Programs and resources from your local community action agency can help individuals make it through a difficult period. Qualified families can receive financial help from emergency grants or government and private aid programs. In addition, the applicant will work with a case manager on addressing the cause of the hardship. This can include enrolling in a job program, increasing your education level, and taking other steps for stabilization.
A focus of the Maine agencies is also on helping prevent homelessness in the state as well as providing jobs and overall self-sufficiency. Funds may be offered for paying heating, energy bills and other housing costs. If you are struggling, unemployed, or need guidance then a community action agency may be able to assist.
Employment and Training Services are offered by community action agencies in Maine. The centers can assist job seekers who are looking for their first job or a better job! The unemployed can look into services too. Assistance offered includes skill assessment, career guidance, advice on where and how to look for a job, and information on training classes and workshops, including occupational skills training.
Programs are offered for youth, eligible adults or dislocated workers. The centers provide quality information to the general public about companies that are hiring and available jobs. Also get referrals to other public and private service agencies. Click more details.
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is the main federal government funded employment program that is also offered in Maine from one stop job centers. Some of the resources offered are below.
Maine Job Start can distribute reasonable priced loans of up to $10,000 to low and moderate-income residents to start or expand a small business. In addition, non-profits will also coordinate management training and technical assistance.
Head Start is a fully comprehensive preschool development program for children under the age of 5. Services are offered to children from low income families. The program implements an approach to helping a student learn with a focus on school readiness in the areas of literacy, math, science and language. Parents will also need to take part, as they are a child's first and most important teacher.
Some of the other services offered by Head Start in Maine include free dental, vision, hearing, nutritional, and developmental screenings. Meals and snacks are also provided to individuals attending the program. Disabled children can join, and there is a home teaching component as well.
Affordable child care and after school programs can be arranged by community action agencies. The Child Care is offered for children from infancy to six years of age whose parents are in training, employed, or aggressively seeking employment. The centers will ensure developmentally appropriate education programs are designed for infants, toddlers or preschoolers. Breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack are provided. Most centers will charge fees, and they will be set based on a sliding fee scale according to the applicant’s income and family size.
After School Care is offered for children from six to twelve years of age. Afternoon snacks are provided, it provides guidance to children and an opportunity to do homework, relax, and socialize with peers.
Maine Families Program will coordinate caring and professional home visits for parents. Case workers will partner with individuals to access the resources and information that can support the physical and emotional health of your baby and your entire family. Get help with child health care, breastfeeding/formula feeding, household safety, nutrition, and more.
Weatherization is the state of Maine’s, and the federal governments, primary energy conservation program. The government will purchase and install different types of energy conservation materials for income-eligible homeowners. All improvements will help the client save money on their bills.
Stabilizing the family and helping people overcome barriers is a goal of every community action agency. Case Managers will work with clients to identify and address any needs they have, whether it is medical, social, educational, or other needs. Case management specialists will work with families in developing and maintaining crisis programs, individualized service plans, advocate on their behalf, and help them access community services and other government resources.
Community Outreach can provide clients with referral and information. Counselors will advocate on your behalf. Get help in applying for emergency rental assistance, utilities, heat, or food. Outreach workers can also help people set and meet long-term goals like establishing or repairing your credit, building assets, or managing your budget. They will coordinate the knowledge and assistance people need in order to lead healthy and productive lives.
Family Development / Case Management is a model of service that has been developed over several years. It focuses on the entire family. It encourages teamwork between family, the agency, and community resources. A comprehensive range of activities can be offered by your community action center, and the programs will assist participating families and help them achieve self-sufficiency goals.
Most agencies also provide case management services to help senior citizens and the elderly live independently in their homes. Case managers can help seniors identify their needs and access services, develop resources to maintain independent living and offer vital participation in their communities.
The Central Heating Improvement Program is another state resource. As funding allows, it can provide up to $3000 in heating system improvements, such as burner retrofit, cleaning, tuning, evaluation, repair, and replacement and conversion to income-eligible households. Grants can be used to repair or replace central heating systems that serve low-income households. A focus is on dangerous, malfunctioning or inoperable heating systems that pose a threat to safety or health.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program, or TEFAP, coordinates the distribution of USDA Surplus Commodity Food through pantries and other hunger-prevention organizations. Many food pantries will have other items such as perishable foodstuff or emergency boxes. Community agencies can provide a referral to those centers.
The federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program distributes financial assistance and grants to households. Funds will help them pay winter energy bills. The LIHEAP program is not intended to pay for all heating costs, just a portion of your expense. An Energy Crisis Intervention Program is also administered, and this can coordinate emergency fuel delivery or help resolve an electrical disconnect emergency. Often offered at the same time is the Maine LIAP program, which is a statewide resource that makes LIHEAP-qualified customers electricity more affordable by offering discounts and reduced rates. You can apply for all of these at a community action agency, or call your utility company.
The Homelessness Prevention Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) provides struggling renters/tenants with case management and possibly grants. Any aid is offered to those who are experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness, evictions, or foreclosures. Case managers from local non-profits will work to identify and access appropriate resources and stable housing for families. Other services in Maine include information and referral to supportive mental health centers, job programs, health access, or substance abuse prevention.
Transitional Housing may be offered, with the goal of moving people toward greater independence. The Maine Family Independence Program combines affordable housing and case management. Many families live in private or public apartments. While in these centers, clients will need to work toward the achievement of self-defined goals and employment. Outreach staff act as advisors, and encourage and support families in transition. The goal of any housing program is to help you and your family achieve independence and financial stability.
Home Repair and Rehabilitation is for low income and/or senior homeowners. The government can provide, through your local community agency, a grant or low-interest loan that needs to be used for the repair of a home. Money can be used to pay for an improvement such as septic system repair or replacement, safety issues, and other support. It can make homes safe and accessible.
A similar offering is the Maine Home Repair Network. It can help income eligible homeowners seeking grant funds to repair safety and health issues in the home as well as septic repairs. The program can also put into place full replacement loans. It may have home repair grants as well for the elderly or so called deferred forgivable loans. Funds can pay for well and septic systems, structural repairs, heating and electrical system, Roof or chimney, new siding, or even the repair or replacement of windows and doors.
Apply for formula, food, and nutrition from the Women, Infants & Children Nutrition (WIC) program. It is paid for by the federal government and it offers supplemental food for pregnant and post-partum women, infants, and children up to the age of five. WIC participants in Maine receive vouchers that can allow them to buy food including fruit juice, milk, cereals, infant formula, cheese, peanut butter, tuna, and beans. A nutritional counseling component is also offered to post-partum women in meeting their breastfeeding goals.
IDA, or Family Development Accounts, are matching savings accounts. Low-income families who save money will receive a grant from the state. All funds need to be used for the purchase of assets, such as career training, post secondary education, a home, or small business.
The VITA Tax Program will offer free tax preparation services and advice on benefits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. IRS trained volunteers will work with clients on income tax return preparation and e-filing, and all of this is offered at no cost.
Many agencies can provide information and guidance on Reverse Mortgages for Senior Citizens. This is part of the housing counseling services that locations offer. In short, reverse mortgages allow homeowners to utilize equity in their home without having to make payments on the mortgage.
Housing Counseling and Eviction Prevention is offered for at-risk individuals and families as well as individuals who are currently homeless. Clients can get referrals to resources in Maine or possibly even emergency funds for paying rent or mortgage. Some of the services provided include budgeting assistance, housing counseling service, referral and advocacy, and ongoing case management. If available, financial assistance can provide for the payment of security deposits, fuel, utility payments, rent and possibly other daily living emergencies.
Homebuyer education workshops and classes can help people buy a home, and also ensure that individuals have the knowledge and tools to retain and maintain their homes over the years. So this includes foreclosure prevention and first time buying programs.
Individuals can sign up for pre-purchasing counseling, which is one-on-one support and guidance for in the areas of mortgage issuance, budgeting, financing solutions, and credit repair.
Current homeowners can sign up for post-purchase counseling at a local non-profit community action agency. Centers can provide one-on-one counseling regarding the responsibilities and also the opportunities that come with being a homeowner. These sessions cover things like mortgage delinquency, debt management, budgeting, home repairs, tax benefits and free foreclosure prevention.
Aroostook County Action Program, Inc.
Mailing address - P.O. Box 1116
Presque Isle, Maine 04769-1116
Telephone number - (207) 764-3721
Community Concepts, Inc.
P.O. Box 278
South Paris, ME 04281
Telephone: (207) 743-7716
Covers the counties of Androscoggin, Oxford, Franklin and Somerset
Kennebec Valley Community Action Program
97 Water Street
Waterville, ME 04901-6339
Low income assistance programs are offered for Kennebec and Somerset. Examples of services offered include low income energy bill assistance (LIHEAP), rent and housing counseling, and also programs for children, such as Head Start. Read more.
Midcoast Maine Community Action
Location - 34 Wing Farm Parkway
Bath, Maine 04530
Call (207) 442-7963 for information
Counties - Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Part of Cumberland
262 Harlow Street
Bangor, ME 04402-1162
Call (207) 973-3500
Grants and case management is offered for Knox, Lincoln, Penobscot, and Piscataquis County.
The Opportunity Alliance
50 Lydia Lane
South Portland, ME 04106
Telephone: (207) 553-5800
The primary non-profit community action agency for Cumberland County Maine. Get help in an emergency, and also explore job training and employment services.
Waldo Community Action Partners
P.O. Box 130
Belfast, ME 04915-0130
Call (207) 338-6809
Washington-Hancock Community Agency
Mailing address - P.O. Box 299
Ellsworth, Maine 04605
Dial (207) 546-7544 x 312 for intake
Supports both Hancock and Washington County.
Western Maine Community Action, Inc.
20-A Church Street
East Wilton, ME 04234
Call - (207) 645-3764
Food assistance, energy conservation/weatherization, and other resources are offered for the working poor in Franklin, Oxford, and Androscoggin.
York County Community Action Corporation
6 Spruce Street, P.O. Box 72
Sanford, Maine 04073
Primary phone - (207) 324-5762
A leading non-profit for southern Maine. Outreach services can arrange for emergency financial aid for utility bills, rent, food, or paying security deposits. The agency also offers Head Start as well as the weatherization program. Or inquire into loan programs for basic needs, including homeownership workshops. Click more information.
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