Southern Maine is supported by the York County Community Action Agency. The non-profit does many things for low income and struggling families in the region. They offer government aid from programs such as Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), transitional housing, budgeting and more.
Working with other non-profits and charities in York County, they also work to prevent homeless and evictions. So clients of the community action organization may be able to receive funds or loans to pay rent to prevent an eviction, or support may be available to pay the deposit on a new low income home or apartment.
The Low Income Assistance Program in Maine has been created to offer cash grants and financial assistance for paying home electric bills. A number of conditions need to be met, and eligibility is determined by household annual income and other factors. Aid is offered by YCCAC for paying Kennebunk Power, Central Maine Power and other customers from companies can also apply.
If eligible for LIAP, a credit will be dispersed onto your next monthly bill. Note that very low income residents who live in subsidized housing (such as section 8) can’t apply for this York County Community Action or federal government program.
Additional heating bill assistance from an Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) is there to provide emergency financial assistance or cash grants. This is to be used for buying home heating oil or if you have had your utilities disconnected. It can also help pay for furnace repairs.
To be eligible for ECIP, clients must have a pre-approved current LIHEAP application on file. They also need to have less than 1/8 tank of fuel with no alternative heating source and have exhausted all other chances to pay the electric company.
Similar to above is the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This was created provide financial help for paying home heating and gas bills for York County families.
Home visits are available for those who cannot apply for the program, such as seniors and the homebound. Payments are made directly to utility suppliers and Maine companies that offer heating oil, kerosene, LP gas, electricity, wood, or wood pellets.
Social Services and the York County’s Community Outreach program introduces clients to non-profits and charities. These can often assist applicants through financial assistance, funds for a crisis, referrals, and education.
To get assistance is sometimes just as simple as to call them. Case managers can then schedule an appointment with one of the Outreach Workers at locations in the county, including Sanford, Kittery, and Biddeford. Some home visits are offered too. The advice is free, and the goal is help low income families achieve independence and financial stability.
Those that need help can rely on the non-profit Community Outreach to also provide information and referrals. Limited amounts of emergency financial assistance may be offered to pay for rent, utilities, heat, housing, or food. In some cases loans many be used by York County Community Action to meet these needs.
Outreach workers from the non-profit are trained to help applicants with their long-term goals such as establishing savings or repairing credit scores, managing their budget, and more. The agency will believe everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, given the chance to gain stability, learn new skills, and gain knowledge that can help them to lead healthier and more productive lives.
The non-profit community action agency YCCAC's Home Ownership Education’s goal is to educate the public about steps that are necessary when purchasing a home. Workshops from the HUD approved agency provide comprehensive home buyer education classes to anyone who seeks to purchase a home.
The program also provides credit repair and personal financial counseling to help potential borrowers better understand the resources available to them. Through this home buying program they are able to turn participants dreams of home ownership into reality.
Living life as a homeowner is so much more than just owning a home, but also about energy conservation, home insurance, furnaces and heating systems. Buying a home can help people build equity. Free foreclosure prevention is also part of the York County Community Action agency array of services. Staff teach you how to budget your household finances, apply to a mortgage lender, and explore government loan modifications.
The federal government funded Head Start is a national preschool program offered in Maine by the non-profit YCCAC agency. It provides services to prepare children for academic, long term social and emotional success. They also provide free health care, medical and nutrition services for income-eligible students and children.
The Head Start program of York county Maine maintains several different classrooms and offers home-visitation as well. Classrooms are located throughout the county in Waterboro, Sanford, Lyman, Biddeford, Kittery, and North Berwick. Home-based specialization/office sites are also held in Biddeford, Buxton, Waterboro, Sanford, and Northern York County. These Head Start type services are available to children who qualify throughout the county of York.
The program will offer Health, Dental and Nutrition Education/Services; Growth, and educational material and support. Head Start will also offer services to disabled children and those with special needs. The program will also offer an opportunity for parents and caregivers to meet and share concerns with teachers and staff.
At York County CA$H, this financial literacy and savings program will ensure that families have the assets and savings they need to be financially secure. Staff from community action can teach you what assets are, and how they can make for a brighter future for you and your family. Financial assets can be things like savings account or other items such as education, an enriching career, bonds, a home, a business, and budgeting skills.
By working to bring more resources to the region, the York County Community Action offers this and more. Resources include Free Tax Preparation / VITA, Family Development Accounts, and credit counseling. This will allow people to match deposits into savings accounts and other classes and workshops to help participants achieve their goals.
Other education from the Early Head Start (EHS) is a government funded program for low-income families with infants, newborns and toddlers. Aid is also for pregnant women. Services include food, prenatal education, meals, and educational services. Among other things they will encourage the development of infants & toddlers from York County.
Early Head Start home-visitors or teachers are also available to those who cannot make it to site locations. They will travel to towns in Maine including Old Orchard Beach, Saco, Biddeford, Buxton, and surrounding areas.
Short term transitional housing is made available through the Family Independence Program. Their goal is to help families achieve independence and stability. It works by combining affordable housing with case management. Apartments are located within Sanford or Springvale. Clients of the low income housing can work toward their chosen goals. Outreach staff are there to help and encourage applicant families throughout the process.
A free Legal Advocacy Program is provided by York County Community Action Agency as well. They provide this service to low-income and working poor individuals who want to represent themselves in family law matters. The pro-bono lawyers help to explain how court procedures work. They will also assist with any court needed paperwork while offering support during a difficult, and trying time.
The Legal Advocacy Program from the community action agency assists persons who need help in understanding court forms or assistance filling out paperwork. The free legal aid in Maine is for family law issues such as parental responsibilities and rights, post-judgment motions, debt collection matters, power of attorney, legal name change or parental guardianship. Clients can seek counsel and advice by appointment at the York County offices located in Sanford, Kittery and Biddeford.
Save money from the state of Maine weatherization program. This is made available by YCCAC to those who qualify. The Housing Weatherization Program, which is paid for by a grant made for low-income homeowners and renters, was created to help reduce energy costs of York County families while helping them improve energy efficiency to their homes.
Some of the weatherization improvements, all of which are offered at no cost, may be done are insulation, weather-stripping, and caulking to stop the loss of heat from the home. There is also a Central Heating Improvement Program (CHIP) from the community action agency which has been set up to repair or replace central heating systems.
WIC is a free government funded food assistance program for those in need. Staff from York County Community Action will introduce you to the various cash and nutritional benefits to using the program.
Even if you are pregnant or already a parent (such as a mom or dad) of children 5 years and under. Some of the various services available to you are free formula and food. WIC may also have books for children upon each visit.
Food vouchers to redeem at your local grocery store for buying milk, juice, fruits/vegetables, eggs, cheese, and other government approved foods. Pregnant women from the agency will also have their weight taken and their iron levels checked. Staff from community action will also talk with you about eating healthy, and, if you are pregnant, about what to avoid in order to protect your baby.
For more information or intake, dial the Maine based York County Community Action Corporation. Location is 6 Spruce Street in Sanford. The primary phone number is (207) 324-5762.
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