A regional non-profit that assists low income families is the Southeastern Arizona Community Action Program. The agency offers some of their own resources to low income families, including housing and applications to energy bill assistance, as well as referrals. SACAC is committed to helping those families that are in poverty with overcoming their challenges.
The community action agency provides assistance in several towns and counties, including Santa Cruz, Cochise, Graham, and Greenlee Arizona. While they can offer some emergency financial help, a focus is on resolving the crisis. This will include everything from job placement to counseling or advice in applying for government aid.
Southeastern Arizona Community Action Agency can help clients apply for grants, low interest loans, and other support. Case managers will direct the family on where to apply as well as answer questions on the process. Some of the services, such as LIHEAP for paying utility bills, there are directly involved in.
Weatherization services make homes more energy-efficient, thereby reducing heating and cooling expenses for residents of Cochise County and other areas. Among the services done by Southeastern Arizona Community Action are the following.
In addition, health, safety and comfort-related problems are identified and repaired by weatherization. The SACAC approved contractor will also provide safety checks and consumer education, which is also done at no cost in this program.
LIHEAP from Southeastern Arizona Community Action is used for paying utility bills. The grants from the federal government service are available year round, with a crisis component too. The Department of Energy in Arizona works with local community action agencies to help very low income families pay a portion of their utilities. It can help with everything from electric to air conditioning bills as well.
Created in 1983, the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) is a national effort to supplement and expand the services of local agencies such as the non-profit Southeastern Arizona Community Action that assist individuals experiencing non-disaster-related economic emergencies. EFSP helps clients with a source of income, but are facing a crisis, address food, housing, mortgage, rental and/or utility-service needs.
Clients can get applications to cash grants for their housing or other needs. This is federally funded, and most of the assistance is paid out first come and served. However when the non-profit has resources, EFSP grants may make the difference in any rent that is due or other energy type bills.
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) has several distribution sites in the Graham and Cochise area. This USDA food program was created for disadvantaged seniors age 60 years and older and it can improve their health by supplementing their diets with healthy foods. In addition, staff from CSFP collaborates with partner agencies to provide to bolster outreach to those facing hunger. They offer information on SNAP food stamps, certification and distribution of CSFP monthly food boxes to make sure that no participating clients ever goes hungry.
Qualified seniors from the service area will receive a monthly food box from Southeastern Arizona Community Action Program that consists of non-perishable protein, nutritional supplements, milk (powdered or UHT), juice, cereal, canned or dried fruits and vegetables and refrigerated cheese. Also contained in the box are education pamphlets and healthy recipes for cooking a meal at home.
The SACAC Early Head Start child development and family support program serves pregnant women and families with children from birth to age three. Services include the following. There is Nutrition Education; Center-Based Option that Includes Child Care; Developmental Assessments by Teachers; Weekly Home Visits; Prenatal Education; Free Dental Care or Medical Check Ups; and low cost Transportation to and from Centers in Cochise County.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) – SACAC provide free tax return preparation for households making less than $50,000 annually. All volunteers are IRS-certified and trained in educating the public in regard to increasing their financial stability and building assets. VITA is federal government funded and mandated. It is also open for immigrants and other in Santa Cruz or Cochise County.
Southeastern Arizona Community Action Workforce Development Program assists and supports individuals who are working to complete job readiness and career training. Staff will help people find employment in counties such as Greenlee or Cochise and achieve economic self-reliance. Training is provided through a service known as Quick Careers, which is an initiative that meets the immediate needs of local county employers.
The workshops offer brief training courses of up to three months in duration, leading to certifications and licensure, where applicable. The workshops organized by SACAC serve as introductions to specific career clusters, with a focus on three main areas of customer service, healthcare, IT and construction. All training is focused on preparing participants for getting and keeping jobs, and they will also be skill-specific. Credentials from one of the partnering colleges in Southeastern Arizona are received at the completion of each course.
The Southeastern Workforce Development Program assists and supports services that aim to improve socioeconomic conditions in communities throughout the county and area by increasing access to education and career opportunities. The team from the agency are involved in supporting the development of an educated and skilled workforce, and promoting the growth of the local business industry.
Many other resources may also be arranged by Southeastern Arizona Community Action Program. For more information or referrals, the main office is at 283 W. 5th Street, Safford, AZ 85546. Or dial (928) 428-4653.
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