Low income and working poor families in Boyd, Elliott, Greenup, Carter and Lawrence Counties can contact the Northeast Kentucky Community Action Agency for information on assistance programs. While all of their resources are limited, residents may be able to help enroll into the Senior Citizen Commodity program or sign up for LIHEAP. Many other services are administered by the agency, as noted below.
Heating bill assistance and grants for utility bills is provided by the Home Energy Assistance Program, or HEAP. This service was created in collaboration with federal government funds, and companies such as American Electric Power (AEP) participate as well. The program will offer credits on unpaid bills, and they will be applied to income-eligible AEP customers’ electric bills for a total of several months out of the year.
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) works in close partnership with local utility companies to ensure that no family goes without adequate heat. LIHEAP helps income-eligible households in Kentucky with meeting the high costs of heating their apartments or homes. During the hot summer months, cooling bill assistance may also available in times of extreme humidity or heat.
Financial aid comes in many forms. Crisis grants are for households that are in a heating-related crisis, and they must be within 48 hours of having their utilities disconnected. Funds are used for wood, coal, propane, or kerosene. Subsidies issued by Northeast Kentucky Community Action Agency will have funds paid directly to the utility provider on behalf of the customer, and the goal is to keep a customer's power on.
Another option in Kentucky is Wintercare. Northeast Kentucky Community Action Agency takes part in this, and customers can request monetary donations from utility companies and the money is then passed on to low-income customers in counties such as Elliott. The funds can be used to pay utility bills. The staff from the non-profit Agency thoroughly screens all applicants before approval for Wintercare assistance.
Weatherization Assistance Program uses US Department of Energy (DOE) funding to make the homes of low-income and working poor families more energy efficient. It will therefore reduce their home energy costs and heating bills. This energy performance is met by NKCAA as they will be making use of the latest, most advanced technologies and testing protocols available in the industry.
A Senior Citizen Commodity Program is available in some counties such as Carter. The agency collaborates with God’s Pantry to furnish income qualified senior citizens with a monthly supply of free groceries or food. There are other options as well, such as food banks at Carter County’s Olive Hill Office, as well as pantries in both Elliott County and Greenup County Kentucky.
Emergency assistance is for individuals or household experiencing a documented crisis. The program's goal is to encourage those individuals who are able to work to perform community service in exchange for cash assistance for their rent or medications. So there are conditions to any financial aid, and this is very limited.
Columbia Gas of Kentucky's Energy Assistance Program serves as a supplement to LIHEAP, which is referenced above. EAP provides participants with a monthly subsidy throughout the winter heating season, which typically runs from November through March, and it is only for customers of this company.
Housing Rehabilitation provides needed repairs to bring the homes of seniors and disabled up to code. Many homeowners in counties such as Carter or Elliott live in substandard housing, and Housing Rehabilitation addresses issues related to health, sanitation, safety or handicap accessibility. NKCAA is committed to improving living conditions while reducing heating and cooling bills.
Job placement is funded by the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, the Division of Workforce Services and also the United States Department of Labor. This is all part of the Workforce Investment Act. The staff from community action work toward the goal of providing Jobs for People and this is accomplished through forming partnerships with individual job seekers and employers.
Northeast Kentucky Community Action Agency runs the Adult Program, which may provide financial assistance with tuition costs for adult clients desiring to further their education. There may be grants available for attending college, enrolling into specialized, short-term training or technical school. There is also Incumbent Worker Training, which is designed to be an employer-oriented program, making it inherently different from job-seeker services.
Education assistance is part of the Lonnie M. Click and Owen M. Fielding Memorial Scholarships. These will be awarded each year to students who reside within the five-county service area. The applicant's income will need to fall within the program’s economic guidelines, and have been accepted at accredited higher education facilities.
Head Start from NKCAA serves at-risk children and their families through the provision of educational and support services that promote the development of young students. Resources will lay the foundation for them to healthy, nutritious, ready for school, and eager to learn. In addition to comprehensive educational services, Head Start provides services in the areas of medical, dental, nutrition and emotional health. There are many other social services in the region.
The Northeast Kentucky Community Action Agency’s Rural Transportation service provides rides for people experiencing difficulties with the increasing costs of fuel and daily vehicle maintenance. To address this issue, and to help people get where they need to go in the local area, the NKCAA works to provide affordable and reliable transportation.
The main offices from community action are below.
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