B.C.M.W. Community Services assistance programs.

Programs from B.C.M.W. Community Services can address several different needs. While a focus is on assisting with housing issues, including rent help, shelter and weatherization programs, case managers partner with low income families on other issues as well.

The non-profit community action agency covers the Illinois counties of Bond, Clinton, Marion, and Washington. A key focus is on helping people overcome their challenges. The non-profit is truly a poverty fighting organization and they won't just provide a hand out.

Many of the programs are funded by the Community Services Block Grant Program. This is available from B.C.M.W. Community Services. The non-profit assists low-income people to help them attain skills, knowledge and self-sufficiency they need. This emergency program also provides helps in other ways. It is funded through grants that are issued from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Examples of what may be offered are as follows.

  • Adopt-A-Family Christmas Program and Free Food Baskets are offered in most counties such as Bond.
  • During a crisis, B.C.M.W. may have free food, shelter, rent help, prescription medication and transportation.
  • Applications and information on public aid such as LIHEAP for heating bills and section 8 vouchers.
  • Their Employee Support Group offers assistance with employment related bills and costs. This can include uniforms, car repairs, etc. It is offered for low-income working individuals and the poor.

FCD, or the Family and Community Development, helps families to obtain self-sufficiency, employment, and stability. Some of what may be available and part of the program is as follows.

  • Low interest loans are offered for start up or expansion of a business.
  • The under and unemployed in Washington County are also offered with job search assistance, placement services and development activities.
  • Social workers offer free information and referrals to link low-income people with various government and non-profit resources.
  • Working poor and low-income students attending local colleges are offered with competitive scholarships.
  • Lists and referrals to free Clothing Pantries.




Rent and energy bill assistance applications from the DHS Homeless Prevention Programs may be on site. Qualified residents can get help with paying rent, mortgage, security deposits and utility assistance for those experiencing a temporary economic crisis. Also look into Emergency and Transitional Housing programs. The federally funded EFSP Program offers emergency food, short term shelter, rent and heating bill assistance.

B.C.M.W. Community Services also works with the DHS Front Door Program. It offers assistance in paying for employment related expenses. Applicants of course need to qualify and obtain a referral through the DHS public aid office.

Heating and utility bill help from LIHEAP can be applied for at B.C.M.W. Community Services. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program was created for assisting eligible working poor, seniors, and the disabled. These low-income households in counties such as Marion Illinois can get help in paying their winter energy bills. If your utilities are included in rent, you may still be eligible for assistance.

A one time benefit or grant is provided to eligible households for paying their home energy bills. The amount of the payment is determined by government funding levels, income, fuel type and even the county or geographic location.

Project Bread is a free feeding, nutritional program for qualified residents. It is run in partnership with non-profits and is funded by Midland Area Agency on Aging, which offers a well-balanced noon meal for senior citizens (men and women over the age of 60). This Project is the idea of ensuring the Basic Right of the Elderly to an Adequate Diet. The Home Delivered Meal Program is for those that are unable to attend at the meal-site. While no one will be turned away, donations are appreciated as the food programs depend on the donations that are received.

The primary focus of B.C.M.W. Project Bread is to assist senior citizens in maintaining their physical health. It will provide them with support such as free essential nutrients at the noon meal. In addition, nutritional information, workshops, and support is provided through speakers and pamphlets.

Locations of the meal locations are as follows.

Project Bread Centralia, Illinois, 308 N. Locust, Centralia, IL 62801, (618)533-1073
#26 Southern Gardens, Salem, IL 62881, (618)548-5225
Kinmundy, Illinois, Kinmundy Community Center, 104 W. 3rd, Kinmundy, IL 62854, telephone (618)547-3476 or (618)533-1073





Head Start is available in Washington and Bond County. It is a comprehensive child development program which is federally government funded. The community action agency, from this program, promotes a rich, highly nurturing, and learning environment for families of Clinton, Marion, Washington and Franklin Counties as well. Other assistance from Head start may be a meal or medical care.

Homebuyer Program from B.C.M.W. Community Services will try to provide down payments and closing costs assistance. It is available to residents that are purchasing a new home in the region. The actual mortgage for the home is financed through a local bank or some other financial institution.

Loans and grants for repairs are offered too. The program offers funds for rehabilitating the property to bring the home up to Section 8 Housing Quality Standards.

Any loans or assistance paid out is in the form of a zero-interest, forgivable loan. Other requirements include homebuyer applicants will be provided a mandatory workshop on the home selection process, get help with the mortgage application, closing process, credit counseling, budgets, and other related subjects. Illinois Housing Development Authority is the program administrator and B.C.M.W. Community Services runs the housing programs in Bond, Clinton, Jefferson, Marion and other towns.

In addition to those resources, a Housing Rehabilitation program is administered by the B.C.M.W. Community Services. It is funded by the government as well as Illinois Housing Development Authority. The money is used for completing improvements to older residences. This can include major rehabilitation work on owner-occupied properties in need of general repairs, new heating units and/or necessary work to bring these properties up to local building code standards.

The homeless and low income can look into the Transitional Housing Program. This resource from the non-profit B.C.M.W. Community Services provides an affordable, subsidized transitional housing unit to live in. It offers working poor people time so that they can work towards achieving them self-sufficiency. Target areas of self-sufficiency include employment, income, education, job skills, transportation, health, child care and housing.




The Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program, or IHWAP, has been created for helping low-income residents with conservation. It can help them in saving fuel and money on their utility bills while making their homes more comfortable. Some of the people it  support include a household that has an occupant who receives S.S.I., L.I.H.E.A.P., or T.A.N.F. grant, owner-occupied properties whose household members income does not exceed the federal government income guidelines, and even renters.

Weatherization will provide the homeowner with a free energy audit, repairing windows and doors, sealing cracks with weatherstrip and caulk, extra insulation of attics and walls, and even repairs or tune ups for your furnace or heating system.

The B.C.M.W. Community Services has a few offices, as noted below.

Bond County, 915D South Third, Greenville, Illinois 62246, call (618) 664-3309 for intake
Clinton County, 625 N 2nd St., Breese, IL 62230, main phone (618) 526-7123
Marion County, 909 E. Rexford, Centralia, Illinois 62801, (618) 532-7388
Washington County, 455 S. Washington, Nashville, IL 62263, telephone (618) 327-8476


By Jon McNamara

“Related Links” are listed below.




Contact Us

About Us


Privacy policy