Programs offered by community action agencies can assist Utah residents with meeting a variety of needs. While the primary goal is on helping people find a job and obtain self-sufficiency, other support available can include short term grants for paying emergency expenses such as rent or heating bills. Clients of an agency will be assigned to a case manager who will help them meet their goals and explore all options.
The demand for services is very high, and unfortunately only a small number of Utah families will be able to receive assistance. Conditions will need to be met by applicants as well. Some examples of the services available from centers around the state are as follows.
Rent assistance may be offered, and is combined with self sufficiency. One of the main resources is the HUD Section 8 voucher program. It provides rental and housing help to eligible low-income families, working poor, and seniors. The aid can help them pay for decent, safe, and affordable housing of their choice in Utah. Most of the support is offered through rental subsidies and vouchers that are issued directly to landlords.
In addition, your local community action agency also gives families who are disabled, elderly or working help toward self sufficiency through education or employment a higher priority. The reason this is done is because there is usually a waiting list.
Winter heating bill assistance, or the HEAT program (Home Energy Assistance Target), will help truly vulnerable as well as the lowest-income households in Utah. Priority is for people who have the highest annual heating costs, with a focus on the disabled, elderly, and families with young preschool-age children. Grants will be issued directly to your energy provider in order to help pay bills.
Furnace Repair / Replacement is available for those homeowners in need of help. When necessary, furnaces in low-income households can even be replaced if need be. This depends of government funding, and is offered as part of LIHEAP, weatherization, or utility payment assistance (HEAT).
The Single Family Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program offers assistance to help low to moderate income families fix their home. Clients may borrow any amount of money from the state at low interest rates, and all funds need to go towards making much needed and eligible repairs to a home. Some studies show that by investing in the rehabilitation of existing homes, the life-span can be extended by up to 20 years.
A similar offering is the Utah Emergency Home Repair Program. This will provide qualified individuals with a grant of to pay for minor repairs. It is offered to people if their home is neglected and if it poses a potential health and safety threat to the occupant. Some of the standard repair projects include correction of faulty electrical systems, roof or bathroom repairs, septic system updates, and water hook up repairs. Most of the funding is provided by the federal government and state of Utah Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
Weatherization assistance is offered in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy as well as Utah's Department of Community and Culture. The primary goal is to enable low-income families and individuals, particularly the elderly, families with children and handicapped, to participate in a number of energy conservation programs. Weatherization will help homeowners save money and lessen the impact of utility costs on their budget. People who enroll may save as much as 25 percent on their energy or heating bills, which is approximately $400 per year. Priority will always be given by your community action agency to the elderly and handicapped, emergency situations, high-energy consumers, or where pre-school children are present.
Improvements can consist of all the following, including insulation of walls, floor, perimeter, and attic. Air sealing which includes weatherstripping doors, adding door sweeps, and caulking in areas where conditioned air can leave the home. Furnace work includes replacing existing low efficiency furnaces or cleaning and tuning higher efficiency systems. In addition, broken windows or doors are repaired or replaced. Compact fluorescent lights (CFL) are installed and refrigerators can be replaced if it is show to be cost-effective.
The Community Development Block Grant Program, or CDBG, is the primary federal government grant program designed to help individuals and organizations with their greatest needs. All assistance needs to benefit low and moderate-income families in Utah. Emergency grants and financial assistance may be offered to families in crisis situations. This is limited, and would only be offered when the family can demonstrate that a default on their mortgage or late rent payment was caused by circumstances beyond their control and that significantly affected the family's ability to pay their housing costs. This crisis must have also made them unable to resolve the delinquency on their own within a reasonable timeframe.
Housing Outreach Rental Program (HORP) can help families find affordable apartments or homes to live in. In addition, community action agencies arrange for support services and/or one-time partial payment for rent or mortgage. This is limited to funding, and will help people avoid an immediate eviction. Also, Homeless relocation assistance is provided in the absence of other assistance or resources.
Landlord and tenant mediation services can be arranged. The program provides renters with landlord/tenant intervention and mediation, with the goal to prevent eviction. Volunteer mediators work with many non-profit community agencies in Utah to provide free mediation services for interested landlords and tenants. In addition, clients may receive referrals to Utah Tenant's United and the Apartment Association of Utah or the Administrative Office of the Courts.
The Health Insurance Information Program (HIIP) is offered by some community action agencies in partnership with agency on aging centers. It is a free service that helps people who are qualified, or will soon be eligible, for government health care including Medicare. Specialists can help answer your insurance questions and navigate the system. Information is available at your local agency for traditional Medicare, Long Term Care insurance, Medicare Supplemental insurance plans (Medigap), Medicare Advantage plans, and the Prescription Drug benefit.
Community action agencies will help people escape the grasps of poverty from resources such as Family Development, Community Action Circles, and more. Case managers will give individuals the tools they need to become an active member of their community. For families who are struggling with poverty and need a way out, they can get support during the journey.
In order to qualify for assistance, applicants are required to meet with case workers to assess needs, create a plan of action to resolve the crisis, and determine eligibility. Clients of any community action agency are expected to reach their goals in order to continue to receive financial assistance and guidance in the future.
Individuals will be able to attend classes and workshops that teach analytical thinking, self-reliance and problem solving skills. Case managers and volunteers will help people address and solve the barriers that are preventing them from overcoming poverty. Services can help people rebuild credit, find a job, or improve their education.
Clients can get help improving their financial situation through case management, goal setting, self-empowerment and self-esteem. Specialists and counselors work with families to increase their potential for financial and social self-reliance.
The programs empower families to become self-sufficient by providing residents with short-term assistance, including resources and aid that may be needed to overcome an immediate crisis. The focus though is on long-term support. Clients need to qualify and do not automatically receive all forms of assistance. If they are eligible, financial assistance in Utah may come in the form of bus tokens, hotel vouchers, rent or security deposit assistance, clothing, transportation assistance, furniture vouchers, utility bill assistance, and more.
Employment is a focus. Community agencies assist individuals in finding and obtaining employment by offering assistance with Job Referrals, Counseling, advice on overcoming the barriers to employment, job seeking skills and more. Also apply for bus passes or gasoline vouchers for transportation to work or interviews.
Job readiness offers individualized, one-on-one help to people for finding a new or better job. A specialist from an agency will assist participants. They will assess skills, collect and organize work history, practice interviewing, develop a strong resume and cover letter, and offer referrals. Clients of these programs are taught how to perform an effective employment hunt by using all job search avenues such as networking, performing on-line and off-line searches, cold calling and registering with the Utah Department of Workforce Services. Computers and internet access are available as well.
Head Start in Utah provides children with developmentally appropriate education. It is offered to those who would not otherwise have the opportunity to be prepared for kindergarten. Children who enroll in Head Start obtain educational outcomes in social development, language, literacy, and science. It helps families in creating goals which lead them on a path to stabilization and self-determined lives. It can assist people with identifying and capitalizing on their strengths. Head Start also provides a comprehensive program of health and dental services to each child. Parents are provided skills, insights, and linkages to resources in Utah for whatever their need is.
First-time Home Buyers can receive free one-on-one counseling. Get help with analyzing your present financial situation and credit status, establish a budget to help your reach your goals, learn about down payment assistance and grant programs for low to medium income families, and develop a plan of action. Pre-purchase can also assist with creating a budget, advice on how to choose a lender, give details on types of predatory lending practices to avoid, and offers guidance throughout the purchase process.
Learn the benefits and process of buying a home in Utah. Classes cover all home buyer requirements for any down payment or loan program. Most teachers and counselors are certified by NeighborWorks or AHECI (American Homeowner Education and Counseling Institute). Also learn about Reverse Mortgage Counseling or Post-Purchase/Refinancing.
Mortgage Default Counseling is available for individuals and families who are behind on their payments. It will help people avoid foreclosure of their home. Specialists can provide one on one counsel to assess the hardship that a homeowner is facing. Get advice on alternatives to foreclosure using HUD guidelines. Counselors can help work out options and negotiate with lenders and banks. Sign up for extensive budget counseling, mortgage restructuring options and guidance, and refinancing.
Bear River Association of Governments
Address - 170 North Main Street
Logan, Utah 84321
Counties supported are Box Elder, Cache, and Rich. Applications for energy bill assistance from HEAT, emergency housing and rental assistance, and programs for seniors and caregivers are available. Case managers can help with other needs as well. Read more.
Community Action Services and Food bank
815 So. Freedom Boulevard, Suite 100
Provo, UT 84601
Telephone: (801) 373-8200
Can provide free food and material support. However, will also process applications for government grant programs such as HEAT and energy conservation, including weatherization. Counties supported are Utah, Wasatch and Summit. More on Community Action Services and Food Bank programs.
Family Connection Center
Address: 1360 East 1450 South
Clearfield, Utah 840150
Five County Association of Governments CAP
Main address - 1070 W. 1600 S. Building B
St. George, Utah 84770
Call for intake - (435) 673-3548
The non-profit community action agency can help seniors and low income people who live in Washington, Garfield, Iron, Beaver, and Kane.
Ogden-Weber Community Action Partnership, Inc.
3159 Grant Avenue
Ogden, UT 84401
Salt Lake Community Action Program
Main address: 764 S. 200 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Phone number is (801) 359-2444
Thousands of low income and working poor families receive assistance. This can include rent or mortgage help. Employment and career counseling may also be arranged by case managers. The office supports Salt Lake and Tooele County. While the non-profit will try to issue grants to help low income families in Utah, in some cases interest deferred loans may be used. Continue with programs from Salt Lake Community Action.
Six County Association of Governments
250 North Main
Richfield, Utah 84701
Call (435) 896-9222
Counties - Jaub, Millard, Piute, Sanpete, Wayne, and Sevier
Southeastern Utah Association Governments
Location is 375 South Carbon Avenue
Price, UT 84501
Primary number is (435) 637-5444
Uintah Basin Association of Governments
330 East 100 South
Roosevelt, Utah 84066-3121
Tele - (435) 722-4518
Call to inquire about services such as Head Start and other emergency financial aid.
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