The local community action agency, which is the Lima-Allen Council on Community Affairs, helps low income families, with emphasis on those striving to exit poverty. They can help clients receive emergency support, such as for rent or paying heating bills, while gaining meaningful employment over the long term. So there are many resources available.
Another item to note is that LACCA is a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) non-profit. So this means they have a strong focus on assisting both homeowners as well as tenants facing eviction, and they work to prevent homelessness in the county and across Ohio.
The Homeless Crisis Response Plan is both a prevention services and a rapid rehousing program. The preventative component targets tenants or even homeowners who are at risk of losing their primary residence.
The other component, which is known as rehousing, helps clients who are currently homeless and staying in places that are not fit for human habitation. Staff from LACCA assist them by finding suitable, low income housing or apartments to move into.
In determining eligibility for HCRP, LACCA bases their eligibility determinations for financial aid to those facing an imminent hardship. The monetary component of this can include a grant for back rent, foreclosure counseling, or funds for a security deposit.
Operating as HUD Certified Housing Counseling Agency, LACCA prepares prospective homebuyers with the knowledge and resources for buying a first home. They have workshops on pre-purchase counseling, combined with homeownership classes. This is done in an effort to cover every aspect of the purchase process.
The classes offered and workshops use a variety of speakers who address topics such as creating a budget; establishing good credit; performing home repairs and maintenance; pre-purchase; free foreclosure prevention advice, and applying for housing insurance.
Low interest loans and grants may be provided too. AL-DAP is a year-round program from Lima-Allen Council on Community Affairs that provides financial assistance with down payments and closing costs for income qualified Allen County residents. This is only for people who are working to purchase their first homes. In turn, the client is required to attend classes to earn credits that are exchanged for the financial assistance.
Mediation Services are available to all Allen County residents, including tenants and homeowner, who need assistance in finding fair, workable solutions to disputes with their landlord or bank. No lawyers or judges are involved in the mediation process, and the goal is for this option to present an alternative to homelessness or court action.
Electric bill help is provided from the state of Ohio Summer Crisis Program. The non-profit assists low income residents of the greater Lima area with the high costs of electricity during the summer months. Lima-Allen Council on Community Affairs is there to help when running AC units can quickly increase monthly utility payments.
In addition, Summer Crisis may distribute free air conditioners or fans to clients, including seniors. However this will depend on availability. Financial assistance is available for electricity only. The program runs from June 1 through August 31, or as long as funds remain.
The Winter Crisis Program is another solution for heating bills. This provides cash grants as a form of financial assistance to working poor clients in order to avoid utility shut-off and maintain service for their primary heating source. Priority is on seniors as well as the disabled in the non-profits service area.
The Lima-Allen Council on Community Affairs Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program assists elderly and low-income families who are struggling to manage their winter heating bills and are faced with a shut off. Clients who have had their service disconnected or have received a disconnect notice can receive up to $175 (as funding allows).
The state of Ohio PIPP Plus sets up extended payment arrangements with utility and natural gas companies on behalf of low-income households. Under the agreement that all energy companies need to follow, regulated gas and electric companies are required to accept payments based on a percentage of the household's income. This works out to payments for the client of ten percent for electric heating and cooling and also 6 percent of income for gas or electric.
Prescription Assistance in Medicine (RX/AIM) is for uninsured individuals who are unable to pay for necessary prescription drugs on their own. Vouchers and discounts may be used as well as other forms of support. Those with some form of insurance coverage who are unable to pay their co-payments may also qualify for this service.
While the program is limited in scope, each eligible client can receive help with obtaining prescription medication on a once-yearly basis. Clients that are found to be qualified who require monthly maintenance medications are referred to the Patient Assistance Programs that are operated directly by the pharmaceutical companies. Staff from community action is available to assist with applications, research medications and forward them to the companies.
Lima-Allen Council on Community Affairs Child Development Services’ are known as Head Start and Early Head Start respectively. They are federal funded, and provide comprehensive educational, nutritional, physical, dental and emotional child development programming for low-income Allen County children and their families.
As part of this service, Early Head Start partners with two area child care centers to offer services that are enhanced by classes to children from birth to three years. Both Head Start and Early Head Start offer daily opportunities for children to grow, with the goal of preparing them to be successful when they enter school. Additionally, the non-profit will make referrals to needed supportive services in the community for families and parents in need.
Job placement is what Rise-Up offers. This is a free employment program that helps applicants making the transition from welfare to life sustaining wages at work. This is accomplished through a combination of training, workshops, and supportive services that prepare clients to enter the world of full time employment and become self-sufficient.
For more information, the Lima/Allen Council on Community Affairs is located at 540 S. Central Ave., Lima, OH 45804. Call 419-227-2586.
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