The greater Klickitat and Skamania County area in Washington is supported by the Washington Gorge Action Program Council. They may have information on, or directly administer, the most comprehensive assistance programs in the region. Hundreds of families, seniors, children, and others turn to the non-profit community action agency for help. Some of the resources they offer are noted below. The main offices of the Washington Gorge Action Program Council are as follows. 1250 East Steuben, Bingen, WA 98605, Telephone: (509) 493-2662.
Transitional Housing, shelter, and rent help are available from Washington Gorge Action Program Council. The non-profit offers a comprehensive housing program, providing services such as case management, budgeting, and life skills. The housing components include emergency shelter, low income Transitional Housing, and emergency Rental Assistance.
The non-profit knows that client stabilization is the key to obtaining long term success. This, and self-sufficiency, will keep people housed and paying the rent on time over the long term.
Transitional Housing and the Guided Path Shelter can offer currently homeless individuals and families up to a month stay. The lodgings will be in the Guided Path Shelter. Each guest of the center will have a private room, but shares the main living area, kitchen and rest rooms with the other residents. For those that stay at the centers, case management services are offered from social workers.
The transitional housing is a 2-year long residential program. Social workers that are part of it guide families in achieving independence and self-sufficiency. Those who stay there will need to pay 30% of their total income for rent and utility bills. Enrollees will also work on an individualized plan with a case managers from WGAP. This leads to employment, education, financial stability and self-determination. The transitional housing program also provides intense case management for families with minor children.
For those that qualify, individuals and families are offered with permanent housing and case management services from Washington Gorge Action Program Council and the Guided Path program. Housing units may be located in Mid-Columbia Washington.
Eviction prevention and limited funds are available to pay the rent for local households that are in danger of being evicted from their home or apartment. Also explore landlord/tenant mediation resources.
Motel vouchers from the Goldendale Shelter and Transitions Program are for homeless families. This is very limited though. They may be able to get a voucher for a day or two if facing a crisis. A motel may be selected in a town or county such as Klickitat.
Emergency Housing, scattered site transitional units and rent help can be applied for by calling Guided Path ((509) 493-4234), the Goldendale Office ((509) 773-6834), Skamania County Office ((509) 427-8229) or the main WGAP office at (509) 493-3954.
WGAP Food Banks and Nutrition Programs - The non-profit Washington Gorge Action Program Council is the Lead non-profit Agency and Distribution Center for the pantries in Klickitat and Skamania Washington. As resources allow, at most once a month, free Food Boxes are offered to eligible low-income individuals and families. These boxes may contain fresh produce, vegetables, canned goods, fruits, formula, bread, and frozen meat. While the amount of food and groceries in a box varies, there may be enough for about 12 meals. The elderly also have their own special box.
Those individuals with a serious medical condition or disability can also opt for a special Senior Box which can partially help them meet their special diet needs. As donations allow, these boxes are available at the local WGAP Food Bank and Goldendale Food Bank only. The locations are as follows.
Inquire into utility bill help. Washington Gorge Action Program Council’s Home Energy Assistance helps low-income families, seniors on a pension or fixed incomes, disabled individuals, and residents in danger of losing their heat source. Families in the Mid-Columbia region whose power currently is shut off mode can also get utility bill assistance.
Funds or credits can be provided to pay for almost any heating source, including electricity, propane, natural gas, propane, and wood. The federal government pays for the LIHEAP program in Washington.
Energy Conservation - Weatherization Program is focused on making low income and older homes in Washington more energy efficient. It will create a comfortable, warm, and livable atmosphere for the household, including seniors and children.
WGAP, using grants from weatherization, also offers air and draft sealing, Energy Efficient Audits, duct system and free furnace repair or replacement, fan replacement, and even whole house insulation in some cases. Based on the results of an audit that is done on the residence, contractors can also install air sealing, insulation, and window replacements, energy-saving CFL lighting etc. The community action agency will help homeowners in reducing their home energy needs, thereby reducing annual utility and cooling bills.
The Social Security Administration offers the Representative Payee Program, and Washington Gorge Action Program Council runs it locally. The agency will receive Social Security and/or SSI benefits on behalf of people who are unable to manage their money, such as the elderly or disabled.
The community action agency will then utilize these benefits to meet the current needs for day-to-day living expenses. What may be offered and paid for includes free food, clothing vouchers, utilities, housing, transportation, medical expenses and personal items. Vulnerable elderly and disabled individuals from Klickitat County and nearby regions are highly benefited by this program. It also helps individuals struggling with alcohol or substance addiction.
A thrift store (Second Hand Rose) offers access to free and reduced price clothing, winter coats, household items, and furniture, to low to moderate income families. The goods from this program, among other things, helps people get back to work as they can get what they need for the office or their work environment. The store serves the larger community as well in both counties.
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