The local community action agency for Prince Georges County is United Communities Against Poverty. With a focus on helping low income residents and the working poor, the organization administers a number of resources for struggling families in the region. The financial aid and case management is provided as a hand up, and not a hand out, so there are many restrictions and conditions that need to be met in order to get help.
The community action agency administers government grants from programs such as emergency food and shelter, and those funds can be used for paying back rent or utility bills. There is also housing from the Shepherd’s Cove shelter, foreclosure prevention counseling, transportation as part of Family Stabilization, and much more.
While very limited, the Emergency Food and Shelter Program addresses both hunger and housing challenges. The government created service, run by UCAP, provides a combination of loans or one time grants for those families facing a crisis.
As resources allow, the food provided is for low income individuals and families that are facing hunger and malnutrition, including both senior citizens and children. As far as housing goes, UCAP can offer emergency rental support, heating bill and maybe even mortgage delinquency assistance. There will only be partial payments made to qualified clients.
Shepherd’s Cove Emergency Shelter is for children, females, and single parents. It is a short term solution and administered in partnership with the DSS of Prince George’s County. Not only do guests have a place to stay, but they also are qualified for case management services that can lead to permanent, affordable housing placement in the county.
As part of the shelter service, individuals will receive free meals, education, access to a day care for children, transportation to job interviews, and other employment support. Specific services from United Communities Against Poverty include GED testing, computer workshops, and resume creation classes. Basic medical care is offered too, as noted below.
Residents that live in public housing or low income apartments in Prince George can benefit from the community action agency Supportive Housing Services. The goal is to link people to programs that can benefit them over the long term, and ensure they do not face homelessness in the future. There is also a financial aid as part of this services.
UCAP can offer as part of this free day care, both before and after school. There is also no interest loans that can be used for certain living expenses, such as a mortgage payment or even security deposit. Other assistance from Supportive Housing Services includes bus tokens for public transportation, job training, and mental health support. If a person has car repair troubles, then UCAP may provide a ride to work as well as referrals to places that may assist with a repair.
The formerly homeless can apply for Transitional Housing. It offers case management and guidance. For those that gain stability as part of this, the family will be given cash assistance to be used as a one time, emergency rent payment. There may also be money to use for paying for moving costs, such as a security or utility connection deposit.
Much of the case management from United Communities Against Poverty is part of the Family Stabilization Program, or FSP. It can last up to 2 years, and offers the following. There is basic needs provided, such as clothing for work or free food vouchers. For people in job training or working, transportation and day care is offered. UCAP will also coordinate job placement and training with local businesses and partners in Prince Georges County.
Medical and Health Care Services can help Prince George client’s access affordable care. The agency partners with federally qualified health center locations such as Greater Baden Medical Services and others. Together there may be some basic medical care offered, or referrals for more complicated needs. They may also have details on low cost dental assistance in Maryland as well.
For families in the housing programs, there is affordable Day Care and After–School Programs administered. This is for the homeless and working poor that are clients of UCAP. While there may be some minimal fees due from the family, in some cases all of the day care services are provided for free.
Improving credit scores, budgeting, and saving money is important to stability. So staff from the community action agency hold workshops and classes on this. Clients can set goals, learn how to budget properly, and maybe even enroll into debt management plans. Workshops will be held in the county, and some people may be able to enroll into one on one counseling.
Other credit services will be provided too. The counselor from UCAP will offer advice on approaches to take for resolution of problems. They can also medication solutions with creditors, including letter writing or placing telephone calls on the client’s behalf. The end result is hopefully the individual learn how to spend their money more carefully in the future.
Mortgage assistance, in the form of free Foreclosure Prevention, is an option. The goal is to help the homeowner develop preemptive strategies for delinquency, understand the reason for making timely mortgage payments, and enter into loan modifications or find other solutions.
United Communities Against Poverty will offer one–on–one advice to customers. They will take a holistic approach to the crisis, and touch upon all housing and other challenges. Specific services as part of this counseling include budget counseling and money management, consultation with the borrower’s bank or Mortgage Company to determine re–payment plans, and stopping foreclosures. All alternatives will be explored by the community action agency.
Those are just some of the programs administered by United Communities Against Poverty. The agency will also have referrals and other aid available, and the main address is 1400 Doewood Lane, Capitol Heights, Maryland 20731. Call them at 301-322-5700.
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