Low income and poor families in Allen, Bourbon, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Crawford, Elk, Labette, Linn, Montgomery, Neosho, Wilson and Woodson County Kansas can turn to the Southeast Kansas Community Action Program. This is maybe the leading non-profit, poverty fighting organization in this portion of the state. While some financial aid may be available, case managers focus on helping clients gain self-sufficiency and learn how to provide for themselves.
Partnerships and referrals from the Family and Community Engagement Department (FCE) will help the region combat poverty and in general improve communities in Southeast Kansas. Initiatives will be undertaken that result in a positive change in the area. The non-profit partners with County Commissions, School Districts, Service Providers, and even Pittsburg State University. These groups all position themselves to be the leading place to go for information on resources.
Life Skills Development is important to self-sufficiency. Financial management workshops, budgeting sessions, goal-setting, inter-personal relations, and problem solving sessions are held. Also work on job placement and search programs.
Homeless Assistance Services is a core function of the non-profit SEK-CAP. Components of the housing assistance is noted below.
The Emergency Solutions Grant funds the Rapid Re-Housing Program. This is a very limited program for only several qualified families from the area. Rental assistance for up to one year and transition support is provided. At first, up to 100% of your rent may be paid but it will decrease over the course of the year.
While less common, Rapid Re-Housing Program has assistance with security deposits or back rent that is due. Heating and utility bill payments is also available to participants in this Kansas housing program. Applicants need to be homelessness, either have or aggressively seeking gainful employment, and have a child.
The CHOICES Emergency Shelter in Pittsburg, Kansas is for homeless families with children, including single parents and women. The social workers and volunteers from the shelter also works with the families to find transitional and permanent housing.
Weatherization Services from Southeast Kansas Community Action Program assist low and moderate income families and individuals obtain and maintain safe, affordable housing. More importantly, these programs also address the high cost of heating oil and energy bills and try to make older homes more energy efficient.
SEK-CAP manages and own low income apartments and housing units. The non-profit is a Kansas certified Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO).
Rental Assistance from Housing Services comes in two main forms. They are HUD Section 8 Vouchers as well as the federally funded Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA). Application guidelines are in place for both of these. In addition to the information below, call 620-724-8204 for details or an application.
HUD Rental Assistance, or the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, has an extensive waiting list. It will pay a portion of a clients rent, so it serves as a subsidy. It is run from an office at 401 N. Sinnet, Girard, KS 66743, Phone 620-724-8204.
For those that receive a voucher, the section 8 program provides long-term rental assistance to families based on their income and family size. Families that participate are expected to contribute up to 30% of their total monthly income for the rent. The monthly payment amount contributed by the family is reassessed if they should experience a change such as reduction in work hours or unemployment. Families with section 8 HUD rental assistance may also decide rent a SEK-CAP owned or managed rental unit.
Another rental resource is TBRA, Tenant Based Rental Assistance. It can help families facing eviction or that are currently homeless, through no fault of their own. TBRA may distribute rent assistance for qualified families or individuals for one year. People may also transition to the HUD Program mentioned above. Along with rental, utility bill assistance, security deposits may be paid using Southeast Kansas Community Action Program funds. Apply by calling the SEK-CAP Central Office in Girard Kansas. The main phone number is 620.724.8204.
General Public Transportation Assistance can arrange rides for people in in Southeastern Kansas. SEK-CAP provides coverage to the counties of Bourbon, Cherokee, Allen, Crawford, Montgomery, Labette, Linn, and Neosho. A small donation is requested, but not required. If you live in Pittsburg Kansas, then the community action agency may offer residents the P.A.C.T. or Pittsburg Area Community Transportation. It serves as a standard, fixed route bus for locations throughout the region.
Head Start applications are processed by Southeast Kansas Community Action Program. This particular early childhood development programs is run with local schools and education facilities. It is for children under the age of 5. Assistance and social services are also available to pregnant women from conception to birth.
The federal government funded Head Start program also provides opportunities for families to experience developmentally appropriate educational activities with their children. It is funded from through state funding provided by the Department of Social Rehabilitation Services as well as federal government assistance through the Department of Health & Human Services. It is free to those that qualify. Head Start Centers are located in Arma, Chanute, Coffeyville, Fort Scott, Pittsburg, Galena, Independence, Iola, Neodesha, Oswego, Parsons and Riverton Kansas.
The Southeast Kansas Community Action Program / SEK-CAP, Inc. is headquartered at 401 N. Sinnet in Girard, KS 66743. Call the center at (620) 724-8204.
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