When seeking assistance from SELF, most applicant will be put into contact with the Emergency Services Department. This will be where residents of Butler County can learn about everything ranging from food to financial aid for bills or housing. An outreach service will also refer qualified clients to other non-profits in the county for their needs.
Staff from the department will help families in crisis by enabling them to avoid homelessness or eviction. This is accomplished through information and referral, which are integral to the function of this department, and in some cases there may be funds for expenses. All of this is invaluable to accomplishing the mission of the community action agency.
The Emergency Department staff members explore the community and contact other local agencies. This is done in an effort to gather information and create important links that will help clients and struggling residents of Butler County. The goal is to work with the community to build a structure of self-assurance and self-help for clients. The department coordinator of Supports to Encourage Low-income Families meets with churches, businesses, schools and other agencies to disseminate information about resources.
EFSP - Emergency Food and Shelter broadens the Community Outreach Center's ability to furnish financial help. There is assistance in the form of free food, clothing, and shelter to Butler County residents, either through direct services or referrals to programs offered by other agencies. Assistance in the form of cash grants with rent or mortgage payments and utility bills is also available through EFSP. In a typical year, this emergency program runs from February through June, due to funding limitations as it will often run out of money.
SELF’s Utility and Heating Bill Assistance helps low-income households meet their costs, restore gas or electric service, or avoid disconnection. In some cases, the non-profit may be able to work with the utility company to lower energy bill payments to a more manageable monthly amount. There are a few options available.
The Winter Crisis Program ensures that low-income individuals and families are able to pay their heating or gas bills. There is a focus on the elderly, so their homes remain warm throughout the winter months. Maximum monetary amounts vary from year to year, and assistance is provided once per season.
The Ohio Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus is a year-round program that offers help with payments to regulated utilities, such as Duke Energy. Benefit amounts are determined by SELF and it will be based on household income. Case managers from SELF also assists PIPP clients with completing forms for PIPP certification or re-certification.
During the hot Ohio summer month, SELF's Summer Crisis Program provides financial assistance. Other items may be passed out in Butler County too, such as free fans and air conditioners to help qualifying households stay cool in the hottest part of the summer. Priority is given to senior citizens, people with medical conditions, the disabled, and others who have received disconnect notices from unregulated utility companies.
Conserve energy and save money from Weatherization Assistance. This was created as a residential program that is available to residents of Butler County. SELF serves as the Intake Center for its service area, and has entered into a partnership with the Community Action Partnership of the Greater Dayton Area, which will oversee the installation of the materials. The homeowner will receive, for free, cost-effective, energy-saving home improvements for eligible applicants. The goal is to reduce energy use and lower utility bills for lower income and working poor clients by reducing air infiltration and heat loss in their homes.
The Neighbors Who Care Home Repair Program furnishes free mobility modifications as well as home repairs to low-income Butler County homeowners. This service from Supports to Encourage Low-income Families may assist dozens of financially disadvantaged senior citizens, people with disabilities, and homes with young children who were in need of help. Applicants need to be physically or maybe financially unable to do the work on their own.
Save money using an Individual Development Account. Matching grants may be provided, then clients can use their savings to buy a home, start a business, go to school. Households with two qualifying adults can receive up to $4,000 in matched savings. An IDA from community action is more than just a savings account as it also teaches people personal financial management, which includes budgeting, creating effective savings strategies, goal setting, and financial planning, all toward meeting financial goals.
Get guidance in starting a business in Ohio. The Microenterprise Program provides many weeks of intensive instruction in starting and operating a small business, including hands-on help with writing a plan. It is only for income qualified residents.
Those who qualify will receive the following benefits, at no charge to them. Classes will provide instruction and training on the essentials of creating a business plan and address legal issues. There is also ongoing support in overcoming barriers to participating in the class or launching your business, and some people will be given a low interest loan.
JOBS NOW! is a state of Ohio and SELF run employment program that includes one-on-one assistance with setting and achieving goals. Other components of it touch upon job coaching; referrals to other agencies; and wrap-around supports, such as access to transportation or work clothing.
The workshops held also includes classes on employment skills and opportunities, taught by community business professionals from Ascendum, one stop job centers, VORA Tech and AIMS. Additional JOBS NOW! benefits include the free use of computers for use in job searches, Mock interview practice, as well as resume and budget creation.
Self-Sufficiency and Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’ by World provides individuals who are living in poverty with guidance and case management. Specialists will work with them toward the goal of achieving success and stability. This is accomplished through the development of written plans for prosperity that are broken down into manageable and achievable steps.
Participants of the employment service will also receive one-on-one assistance from support specialists at SELF who help with employment goals. There are also job coaching sessions held, connective referrals to other agencies and wrap around supports, personal money management classes conducted by LifeSpan and much more.
Supports to Encourage Low-income Families Free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, will offer free support in completing and filing state of Ohio and federal government taxes. Highly trained volunteer tax preparers are qualified to help working poor families in Butler County claim Earned Income Tax Credit. There is also help to prepare returns, and e-file it, all at no cost for eligible residents.
The main office of SELF is at 1790 S. Erie Hwy., Ste. A-C, Hamilton, Ohio 45011. Call 513-868-9300 for intake.
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