The regional community action agency, West Texas Opportunities, provides short term emergency assistance and long term benefits to low income families. The center is a source of information on both financial aid for bills or housing as well as job placement or education services. The non-profit addresses poverty in more than one way.
Several different counties are supported by WTO, including Midland, Dawson, Martin, Howard, Glasscock,, Andrews, Upton, Ector, Gaines, Scurry, Borden, and Nolan. Applicants will need to meet with a case manager, and this individual will help them apply for energy bill help from CEAP or transportation from JARC. Many other services are administered.
The Weatherization Assistance service is available in Midland, Borden, and other counties. West Texas Opportunities provides support to the less fortunate and works with other partners. The program's purpose is to make homes, especially older ones, more energy efficient by making improvements that are deemed to be cost-effective, based on results from computerized energy-audit program. The actual work to the property is performed by WTO staff members, and can save the homeowner an average of $300 per year in energy costs. Specific services include the following.
The work may involve Compact Fluorescent Lights; adding insulation to floors, perimeter, and attics; Furnaces work including replacement, cleaning, tuning or repairs; adding refrigerators that are efficient; Sealing Air Leaks including weather-stripping doors and windows, adding door sweeps, caulking; and more.
Home Energy Assistance Program (CEAP or LIHEAP) - For any eligible, low-income household, HEAP helps pay for electricity, propane, natural gas, wood, oil, kerosene, coal, or any other heating fuel. This is a federally-funded program that issues benefits to supplement a household's annual energy cost. It is offered in areas such as Ector, Midland, Glasscock, and Dawton County as well.
In addition, emergency benefits in the form of grants may be provided by West Texas Opportunities for eligible households who have received a Termination Notice from their utility provider. Families receiving emergency utility payment assistance from the WTO Emergency program may be required to pay back the assistance to as well, so technically the money is issued as a loan. Note that CEAP season runs yearly from November to March, with the emergency component available year round.
Head Start is a comprehensive, developmental preschool program in which West Texas Opportunities can process applications. It supports each lower income child's social, emotional, cognitive, and physical growth, as he or she learns and experiences success at his or her own pace. It also helps the parents.
Each family meets regularly with a family advocate from WTO, who works closely with each parent to provides support. They help them break the cycle of poverty. There may be information, referrals, and other support to help parents feel more connected to their classroom and the greater community. Parents from across Midland Texas and other regions are strongly encouraged to participate, not only in their children's development, but also in programming that often leads to employment and them addressing their crisis.
Head Start will help children explore their environment and solve problems, and participating in activities that prepare them to enter kindergarten. There are various courses and workshops. Of course Head Start offer educational activities and free nutritious meals (breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks) to the child.
WTO Transportation Services are available. Rides can help Medicaid patients make it to a doctor or hospital in the region. There are also government subsidized services, such as 510 Transportation, for other local needs.
Case management is a mid-level support service from West Texas Opportunities. It helps people transition between crisis intervention and can place individuals into professional counseling if needed. The process is as follows.
WTO will then follow up with people to ensure that all needs around food, housing, employment and more were met. Furthermore, case managers will check in with them periodically.
Referrals can also be given to the ESG and the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) are part of West Texas Opportunities housing initiatives. There is a variety of aid available through the non-profit. The agency will do its best to offer assistance to families facing imminent loss of their existing housing, as well as those who are currently homeless.
Grants may help people in immediate need of housing because of homelessness or imminent eviction from their current property. Any support is for crisis situations only. ESG assists tenants with first month's rent or past-due rent. There may also be money for utility or heating bills, while EFSP may also issue loans as a form of damage deposit assistance to eligible individuals or families.
Locations of West Texas Opportunities intake sites
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