Serving as both the regional community action agency and offering public assistance as well, Human Services of Marion County can help the less fortunate. The agency will assist by offering food and other resources to residents of the county, including funds for back rent or paying heating bills. Services are available for the disabled, seniors, unemployed, and others in Marion County, such as veterans.
The Human Services Division offers and provides help with energy and utility costs. They offer education, applications to LIHEAP and appropriate weatherization of homes for low-income, eligible families. Through the service, payments can be made directly on behalf of the client to their respective utility or energy account as deemed appropriate.
The region's primary low income energy assistance program is subdivided into 6 different programs based on individual needs of the household, and more information is below.
The largest of the six programs is LIHEAP, and this provides financial reprieve in the form of cash grants for low income families in Salem Oregon and other towns with regard to their heating or utility bills. The program is seasonally based and services for colder weather and/or winter months is available based on government funding levels.
Since funding is limited, requirements and criteria that need to be met by Marion County families in order to be eligible for the program includes households with a permanently disabled member, a young child or persons 60 years of age and older. Any public assistance is distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, and services are currently available throughout Salem and the entire county.
Home energy conservation services are provided throughout the county in a partnership between the Marion County Human Services Commission and the Housing Department. Assessments are made to determine weatherization needs of each household and when needed, insulation of windows, floors and sealing heating ducts are performed. In order to qualify for this program, Marion County renters and homeowners (including owners of mobile homes) need to show their total household income is at or below 60% of the state of Oregon Median Income.
Energy Education programs are another component available from Human Services Division. These are designed to teach working poor households how to use less energy and lower their utility bills. Four different energy educations are currently available via Human Services.
EWEB Customer Care Plus, or ECCP, is available to income eligible clients. It offers education and a kit full of energy saving devices. This program also addresses applications for financial assistance with bills, budgeting of funds, access to other non-profit community resources and referrals for eligible clients for possible weatherization of their homes.
REACH - Residential Energy Assistance Challenge is a publicly funded program available to qualified, low-income residents of Marion County who own or rent a home. It is only for customers of EPUD. Areas of assistance include energy conservation and funds for paying heating bills as deemed appropriate.
Workforce Services is available free of charge. What is does is it provides potential employees with resources to raise the odds of getting and keeping a job, and many employers in Marion County also take part in it.
For those seeking employment in Salem, there is a program called Job Seeker Services that offers free comprehensive career guidance. Qualified staff from WorkSource Marion offers valuable resources and assistance in the following areas, including career mapping, employment resources, interview practice and more.
The Veterans Services Program has assisted thousands of veterans, their family members and survivors who reside in Marion County. Case managers who work within this program are accredited VA representatives who proactively make sure veterans have access to and receive all entitlements provided by law.
Public assistance for service members is numerous and includes the following. Support is offered for helping with filing for disability claims, obtaining military records, applying for Surviving Spouse Benefits or VA Health Care and Education Benefits. In addition to all of that, outreach appointments are arranged by community action staff for those home bound or in residential facilities throughout Marion County.
Poverty fighting programs are available for those currently homeless and at-risk, low-income households. Community Service Centers have locations in Salem and Marion County to assist those in need to find a way out of poverty. These centers offer basic needs assistance, homelessness prevention services, emergency rent and energy bill assistance and access to other benefits/resources.
Hunger Relief is a resource that provides distribution, meal sites and food boxes to at risk individuals or homeless people. It is often combined with a free meal as well, and there is also support for Latinos with limited English proficiency.
Homeless Access Centers operate programs too, and these are available for families, single parents, homeless individuals, youth and survivors of domestic violence. Services offered are rapid turnaround rehousing, basic needs assistance, and access to local resources that serve the low income population.
The centers offer other housing services. Public programs can help youth, individuals and families who are living without a safe and secure place to call home. Services include transitional housing, emergency shelter and permanent supportive housing programs. Those resources are also available to disabled individuals as well as the elderly in Marion County.
Rapid-rehousing is also offered from the Homeless Access Centers. Human Services of Marion County works to provide at-risk or homeless individuals and families with rental and security deposit assistance, and there may also be support to prevent evictions in the first place. Human Services can help clients with finding a new low income apartment to live in as well.
Runaways and homeless youth age 17 years and under are provided with emergency and family reconciliation resources as deemed appropriate. There are also services and advocacy giving to individuals and families who are survivors of domestic violence.
FMP offers parents involved in domestic situations information and referrals for resolution on the matter at hand. This program is accessible by telephone or walk-in visits. Mediation and education classes are available through registration, and there may be limited financial assistance available for parents to attend the Focus on Children class. There are also agencies and other community resources available through this program on domestic relations matters.
For more details, the best number to dial for referrals is 866-698-6155. When it comes to public benefits, in South Salem call 503-378-6327 or in North Salem dial 503-378-2731.
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