Several forms of assistance are provided by the Northeast Texas Opportunities community action agency. This is one of the leading non-profits in the area and they serve low income families in the counties of Delta, Franklin, Hopkins, Lamar, Raines, Red River, and Titus.
Self-sufficiency programs and basic needs can be satisfied by the Community Service Block Grant (CSBG). This is one of the main resources that is used for reducing poverty in the region.
The state of Texas Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program provides utility bill assistance to targeted, low income residents in the region. Most of the financial aid is for those with very low income at that are within 200% of federal government poverty guidelines. Funding is limited, so priority is given to families with young children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities in the northeastern part of Texas. Additional support is also for those with the highest energy bills in relation to their income levels.
Using CEAP funding, Northeast Texas Opportunities can provide families with financial assistance, education and energy conservation measures. All of this is done in an effort to help consumers pay their utility bills and also save money on their costs. Hundreds of families from the area, including Delta, Raines, and Hopkins County benefit from the program every year.
Some of the services from the Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program include utility bill payment assistance; energy education; and also heating and cooling system replacement, retrofit and repair. The amount paid to a household will factor in their income levels and total household members, among other conditions.
There is also a Crisis Component to CEAP. This is available when extraordinary events or situations resulting from extreme hot or even cold weather conditions have depleted household financial resources. The family may be faced with a disconnection of their utility bill or a shut off of their service. Or if the lack of power would lead to a threat to the well-being of the household, particularly the disabled, elderly or children age 5 and younger, then this is when the crisis component may help.
Equipment repair or replacement is also for the low income in the area. Using guidelines, the Northeast Texas Opportunities community action agency will make a determination based on the household needs and energy burden. Those with priority will once again be homes with children age five (5) and younger, disabled individuals, and seniors.
This equipment replacement and repair will target households with high energy burden or costs. It may also assist those that have unsafe and/or inadequate equipment to protect occupants from extreme temperatures. This component of the CEAP program reduces the energy burden by lowering excess demand from inefficient cooling or heating appliances.
Also, as part of this process, an energy assessment of the home will need to occur. This demonstrates whether or not the expected savings from replacement or repair of equipment will exceed the cost and will reduce energy consumption. If the family has appliances, those can be addressed to including those units that are consuming the most energy.
The Elderly and Disabled may also get help. Northeast Texas Opportunities (NETO) has different programs that can help make utility bill payments on behalf of disabled and elderly persons based on the previous years worth of energy usage and bills.
The community action agency also runs Senior Centers, in partnership with other organizations. These will serve free or low cost meals to the elderly and disabled. Senior citizens and their spouses can come and have a nutritious lunch and participate in recreational activities as well. Some locations and volunteers will also offer home delivered meals.
The food assistance programs are partially funded by The Texas Department of Aging and Disabilities Services, Ark-Tex Council of Governments -- Area Agency of Aging out of Texarkana, and also contributions from The Texas Department of Agriculture. The United Way, churches, local and private contributions, endowments, etc. also contribute to the program. The addresses of the centers are.
Transportation assistance is offered by Northeast Texas Opportunities. Among other things, transportation is for a medical appointment. Also, buses provide transportation for persons 60+ to and from the Senior Citizens Meal Center, hospitals, grocery shopping, and more. This program is also partially funded through Area Agency on Aging, ARK-TEX COG.
Locations of Northeast Texas Opportunities Offices are as follows.
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