Bristol Community Organization programs.

The following towns and counties in Connecticut are supported by the Bristol Community Organization. Residents of Farmington, Plymouth, Bristol, Burlington, and Plainville can call upon the non-profit when they are faced with difficulties or if they need assistance. A wide range of government and private resources can help people make it through a difficult period and break the cycle of poverty.

Heating, utility, rent and gas bill programs from Bristol Community Organization

Government assistance from CEAP (Connecticut Energy Assistance Program) can assist and help people cover their heating costs. This is only an option for your main source of heat, whether it is natural gas, electricity, or propane. If you qualify for aid, your utility company or your deliverable fuel dealer (oil, propane, kerosene, coal or wood) will be paid a fixed dollar amount from CEAP. Funding and benefits are limited and are may not pay for your full winter heating bill.

Honorably discharged ex-service women and men may be eligible for the Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines Fund. This is a form of financial assistance that can be used for paying energy, heating and utility bills or to make furnace repairs.

Bristol Community Organization offers CEAP Crisis and Safety Net Benefits to low income households that heat with so called deliverable fuels. Once a client uses up all of their basic CEAP benefits (per above), an additional one-time crisis assistance or grant payment for a fuel delivery may be available. This will depend on the families household income.

Fuel Banks, including Operation Fuel, is an option for more moderate income customers in Plymouth, Bristol, and other towns. The program can also assist people who have used up their current CEAP benefits (see above). Any payments from the non-profit Operation Fuel program are made directly to the utility or gas company that supplies the household with their energy or utility services.

Arrearage forgiveness programs are available across Connecticut and are often regulated by the state. A case manager can advise you on it, but residents need to contact their utility company directly to make arrangements. If qualified, some of your back debt (bills) will be forgiven over time.




It is offered during the summer and winter months. Customers from United Illuminating, Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P), Connecticut Natural Gas, Southern Connecticut Gas, and Yankee Gas can all apply. Call your utility company, local fuel bank, or even a Bristol Community Organization (BCO) caseworker.

Customers that enroll in the Arrearage forgiveness you may also be eligible for a special program for reduced monthly payments on their account. Not only will it save residents money, but for those households that pay their bills on time, your utility company will more than likely match the amount you paid on your account and apply that dollar amount to your bill.

Rent help from Bristol Community Organization is known as the Eviction Prevention and Foreclosure Program. The non-profit helps people facing eviction/foreclosure or homelessness pay their back rent or a portion of past due mortgage. Any assistance paid out is meant for low and moderate income families and individuals.

Not only that, but case managers from BCO provide tenants and their landlords or mortgage holders with an opportunity to have their disputes resolved without need for legal action. So the issue will be mediated. Applicants need to be experiencing a non-recurring, unexpected, documentable hardship and have a foreclosure or eviction notice. It is available in all areas, even towns such as Plainville Connecticut. Other conditions apply too in order to get emergency rental assistance.

Additional services

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren will help grandparents 60 years of age and older who are responsible for raising their grandchildren or young relatives. It is run in partnership with the North Central Area Agency on Aging, or NCAAA.

Child development from the Head Start Program relies on federal and state funds. It is a fully comprehensive resource which serves children from low-income and poor families. The children are given access to a learning environment that will help them develop intellectually, socially, physically, and emotionally over time in a manner appropriate to their age and stage of development. Dial (860) 584-9307 to get more information on this Bristol Community Organization administered service.





Homecare assistance, including Homemaking, Respite Care, and Companion is for economically disadvantaged elderly, and/or disabled residents of Forestville, Bristol, Plainville, Farmington, Burlington, Terryville and Plymouth Connecticut. This is a low cost service. It can provide for light housekeeping duties, Transportation to medical appointments and errands, Laundry, Light meal preparation, and Respite Care. Telephone - (860) 584-8102.

Eligible clients who need state of Connecticut HUSKY health insurance and/or Healthy Start services can contact the non-profit. It is for pregnant women and they are also offered free Case Management services and application assistance. Support, information and referral services are provided too. In addition to that, prenatal workshops are provided by the Bristol Hospital Exchange Club and Child Center.

HUSKY, also known as Healthcare for UninSured Kids and Youth, is a federal and state (DSS) managed health insurance program for children under the age of 19 who are legal permanent residents or U.S. citizens. The other option, known as Healthy Start, is a government public health insurance program for low income pregnant women. It offers prenatal care, health check ups and all other medical services, case management, and other supportive services.




The Youth Employment program from Bristol Community Organization / BCO offers students and teens with basic education combined with pre-vocational training. It is for eligible youths and adults with barriers to full time employment. Workshops in computer literacy, basic skills, customer service, and employability skills are offered for qualifying 16 to 21 year-old youths and adults.

Get referrals to Social Services in Hartford County. Call (860) 589-8623. Staff administer a wide variety of programs for the lower to moderate income. Services include advocacy, details on government benefits, and support services. Information and referral services include details on free food, childcare resources, health care, furniture, clothing, employment assistance, rent help and shelter assistance, State DSS services and money management. Or get information on DSS Medical and SNAP Food Stamps. Other support includes transportation via BCO's Dial-a-Ride, referral to employment and training resources, food or clothing vouchers, and guidance.

Bristol Community Organization, Inc. is located at 55 South Street, Bristol, CT 06010, (860) 584-2725.


By Jon McNamara

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