persons with financial grants for short term payments. The money, which may also sometimes be a loan, can be used to pay rent, security deposits, and any arrears.
Another partner is the PA Housing Finance Agency. This was created to protect citizens and homeowners who through no fault of their own cannot make their monthly mortgage payments. By participating in the Rental/Mortgage Assistance Program, low income residents may get help to avoid eviction or foreclosure. The Housing Counseling program from FCCAA is also there to help persons or households who want to rent or purchase a home.
Other rental or mortgage program benefits offered include Case Management, Utility Bill Assistance, and Bridge House which is a transitional living program for those who need emergency shelter until other permanent arrangements are made.
The FCCAA has partnered with other affiliate corporations, such as Threshold Housing Development, to arrange proper housing for applicants. They also plan to provide first-time homebuyers with counseling from certified housing counselors from local non-profits. There are also plans to establish contracts with additional lending institutions so that first-time homebuyers can receive counseling by certified housing counselors.
Utility bill resources are extensive. With FCCAA’s Energy Program, help is there to assist applicants that have completed the Columbia Gas’s CAP, Dollar Energy, or LIPURP applications. The H20 water bill program, which is overseen by Community Action provides help to poor people who need help paying their water bill.
The FCCAA Community Action program is there to better the lives of senior citizens and the elderly that are living within the community. This resource is there to respond to the needs of the areas older community members, which number almost 20% of the population. Some of these services and assistance programs offered are nutrition, socialization, healthcare, specialized services and in home care.
Other resources for older adults include the low cost Meals on Wheels in the county. Staff from Fayette County Community Action have also been very successful in starting multiple low income assistance programs which include Center Services. They are able to continue offer this program with the help of volunteers and donations. The Senior Centers are based in Fairchance, Uniontown, Farmington and Bullskin Township.
The employment program known as Work Ready is there to help TANF recipients within the community. It is there to help those that need support or help with any problems with their employment. Grants are provided through the Work Ready program and are made to get applicants employed and to teach them to be self-sufficient.
FCCAA is there to provide services to clients. This can include information on the employment experience and on-the-job training to low income youth and adults. Resources are offered in partnership with the Fayette County Assistance Office, the Private Industry Council, the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Green Thumb, and a number of regional colleges and local trade schools. Applicants gain experience that will make it easier for them to get hired by learning new skills and habits.
The Fayette County Community Action Agency is also there to help local area residents with their filing income tax returns. The TCE (Tax Counseling for the Elderly) Program and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) work together to provide free tax assistance and advice to people who cannot afford a professional tax service on their own. Volunteers are there to help low to moderate income clients prepare basic tax returns. VITA is also for taxpayers with special needs, including disabled persons, those with low to moderate income, the jobless, and senior taxpayers.
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