Adirondack Community Action Programs assistance.

Residents of the county of Essex can turn to Adirondack Community Action and their programs for assistance. The non-profit and its case managers partner with the working poor, less fortunate and others to try to help them gain stability. There are programs for the disabled, seniors, and unemployed as well. The goal is to help people get short term help, such as food and shelter, while obtaining employment and increased education.

The Family Self-Sufficiency Service offers a comprehensive set of resources designed to guide families toward independence and long term financial self-sufficiency. This program requires a commitment from the individual, in which they will review the family’s current circumstances, needs, and options for moving toward their goals.

The highly trained staff from ACAP helps people by connecting clients with appropriate services and resources, gathering information on employment and educational opportunities in a new computer lab, performing personal interviews and mock employment interviews, and much more. Clients can also be referred to job centers or retraining if needed. The goal is to obtain employment somewhere in Essex County New York.

Financial aid and free food is part of Emergency Needs. It can help with expenses such as rent, heating bills, or the security deposit on a new low income apartment. There are also food pantries or shelves in Essex County, and they may have canned items or groceries. There may also be home delivered meals for seniors or the disabled. The main shelves are at the following.

  • ACAP Main Office, 7572 Court Street, Elizabethtown
  • Keeseville pantry is at Methodist Church, Front Street

Often running at the same time as above, the Workforce Development Program provides an array of services to assist individuals who are unemployed or underemployed with improving their work situations. The pre-employment component is devoted to understanding their goals. Then staff from Adirondack Community Action Programs will work with them on coordination of services, assessment of career aspirations and goals, and the development of employability and long term career plans.




Throughout the entire Workforce Development Process, there are workshops held across Essex County. These offer an opportunity for clients to discuss their job-search progress and to share their experiences along the way. This also gives participants the chance to follow up with staff members and specialists from ACAP, in order to determine that they are going in the right direction by making necessary contacts and researching appropriate employment opportunities.

The Adirondack Community Action Programs Work Readiness Center is another valuable resource for residents. The community action agency will host a program entitled Job Club Online, where they provide instruction and guidance in regard to employment opportunities. They also try to partner with various industries or from the human-resources field to facilitate discussions and provide valuable insights.

In addition to the Workforce Development services described in the previous paragraphs, the non-profit also provides job placement services that link clients with employment opportunities. Now while this depends on partnering companies, it may put people into place for advancement and compensation greater than minimum wage. This will help clients in their efforts toward economic independence. The agency also provide post-employment support by maintaining regular contact and assisting in the transition into the workforce.

SCEP is the Older Worker Employment Program. The community action agency will try to offers part-time, subsidized employment for residents age 55 and older.

The Summer Youth Employment Program as well as day care for children is funded by the state and may be available in Essex County depending on availability of funding. The program provides paid work experience, combined with job-readiness training, academic enrichment, career exploration, and opportunities to become involved in the greater community.

ACAP also works with agency on aging to help senior citizens. There is a program known as Nutrition Program for the Elderly, and this will offer free meals, classes, and activities at senior centers in Essex County. Transportation can also be arranged, and this can be for local rides to doctors’ appointments, the pharmacy, and related appointments.

The federally funded Head Start Program provides a comprehensive set of educational and family developmental services that are centered on children under the age of 6 from low-income Essex County families. Half-day and full-day services are offered at the centers, with full-day programming generally limited to children who have reached the age of four.

Early Head Start is a similar program, geared to pregnant women that meet income limits and children from birth to age three. This service from Adirondack Community Action Programs (ACAP) offers home-based as well as center-based services, with the home-based component scheduled at each family’s convenience.





The primary objective of weatherization is to reduce the burden of fuel costs on low-income households in Essex County by making energy-efficient alterations to their homes, including necessary items from the following list.

  • Furnace Efficiency Testing, Cleaning and Tuning
  • Furnace or Refrigerator Replacement (cases of extremely low efficiency)
  • Hot Water Tank Repair or Replacement (as approved by Housing and Community Renewal)
  • Insulation (attic, floor and/or walls)
  • Window or Door Repair or Replacement
  • Weather-Stripping and Caulking

The free weatherization and Energy Conservation programs are restricted to homes in the region. Both renters and homeowners are eligible, based on income guidelines. For rental units, the homeowner or landlord is required to cover the cost of a portion of improvements made to the dwelling.

The IRS supported and partially funded Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) offers free tax help for low to moderate-income taxpayers. It may also assist seniors from the region. Help is for those who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to prepare tax or even file returns on their own.

Trained volunteers from the Adirondack Community Action Programs ensure that each client receives any special credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Child Tax Credit, to which they are entitled. Additionally, free electronic filing, or e-filing, is available at most VITA sites in New York

Holiday and Christmas programs provide gifts to children and free meals to the less fortunate. Staff from ACAP partner with U.S. Marine Corps and Toys for Tots, the Salvation Army and use donations from the community to provide for the needy.

The programs above are available as funding allows, or ACAP may provide referrals. The main center is at 7572 Court Street, Elizabethtown, New York 12932. The phone number is (518) 873-3207.



By Jon McNamara

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