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Akron Summit Community Action Agency programs.

There are multiple centers of the Akron Summit Community Action organization, and the locations are focused on helping the less fortunate, low income, and unemployed. Services include emergency financial help (for paying rent or heating bills) as well as more long longer term self-sufficiency programs, which may be job training or Head Start. The primary locations of the community action agency are in the cities of Barberton, Akron and Springfield.

Help for housing, rent and energy bills from ASCA

The emergency assistance from ASCA can be challenging to get as funding levels are very limited. When possible, the agency will offer help with paying for basic needs. This can include groceries, rent, heating bills, and more. Some medical type expenses can be addressed as well, such as dental or eye care needs.

Akron Summit Community Action does rely on both private and government grants to keep these programs going. While they try to offer direct financial aid, in some cases the assistance provided may be in the form of short term, zero percent or low interest rate loans. This is in particular true for needs such as rent or maybe a security deposit. The main office is at 55 E. Mill Street, Akron, Ohio 44309-2000. Call them at (330) 376-7730.

Heating, electric, and utility bill assistance is part of the Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program, known as E-HEAP in Ohio. This government resources helps low-income households, in particular seniors, the disabled, and homes with children that are threatened with a utility shut-off notice. Grants may also be offered for those that are out of heating oil, fuel, or natural gas.

Another service is the LIHEAP backed Winter Crisis Program. This assists income qualified households in danger of having their electric or maybe gas utilities disconnected. Aid may also be for those summit county residents that have already had service disconnected or that are down to a 10 day supply of fuel.

During the hot Ohio summer months, the SCP or Summer Crisis Program operates. This is a form of financial assistance that is made to eligible households and it can help them with making an electric bills or air conditioning payment.




PIPP - the Percentage of Income Payment Plan is also offered by Akron Summit Community Action (ASCA). This is an extended payment arrangement that requires regulated electric and natural gas companies in Ohio to accept payments based on a percentage of the Summit County families monthly household income.

A big focus on the Akron area is on keeping heat, lights, and electricity on. The non-profit Akron Summit Community Action can direct low income families and the vulnerable to grants, payment plans, budget billing and other solutions. Most energy companies in Summit County offer support. There is even information on Ohio utility bill assistance at the community action agency.

The Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, is another resource that is administered by the not for profit Akron Summit Community Action, Inc. The EITC Program provides low to moderate income residents with free tax preparation advice and this is for working poor individuals. The advice and assistance is made available to them by IRS approved and certified volunteers through a resource known as VITA.

The VITA as well as EITC Program is run by the community-based Coalition. Other partner groups are Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (AMHA), United Way of Summit County, Akron Summit County Public Library, Ohio Jobs and Family Services, Children’s Hospital, Summit Chapter of the Ohio Credit Union League, and even the Red Cross.





Akron Summit Community Action income, budgeting, and educational assistance programs

Both Head Start and Early Head are run by the Akron Summit Community Action, Inc. This location is involved in providing high-quality early childhood education in nurturing, age-appropriate and secure center-based locations. They address both infant/toddler and pre-school learning environments.

The overall Head start program goals are to enhance the development of very young children, promote healthy prenatal outcomes for pregnant women, encourage healthy family functioning, and in general enhance school readiness by enhancing educations development of children from low income families. The ASCA Head Start program also helps parents by coordinating self-sufficiency. It provides them with early childhood development, education, free health services, meals, and assistance to disabled children and those with special need.

The Early Head Start Program, which is very similar to above, also provides a home-based pre-natal education/curriculum to enrolled women and their infant children. Among other things, it will promote healthy prenatal outcomes while developing healthy family functioning and also enhancing the knowledge of the infant. All of these Akron and Summit County programs address family's developmental, cultural, ethnic, and linguistic heritage. They are also run in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or DHHS.

Another program is known as National Circles Campaign. It is an anti-poverty program from the Akron Summit Community Action agency. Case managers work with clients on self-sufficiency and help them overcome the challenges of poverty. This includes many aspects, such as referrals, employment, and information on other state of Ohio assistance programs.

A number of education services are offered by the Summit County Ohio Community Action Agency This often leads to job placement and career help. There is GED training, apprenticeships, and resources around gaining new skills. Anyone can apply that is in need.





Minorities, immigrants, those lacking a high school or GED are often many of the clients seeking help. Education and skills are critical in the job force. Then there are interview or resume classes, job placement, and more. Even find how job seekers with no experience can find employment.

Location of Summit County Community Action

While the main office is in the city of Akron, assistance and advice is offered countywide. Whether referrals, emergency food, job programs, or financial aid, ASCA works to help the less fortunate. The main office is at 55 E. Mill Street, Akron, Ohio 44309-2000. Call them at (330) 376-7730.

By Jon McNamara

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