Families that are facing a crisis can turn to Info line for help. The service, which is available across the entire Trumbull County, has staff on hand that direct residents to a wide variety of charity and non-profit resources. All across the county are federal programs such as Weatherization or grants from Emergency Food & Shelter as well as charity soup kitchens and more. Each agency in the Trumbull County referral network is focused on helping the working poor.
While referrals are available, the client still needs to apply. Some of the agencies will accept an application in person or online, and others will need to deny it based on income or other factors. In either case, the Info Line is an option to turn to.
Grants for financial aid for a short term crisis are available from a few different programs. They will be offered to applicants that meet income conditions and that are able to sustain future payments on their own. The main options are below.
The Emergency Food and Shelter Program provides cash assistance to residents from Trumbull County Ohio that are experiencing a one-time crisis situation. Each year there are non-profits in the area that are allocated funds from the federal government. This money is then redistributed to help people to pay utility bills/rent/mortgage or it can even help them buy groceries.
The customer must be able to document the crisis as well as their income. They also need to prove an ability to continue to pay the expenses on their own after the receipt of the emergency assistance. The Info Line team can provide information on the process.
Receive information from Info Line on Home Weatherization application sites. This program, also known as HWAP, is available to working poor homeowners and renters. The goal is to help people conserve energy while increasing the comfort of their homes. Since the government will pay for these updates, it will then in effect free up their income for paying other bills and needs they have.
Contractors from local non-profits, such as a community action agency, will determine the most cost effective measures for the home. This can include many activities, all which resolve around reducing cold or warm air leakage. Other updates from weatherization for Trumbull County area homeowners include Insulation of attics, tune-up/repair of heating units; replacements of a furnace and hot water tanks, and just general advice on energy conservation.
The team at the Info Line can direct people to LIHEAP. This is a federally funded program administered in Trumbull County county by non-profits as well as social services. While the scope of the program will change each year, it is available to provide assistance once per heating or summer cooling season.
The grants are focused on low-income homeowners and renters that are struggling with their energy as well as natural gas bills. There is additional financial aid for people that are disconnected, threatened with shut offs, or have less than a ten-day supply of fuel left to heat their home during the winter.
Funding levels will change. In general, the amount of the grant offered for utility bills is based on total dollar amount needed to resolve crisis situation for the primary energy source. The federal aid will not cover total debts owed by the client. Families in Trumbull County will need to participate in this service.
Food stamps as well as pantries in Trumbull County are for families in poverty or those facing a crisis. These will help ensure households are not threatened with hunger.
The food stamp program, or SNAP, is a benefit for individuals or families that are struggling to put healthy meals on the table. During these tough challenging economic times, SNAP applications are available from Info Line partners for low-income households. In fact, many people in the area of Ohio qualify but do not know it, so the staff from the call center can provide advice on this.
Local charity food banks operate in Trumbull County. Most are funded through grants and donations from local businesses, fund raisers, churches and organizations, and they also depend on the hard work of dedicated volunteers.
The pantries are intended to provide enough food for a family or individual to get by for a few days. If it is a crisis, then soup kitchens can be used. These are short term bridges until a more permanent plan for accessing affordable groceries can be established, or even until the applications to SNAP food stamps have been processed.
Job placement as well as self-sufficiency is available in the community. While anyone can avail themselves of these services, it is often provided to low income individuals as they seek and retain employment in the public and/or private sector in Trumbull County.
The Info Line partners can arrange job coaching, access to employability skills training, and job referrals. Specialists are available on site at several of the Workforce Centers to facilitate employment preparation.
All across Trumbull County are many Employment Resource Labs, or ERL. This can offer direct one on one support to help individuals gain computer skills, get free use of a computer and improve their chance in the job market. Clients of these workshops attend classes where they will learn computer skills, as well as resume writing, conduct job searches and job interviewing skills.
With many immigrants in Trumbull County, they also need support. English for Speakers of Other Languages, or ESOL, can help during the transition. It provides classes to non-English speaking low income individuals. There may also be other support, such as courses for Spanish speakers.
Another service is VITA - Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). This offers free tax help to senior citizens as well as other qualified low- to moderate-income (generally, $49,000 and below) people. This is intended to assist those who cannot prepare their own state or federal tax returns.
Certified volunteers from Info Line partners, most of which are sponsored by various organizations, receive training from IRS certified staff. They then leverage this in an effort to help prepare basic tax returns in communities across the Trumbull County. There may be return sites at community and neighborhood centers, schools, shopping malls, libraries and other convenient locations.
For more information on this referral service and the Info Line, dial (330) 393-1565.
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