Most of the aid from Community Action Agency of Frederick County is in the form of referrals to local government programs. For example, very low income, unemployed, and those facing poverty may be able to get help from either state of federal government benefits, such as those below.
SNAP, which is known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, is one of the more widely known entitlements. This is now the name for the old Food Stamps Program, which is the most important state of Maryland and nationwide hunger-fighting solution.
Through a contract between FCAA and the Department of Public Health, the case managers from the community action agency can provide eligible low-income residents with information. They can learn about how to enroll and other benefits in regard to SNAP. If they are able to enroll, participants will receive a voucher to help them buy their groceries at a local retailer.
In partnership with Frederick County social service and faith-based organizations throughout the region, the FCAA Emergency Food Program organizes and directs distribution to pantries, soup kitchens, and local shelters within the region.
In addition to helping to feed the hungry, the community action agency ensures that each pantry meets state and federal government regulations. They also provide assistance as the result of food donations that are held across the county. Please note that they do not actually distribute emergency food, but case managers provide referrals to one of the partnering sites.
FCAA administers a number of programs to assist low-income Frederick County residents with managing high heating bills and other utility costs. They do this by either providing actual repairs and energy-efficient products or through direct financial assistance. Some of these programs include the following:
Weatherization, or WAP, helps low-income homeowners in Frederick County. There may also be services for renters as well. The aid provided will help them reduce high fuel bills, by furnishing energy-efficient home repairs and alterations.
The process begins with the agency determining what types of repairs or alterations are necessary to the home. The work is then carried out by a fully training contractor, and can include caulking, weather stripping, window and/or door repairs, adding in pipe wrapping, installation of energy-efficient light bulbs, installation in attics, floors, and walls; and tuning up gas or oil heaters.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides crisis grants for Frederick County residents experiencing heating emergencies. LIHEAP is run by the Maryland Department of Public Welfare. The priority is for a household with a disabled member or senior resident. For information, or to receive an application, please contact your local county assistance office.
Those residents that are able to enroll can either receive a credit on their account, or a grant to apply towards the payment of their utility bill. While this is available year round, the application period will usually begin during the fall months.
Several different housing services are run for homeowners, whether they are new buyers or facing a foreclosure on their home. Housing Counseling and Homebuyer Education Services can provide information on taking out a low interest rate mortgage. There are also resources in Frederick County that can counsel someone facing foreclosure.
Seniors can learn about a few of the options available to them as well. Some of them include reverse mortgages. This will allow someone that outright owns their home, or a majority of it, to take out cash that they can use for any number of expenses. or even just to pay their weekly bills.
The agencies Self-Sufficiency Case Management Program helps low-income residents with determining barriers to overcome and what is needed to do so. It will then provide options for meeting family goals and working toward becoming financially self-sufficient. The program assists with all needs, from clothing to food and housing. Specific services include the following:
Individual or Family Needs Assessment will offer information needed to address issues and barriers to achieving self-sufficiency. It is combined with monitoring and ongoing advice.
The Individual Development Account services, also known as IDA, offers an opportunity for eligible low-income individuals to establish savings accounts. This is done so with the goal of building assets or furthering education. Every dollar deposited by the participant is matched with additional dollars from the county. Note that any matching funds are furnished through federal and private grants, so the program scope is limited.
The Frederick Community Action Volunteer Income Tax Assistance preparation servicefurnishes free federal and state of Maryland tax preparation, secure electronic filing, and direct deposit to taxpayers whose incomes are within guidelines. All returns are prepared by IRS-trained and certified volunteers.
The location is Frederick Community Action Agency, 100 South Market Street, Frederick, Maryland 21701, telephone number (301) 600-1506.
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