Crisis assistance from the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council is combined with case management. There may be emergency grants for paying bills and housing costs. The agency may directly offer this in some cases, and in other instances referrals are available. In either case, the non-profit known as SCEOC works to help the less fortunate and working poor in the county.
A number of resources comprise the Community Services Department. This is mostly due to funding provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the CSBG Community Services Block Grant as well as the Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP). There are also fundraising activities and private donations from businesses and individuals.
Crisis Intervention Services provides short-term help to low income families and individuals that are experiencing emergency situations. Examples of when financial aid may be offered include for those faced with eviction, utility shut-offs, families behind on their rent, domestic violence victims, substance abuse, and mental illness.
The client of the agency works together with a crisis intervention worker from SCEOC to perform a thorough assessment. The applicant will need to gain stability in short order and be able to pay the rent or their bills on their own. They will also need to formulate an action plan for making referrals to agencies and churches that will help in working toward a resolution.
For community members in need of food assistance, regardless of their income, SCEOC operates an Emergency Food Pantry. Holiday meals may be offered too. The center is located at 39 Bath Street, Ballston Spa, New York.
Another option is the Soup Kitchen in the Presbyterian New England Congregational Church, 24 Circular St., Saratoga Springs, NY. Lunch is served. There are also free baked goods and breads available most days. The Economic Opportunity Council will not collect personal information from participants.
Like the Soup Kitchen, the Rural Food Delivery Service is presented in collaboration with charities in the county such as the Presbyterian New England Congregational Church. The feeding program provides bi-monthly delivery of free food or groceries to homebound Saratoga County families. The meals are for elderly and/or disabled individuals who have received referrals from various social service agencies. Deliveries are made by community volunteers that are screened by the agency.
Also run through the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council Soup Kitchen, EOC provides a nutritious free lunchtime meal to low-income children during the summer months. This is used when school-provided meals are not available. In collaboration with partners such as the Saratoga Springs Housing Authority, lunches are distributed at Malta Gardens in Corinth as well as the Jefferson/Vanderbilt Terrace.
WIC is a federal government funded supplemental nutrition program for income-eligible pregnant women, infants and children up to age five. Available foods from WIC in Saratoga County may include peas, low-fat milk (whole milk for children 12 to 24 months old), iron-fortified hot or cold cereal, cheese, eggs, beans, ,lentils, peanut butter, 100 percent juice, whole-grain bread products, tortillas, brown rice, and vegetables and fruits.
Authorized stores throughout Saratoga County and really across New York State accept WIC checks or vouchers. In addition, during the summer months, farmers market coupons are available for the purchase of fresh fruits, baked goods and vegetables at authorized farmers' markets. Other services provided by WIC include Individualized Food Packages, Nutrition Education classes, Referrals to Other Health and Social Services, and Counseling.
The EOC community action agency provides free Thanksgiving Baskets containing a full holiday meal to families in need in Saratoga County. Families of two or more, with income levels at or below certain poverty levels, are eligible to receive a meal or gift basket. Quantities served are based on family size.
In addition to that, the soup Kitchen also offers fully-prepared meals for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and St. Patrick’s Day. Home meal delivery is also available at Thanksgiving and Christmas for seniors and the disabled.
The Family Development Program helps clients work toward achieving personal goals, based on family or individual assessments and personalized service plans. Clients work with case managers from EOC on a weekly or monthly basis to achieve such goals as gaining employment, obtaining low income housing, receiving education and job-related training, and improving health and well-being.
To support EOC’s mission of helping immigrants in the Saratoga community achieve economic self-sufficiency, the Latino Community Advocacy Program, or LCAP, addresses the special needs of Saratoga County’s Spanish-speaking immigrant population. The agency does recognize the positive contributions of refugees and immigrants. The agency will work to promote English as a Second Language Classes and offer free Referrals for Medical, Legal, Financial, and Educational Services.
In collaboration with Treasures Consignment and Thrift Store, the Economic Opportunity Council operates Dress for Work. It provides appropriate work and job interview clothing. This is for the unemployed or people going on an interview that need help.
The IRS approved VITA Program offers free income tax preparation and e-filing to qualified individuals. The service is done at no cost to clients and completely confidential.
Saratoga County EOC’s federally-funded Head Start and Early Head Start Programs serve hundreds of low-income children and pregnant women throughout the region and county. The program will help children prepare for entering kindergarten by teaching reading, language, social and math skills.
Head Start also offers the following services, such as Referrals to Community Resources; Screenings for Children such as Medical, Dental, Health, Developmental, and Behavioral; free Nutritious Meals and Snacks; Limited Transportation Services; and other services for Children with Disabilities.
The main office of the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council is at 39 Bath St., Ballston Spa, New York 12020-1779. Call 518-587-3158.
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