Non-profit community action agencies across Idaho are focused on helping people overcome poverty and can also assist with short term needs. Several centers are located across the state and listed below, and they offer qualified low income individuals, seniors, the unemployed and others with a number of services. Contact an agency to apply for government grants for paying bills, job training, career counseling and more.
Each agency has limited resources and restrictions in place. Some of the primary programs available in Idaho are below, but they will vary. If the center can't meet your needs then a case manager will try to refer the individual to other resources in the state.
The Weatherization Assistance Program is offered to income-eligible families in Idaho. It has been proven to be successful in helping homeowners save money on their cooling and heating bills. A focus of the program is on senior citizens, people with disabilities and families with young children. It is free to those who qualify and will improve the energy efficiency of their homes. A secondary benefit is that weatherization may also resolve some minor health and safety concerns.
The community action agency oversees this service using highly trained contractors. Assistance can include replacing a furnace or heating system. Weatherization may also add additional insulation to the home. Caulking, lighting, and other improvements can also be made to homes in Idaho.
Homeless assistance is available across Idaho. Caseworkers from a community action agency can assist homeless individuals, people facing eviction and they may even support the entire family. The process will require an initial assessment to occur. This will help determine their needs, whether it is emergency rental assistance or access to a shelter.
Grants and funds can be issued for a number of needs. Money can assist homeless families and individuals with obtaining documentation for school or employment. Funding from your community agency may also pay for tools or special clothing needed for work. Other financial aid in Idaho may include free gasoline vouchers and funds for minor car repairs.
When moving into a new home or apartment, a community action agency may be able to help with paying the first month’s rent. In addition, all clients will be enrolled into the Family Development Program where they will attend budgeting and credit repair workshops.
Heating bill and energy assistance is available from the federal government LIHEAP program. Community action agencies process applications for the program. To qualified applicants it will provide a one-time cash grant benefit towards their utility costs. All of the money will be used to pay for and provide heat in the home during the cold Idaho winter. It can pay for natural gas, electricity, wood, propane and heating oil as well.
Another utility type program is the Idaho Telephone Service Assistance Program, or ITSAP. This can pay for installation costs for residential basic telephone service or it may pay a portion of your monthly bill. Any financial assistance offered will be minimal.
While not as common, some community action agencies may offer basic health care from programs such as Community Family Clinic (or Clínica Communitaria Familiar). This is for Idaho migrant and seasonal farm workers, the uninsured, and their families. Some of what may be addressed includes Well Child Exams, Annual Physical Exams, Women's Health Care, Colds, Flu, Sinus Infections, and even Dental Care.
Some agencies may operate food banks or nutrition programs. These are often available in partnership with other non-profits such as the Salvation Army. Receive groceries or linkages to other feeding programs. Often times a community action agency may have an emergency food box too.
While resources will vary, a pantry may have perishable food items such as deli items, breads, salads, milk and dairy products. Other goods may include pastries, fruits, vegetables and fresh produce. Any pantries in Idaho are only intended to help stretch a families dollars and food stamps on a regular basis and they are not long term solutions. The agencies will often coordinate services with other Idaho soup kitchens, service providers and even churches.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is often run by the Community Action Partnership. Surplus government commodities are supplied to pantries across Idaho. Boxes that are distributed may contain USDA commodities, day old bread products, and donated food. Your local agency will also generally participate in community food drives and fund raisers.
Other food assistance programs offered, some in partnership with the state of Idaho or non-profits, include Meals On Wheels (see below), Nutrition Education, and cooking workshops. The goal is to try to prevent anyone in Idaho from going hungry.
The homebound elderly, senior citizens and/or disabled individuals may receive assistance from the Meals on Wheels program. A huge benefit of this program is that it will provide clients with a connection to the outside community. This also includes a daily “check-in” to ensure client safety and well-being. So Meals on Wheels can not only provide essential food and other crucial services, it offers companionship to the vulnerable in Idaho.
Community Outreach, Referrals and Assistance helps the non-profit determine clients’ eligibility for assistance. It will also assess their needs and the agency then works to meet those basic needs through financial assistance programs or through referrals to other government run or community-based programs. Basically your local community action agency is the so called “springboard” for low-income members of the entire Idaho community. A key goal is to help people overcome and leave poverty.
Seasonal and Migrant Head Start is for children from low income families and their parents may even benefit too. This federal government funded program offers a comprehensive service program. It includes, but is not limited to, Early Childhood Education, Nutrition, Workshops, and Health Wellness. It is offered for children up to five years of age.
The Idaho Head Start program will help children grow mentally, socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically. Your agency will arrange for nutrition services that provide healthy meals and snacks for all students. Basic medical care and health services are available that can help pay for medical and dental needs and bills. This is offered when a child needs some form of medical treatment and is not covered by health insurance. Head Start will also support disabled children in Idaho. Parents may benefit from the social services that are arranged by the community action agency, as it is critical for parents to take a leading role in their child's development.
Training and Employment programs can help clients, including farmworkers, increase their skills and employability. This can include trade, educational, and professional skills. Idaho community action agencies offer access to the Workforce Investment Act, High School Equivalency, National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP), and Youth Programs.
GED tutoring programs are available. It can help students increase their education and skillset. After the classes ideally students will have immediate success, increasing the likelihood of completion of the GED which will hopefully lead to a better and higher income job.
General Family Development and Case Management is offered at almost all agencies. It will focus on the family’s strengths. Case managers will work with clients to broaden their base skills, help them gain or retain meaningful work and enhance their ability to be self-sufficient. As needed, vouchers and referrals to other non-profit and government programs will be issued to assist participants.
All clients of the case management services will meet on a regular basis with a Family Development Specialist. You will create a plan and goals. Participants are expected to follow the plans agreed to by the community action agency and also attend all scheduled meetings and workshops. Many workshops and sessions focus on employment assistance, financial literacy, and similar issues.
Some senior programs may be run too, often with the local Idaho Agency on Aging center. Services offered can include Caregiver Support. This will help those individuals that are caring for their loved ones and it will provide them with information and referrals.
Health and Dental care may be arranged for. Most agencies offer several resources for this need. The state of Idaho or federal government will also have programs that may help to cover the cost of medical and/or dental bills, and this can even include resources such as Medicare.
Many seniors also need affordable legal aid. So non-profit law firms partner with community action agencies to offer advice, representation and counseling. This is offered by a paralegal or an attorney, often through Idaho Legal Aid.
Last, but not least, low cost housing may be offered for persons who are 62 or over or handicapped. This is also an option for the disabled in Idaho. All applicants need to meet low income and tenant selection criteria.
Community Action Partnership (Lewiston)
124 New 6th Street
Lewiston, Idaho 83501
Telephone number is (208) 746-3351
Counties supported are Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Kootenai, Latah, Idaho, Lewis, Nez Perce, and Shoshone. Low income families can explore resources, including housing assistance and low interest loans. There may be funds for paying rent or a security deposit. Other services include weatherization and applications to government benefits such as food stamps. Read more.
Community Council of Idaho
Main address is 317 Happy Day Blvd., Ste. 250
Caldwell, ID 83628
This location covers the entire state and is the leading non-profit.
Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership (EICAP)
Idaho Falls, ID 83405
Phone number is (208) 522-5391
Assistance is offered for low income families in Bonneville, Bingham, Butte, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Lemhi, Jefferson, Madison, and Teton. Some of what may be offered includes Head Start, food assistance, and career counseling services.
EL-ADA Community Action Partnership
Main address is 701 E 44th Street, #1
Garden City, Idaho 83714
Dial (208) 377-0700 for intake
Covers Ada and Elmore. Apply for energy bill assistance, job training, and much more. This is a leading community action center for Idaho, and numerous financial aid programs and referrals may be available. Click more information.
South Central Community Action Partnership, Inc.
Twin Falls, ID 83303-0531
Call (208) 733-9351
Counties - Blaine, Camas, Twin Falls, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, and Minidoka.
Southeastern Idaho Community Action Agency (SEICAA)
Address is 641 N. 8th Avenue
Pocatello, ID 83201
Call (208) 232-1114
Low income families in the following regions should call this non-profit. Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida, or Power County. The non-profit administers several programs in Idaho, including grants for heating bill from Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, free food including Meals on Wheels, job training and other financial aid. More on community action programs Southeastern Idaho.
Western Idaho Community Action Partnership
315 South Main Street
Payette, Idaho 83661
Counties - Adams, Boise, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley, Washington, Asotin