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Butler County Community Action and Development.

Low income families can contact the Community Action and Development Agency for help. The non-profit relies on grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development as well as Public Welfare to provide support to those that are struggling.

All of the programs offered will rely on annual funding levels, so rent help or energy bill assistance may not always be offered. The agency also works with many different local, Butler County charities and churches. So they will often provide referrals to those other groups if and when possible.

The Butler County Community Action and Development receives funding that can be used to pay for certain bills, rent or a security deposit. The grants are offered through the Human Services Development Fund (HSDF) or the Homeless Assistance Program. The non-profit will also offer consumer centered Case Management services to income qualified families and individuals. The community action agency designs and implements a set of steps to take in order to solve problems over time to reach self-sufficiency.

Community Centers are located throughout Pennsylvania. They were created in an effort to serve urban and rural low to moderate income residents in both addressing and assessing problems that lead to poverty. The Community Action and Development works to break the cycle of poverty. Emergency services provided to clients include clothing, free food, heating bill help and other basic needs.

The state of Pennsylvania Rental Assistance Program (RAP) is an emergency housing initiative to help prevent evictions and homelessness in Butler County. Clients may apply for financial assistance to pay a security deposit fee, first month's rent on a new home, or back rent. There are separate allotments for households with children and those without children. Please call the non-profit agency to schedule a pre-screening workshop to determine eligibility for any aid for paying a deposit or rent.

The Work Ready Program is offered in Butler County Pennsylvania in partnership with the DPW - Department of Public Welfare. The job training and employment services are for individuals currently receiving TANF. The goal of the program is to assist and help clients reach toward the ultimate goal of unsubsidized, long-term employment.

Work Ready, which Butler County Community Action and Development is closely involved in, provides a full range of training and employment services to clients with limited employability and who have also have been unsuccessful in other employment programs.




Some examples of the services in Butler County and nearby areas include guided job search and placement in various non-profit locations, skills training, job readiness preparation, specific hands-on skills training through either paid work experience or community service.

First time home buyer classes and workshops were designed to help homebuyers or residents of Butler County who have not owned a home in the last three years. They can access counseling, grants, or loans to assist with the purchase of a home, such as a down payment.

A pre-kindergarten resource known as Pre-K Counts is dedicated to making high quality early childhood education available to local families. The programs goal is to prepare younger students in reading, science and math. It will also address and tackle other school-ready and social skills so they are ready to learn and succeed in school. The early childhood curriculum for Butler County is aligned with the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards.

Both Early Head Start (EHS)/Head Start of Butler County is a Federal and State funded comprehensive child development program. It was created in an effort to meet the needs of pre-school children (ages 3-5 years) and their families. The Early Head Start is for prenatal to 3 years.

Services provided by community action include a range of assistance programs in the areas of early childhood development, education, medical, mental health, dental, nutrition, prenatal, and parent involvement. All of these services are individualized to each families and child's developmental, ethnic, linguistic heritage, cultural, experience, and needs. Head Start of the county offers center and home-based services to families living in urban and rural communities.





WIC, or the Women Infants Children, is a program funded by the Federal Government and state of Pennsylvania to provide healthy supplemental foods, formula and nutritional services for pregnant women. There is also aid from Butler County Community Action and Development for postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children under the age of five. The primary goal of the WIC program is to improve the health of the participants during the most important stages of development and growth.

The Pennsylvania WIC Program is committed to improving the health of eligible children, infants, and women by providing breastfeeding support, nutrition education, healthy foods, and referrals to health and social programs. This is offered during the critical stages of fetal and early childhood development.

Some examples of the free services WIC provides to their participants in Butler County are as follows. They can get referrals to a variety of social service and health care agencies and programs such as TANF & Food Stamps, and Medicaid. Other resources include prenatal services like Healthy Beginnings Plus, free food pantries and emergency programs, Head Start and low cost child care, Childhood Immunization Providers, CHIP - Children's Health Insurance Program as well as the Special Kids Network. All WIC services are free to women, infants, and children, who meet the government's income guidelines.

As noted, the agency has limited funds. However, for referrals or more information, the Butler County Community Action and Development can be reached at 724-284-5125, or 124 West Diamond Street.




By Jon McNamara











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