Services offered to low income families in Kansas from community action agencies can help them deal with a short term crisis and gain long term stability. Programs are offered for children, seniors, the unemployed, entire families, and others.
The type of assistance programs and availability of resources will vary based on location. Some examples of what may offered to qualified families can include homeless prevention, emergency food, mortgage counseling, and importantly job training and employment services.
Homeless Prevention may be offered to people on the verge of eviction or foreclosure. Work with a case manager on regaining self-sufficiency or transitioning into more affordable housing. Non-profit agencies may be able to provide assistance with paying rent and utility deposits. While not as common, financial assistance may be available for energy bills when the disconnection of your utilities would otherwise result in eviction and homelessness.
Christmas assistance may be offered for individuals, children and families who are in need of assistance during the holidays. Many local companies, churches in Kansas, service clubs, families and individuals sponsor needy families and children by giving them item to be used for a meal or gifts. Many children receive coats, gifts, and more from Christmas programs offered by community agencies and groups like the Salvation Army.
The Weatherization Program can help a target population in Kansas consisting of the elderly, handicapped and low-income families with children. It will install, for free, energy saving improvements in homes. Residents will benefit by saving hundreds of dollars per year on their energy and heating bills. It can provide insulation, furnace tune ups, caulking, and more.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program, also known as TEFAP, can give free food and groceries to low income and working poor households throughout Kansas. The foods distributed may include peanut butter, canned vegetables, fruit, juice, meat, pasta, cereal, and nonfat dry milk. Many seniors and unemployed benefit from this food as well. Each shipment from a pantry or non-profit agency provides a minimum of four and a maximum of ten foods per household.
Rental assistance is offered to low income families from the section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. It enables people to obtain affordable, quality housing with private landlords. Many Public Housing Agency’s (PHA) in Kansas partner with regional community action agencies to provide information or process applications.
General case management is offered from Family Network Specialists. The agency will work with people towards self-sufficiency. As funding allows, specialists also provide emergency services such as rent or utility bill assistance. The Family Network Specialists also coordinates with their local communities to provide basic needs such as holiday needs or school supplies.
Your local community action agency will works one-on-one with individuals and families based on the belief that given adequate guidance, opportunity, and support people desire to and can achieve economic self-sufficiency and personal growth. Look into resources such as Child Care, Grants for Housing Costs, Transportation/Mobility. Legal Issues and other aid.
The federal and state Low Income Energy Assistance Program is a federal government funded program that helps eligible low income and working poor households pay a portion of their home energy costs. It is also available for qualified seniors and disabled. LIHEAP will provide a one-time per year cash grant benefit for paying bills.
Elderly Services are available for Kansas residents who are at least 60 years of age or older. Programs can help them better maintain their health, independence, and safety. Senior citizens can gain access to durable medical equipment loans, commodity delivery programs, and liquid nutrition.
Latino Family Development is available at some community action agency centers. Local offices have developed and implemented services such as the Latino Family Development Program as a support and educational resource oriented toward families and the new Latino Immigrant population in Kansas. Resources can include instruction in Basic English for purposes of employment, conversation, and workshops can also help with facilitating the acculturation process to the American society.
Head Start is the nations and the state of Kansas leading child development program. It provides children from low income families with home based educational and health care services, and parents can also benefit from social services and components of Head Start.
Services are available for infants, prenatal women, and children through kindergarten age, or up to age 5. Early Head Start is the name of the program for children who range in birth to age 3. There are a number of conditions in place that need to be met, including income thresholds. Kansas does allow children from families receiving public assistance (TANF or SSI) to be eligible regardless of family income.
The program offers low-income families, parents and children comprehensive and intentional support which is designed to promote healthy growth and development, self sufficiency, and success for future experiences. Services are offered in Kansas through preschool, child care and/or home visitation. Highly trained staff and teachers offer comprehensive programming in the following areas, including Social Services Support, Health, Dental, Parent Education/Involvement, Nutrition, Transitions, Education, and Disability Support.
Free tax preparation and filing may be offered as part of a service known as VITA. This is offered in cooperation with AARP Tax Aide during the tax season. Some services may be offered year round, and this is more support for ongoing questions or concerns regarding tax credits and/or returns in general.
The Kansas Individual Development Account is also referred to as the CA$H program by some community action agencies. It was created to improve an individual’s economic situation and instill within the client a long-term savings behavior. Participants commit to saving a pre-determined amount of money each month during the program, and a matching grant will be provided. The eligible assets and savings can be used for first time home purchase, starting a small business or paying for secondary education. As part of this service individuals will need to attend financial education, save a minimum dollar amount, and complete life-skills workshops.
The Family Self-Sufficiency program in Kansas is funded through the section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program (HCV). While it is voluntary, it is available for all HCV participants.
The underlying reason FSS was created was based on the belief that struggling or low income families can and want to become independent of the government welfare system. So they will work with a case manager to develop and follow a personalized plan that was designed to assist the family in achieving goals that they have set for themselves.
Community action agencies will help people achieve goals, and specialists will set up an individual case management program that may include some of the following. Clients can sign up for education, personal finance (budgeting), health needs, parental counseling, housing, job training programs and employment. As part of this, non-profits can help people meet their basic needs such as food, rent, housing and utilities. Participants will also receive long term ongoing support and guidance.
Attending self-sufficiency will require the head of the household to be actively seeking full-time employment. They can either be attending school full-time or part-time (but also working part time). Or some job training may qualify applicants. The family can’t be receiving cash assistance during the last year. Other conditions are in place too, including the family must be making measurable strides toward reaching their short-term goals and self-defined goals.
Information on Social Services may be offered. Consumers can receive details on Emergency Financial Assistance, Housing Services, Commodities, Case Management, and Employment Services.
Strong money management skills are important to self-sufficiency. Individuals benefit from an orientation of basic financial literacy, and this is particularly true for people who have been struggling. Poor credit scores can result in denial of credit for cars, homes and other major purchases, and can even stop someone from getting a job. Classes and workshops offered include professional speakers from the community plus interactive projects to reinforce learning. They can cover issues such as making a budget, understanding and building credit, avoiding financial scams and traps, and more.
Assistance with purchasing a home may be offered by housing counselors and community action agencies. In order to help people prepare for a home purchase, counselors will assist individuals in understanding credit, accessing and comparing loan products, and planning finances. If needed, potential homebuyers will be offered assistance with establishing and improving credit scores. Or get help with applying for special loan or grant programs that may available in Kansas or nationwide. Counselors work with clients on achieving the goal of homeownership.
City of Wichita Career Development Division
Main address is 444 E. William
Wichita, Kansas 67202
Telephone: (316) 337-9444
This non-profit supports all of Sedgwick County. It is one of the leading community action agencies in the state. Resources offered can include heating bill grants, weatherization, food, and of course access to job training.
Community Action, Inc.
1000 SE Hancock Street
Topeka, KS 66607-1578
Counties supported are Clay, Geary, McPherson, Dickinson, Ottawa, Saline, Wabaunsee, and Shawnee. Assistance includes eviction prevention in the form of emergency rent help or utility bill assistance. The homeless may look into funds to pay a security deposit or moving expenses. Other services in the Topeka Region include loans for home repairs, Head Start, and government aid such as SNAP food stamps. Continue on Topeka Community Action assistance.
Center location is 1320 South Ash
Ottawa, Kansas 66067-0040
Telephone number is (785) 242-7450
Counties include Anderson, Douglas, Franklin, Coffey, Johnson, Lyon, Miami, Osage, and Morris
Economic Opportunity Foundation, Inc. of Wyandotte County
1542 Minnesota Avenue
Kansas City, KS 66102-4512
Employment Services, a Housing Department, and other programs are for low income and/or homeless residents. Read more.
Harvest America Corporation
Location is 155 South 18th Street, Suite 120
Kansas City, KS 66102-5644
Call (913) 342-2121 for intake
Offers assistance in counties of Barton, Finney, Ford, Grant, Ellis, Seward, Sherman, South Wyandotte, and Wichita Kansas. Some of the programs administered include free food, heating bill assistance, and referrals to government benefits and resources. Click here.
Mid-Kansas Community Action Program, Inc.
Main address - 730 Cliff Drive
Augusta, Kansas 67010
Telephone: (316) 775-3000
Provides assistance, government grants, Head Start and more in the counties of Butler, Chase, Cowley, Greenwood, Harper, Harvey, Kingman, Marion, Reno, and Sumner. Career counseling and employment services are offered to those looking for a new job or a higher income. Continue.
Northeast Kansas Community Action Program (NEK-CAP), Inc.
Mailing address - P.O. Box 380
Hiawatha, KS 66434-0380
Primary phone - (785) 742-2222
Regions and counties include - Atchison, Brown, Doniphan, Jackson, Jefferson, Leavenworth, Marshall, Nemaha, Pottawatomie, and Riley. Qualified individuals can look into resources such as weatherization or rent help from section 8 vouchers. Ongoing case management is provided too. More on Community Action programs Northeast Kansas.
Southeast Kansas Community Action Program, Inc. (SEK-CAP, Inc.)
Location is 401 N. Sinnet
Girard, Kansas 66743
Call (620) 724-8204 for intake
The southeastern part of the state is covered, including regions of Allen, Bourbon, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Crawford, Elk, Labette, Linn, Montgomery, Neosho, Wilson and Woodson County. Read Southeast community action agency.