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Assistance programs from California community action agencies.

Struggling and low income families in California can receive help from their local community action agency listed below. Dozens of locations operate across the state, and they are in every county. Each center is a non-profit organization that is focused on helping the less fortunate and low income families. While they may have some short term emergency assistance for needs such as bills, food, and housing, the main goal of each agency is to help California residents overcome barriers to self-sufficiency.

Therefore community action agencies in CA organize job training and employment services. They also help with budgeting, credit repair and financial literacy. Each location will offer its own programs based on funding and resources, so it is recommended to call to get the specifics.

Grants and financial assistance

Many community action agencies and partnerships process applications for the Pacific Gas and Electric Energy Savings Assistance Program. It can provide income qualified customers free weatherization measures, energy education, and even appliances that can help them reduce gas and electric usage and therefore save money. For example, some programs and people may even qualify for new energy-efficient refrigerators at no charge to them. Some of the weatherization measures offered may include free compact fluorescent lamps, caulking, weather-stripping, attic insulation, and installation of showerheads.

Apply for the Home Energy Assistance Program. This federal government utility bill assistance program provides one cash grant to low-income persons for paying their energy bills. Customers apply for the financial assistance through their local community action partnership location. Case managers will determine customer eligibility and the exact amount of cash payment to be made to the utility company based on state of California and federal government guidelines.

A similar service is the Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP). This is for low-income customers and seniors that have received a 48-hour shut off notice from their energy provider. Or emergency assistance can be paid out to those senior citizens or disabled persons that have received a 15-Day Shut Off Notice. Not only will it help those California families with a disconnect notice, but it can also offer assistance to customers in obtaining firewood and propane. Grants may also be paid out, as funding allows, for the repair or replacement of heating systems or your air conditioner. Or even find other sources of free firewood.




Government and financial assistance may be offered. Many are state of California or federal government programs. Learn more or apply for at an agency. Some of the primary resources are here.

CalWORKs is a cash aid program that helps lower income and working poor families in need because of the absence of a parent, reduction in hours or unemployment. A cash grant is paid out based on your family size and income.

A homeless prevention program is also part of CalWorks. Community Action Agencies often can help families with applications to it. The program may assist with everything from back rent or mortgage payments to utility bills, storage costs and more. Continue with CalWorks homeless prevention.

General Assistance Program is more of a last resort. The state provides cash assistance to needy residents who have no other means of financial support and who do not qualify for other non-profit or public aid.

Medical bill assistance and health care can be provided by Medi-Cal. Case managers at your local community action agency can often refer families to this, and it cares for low-income adults, children and elderly persons. Some of the assistance programs offered by California under Medi-Cal include assistance for Aged, Blind or Disabled (ABD); Long Term Care; Board and Care; Asset Waiver Medi-Cal for children; County Medical Services Program (CMSP); and Healthy Families.

Rent and Homeless Assistance may be provided to CalWORKs beneficiaries. If you do not have a normal place to stay or are facing imminent eviction, then apply to your community action partnership for payment for your housing costs. When a person or family is no longer homeless and finds a place to stay, the state may also offer financial assistance to help the individual with paying a security deposit and the rent for the first or the most recent, past month. Generally, any first month’s rent assistance and eviction prevention programs are available from several federal or non-profit grant sources; therefore funds are usually limited. Most agencies will also require that clients need to be able to demonstrate the ability to continue rental obligation after receiving help.





Homeless motel voucher assistance also relies on grants from different sources. Clients can be assisted under this short term program for 1 to 30 days. Importantly, any recipients must be willing to make efforts towards becoming self-sufficient over the long term in order to receive continued assistance.

Local government often work with community action agencies on this service. There may be free one night emergency motel vouchers from the state or non-profits in California. They are for the homeless, migrants, women fleeing violence, or those who were evicted.

Self-sufficiency from community action agencies

The Community Services Block Grant funds are one of the main resources offered. The grant program allows the organizations to help farm workers and the working poor deal with a number of situations and crises. Funds will help those who are suffering from poverty and/or extreme educational deficits. Some of the services offered include job training and placement services.

As part of this process, a case manager will offer an assessment of each client. You will be assigned to a specialist who will continue to case-manage clients. Advice for long term success such as household budgeting information will be provided, as well as the possibility of emergency assistance such as rental payments, food, shelter. Or if a community action agency can’t help you, then they may offer a referral to other non-profit agencies in surrounding towns and cities.

CalWORKs Emergency Payment Program is tasked with offering advocacy and cash payments. Any aid offered is for CalWORKS participants and it needs to go towards the continuation of their educational and employment goals.

Education, employment assistance and job training

Many educational type programs are offered. Most services are focused on helping customers to increase employability.

English As A Second Language, or ESL, provides basic vocational and daily life English survival skills. What can be addressed are skills that are directed toward communication of basic needs and wants, ability to understand simple directions, and similar services.

Job Placement Assistance is provided by many local community action agencies. Get help in locating entry-level positions in the employment fields desired by the client of the non-profit organization. Most positions will be in your local town or county. Community action agencies can help immigrants, those lacking skills, non-English speakers in California and others by helping them find great entry level jobs.

The primary objective of the various job programs are to help people find and secure meaningful and productive employment for lower income and/or unemployed individuals. All clients of an agency are provided career counseling and job search skills, and can assist with helping people develop personal and vocational skills necessary for fulfilling full time or part time employment. For more information on employment assistance in California.

A main program is Family Self-Sufficiency. This was created to assist families and individuals who are currently participating in the Section 8 housing voucher program. Almost all community action agencies administer some type of Self-Sufficiency Program, and they can help individuals find employment, case managers teach parenting and life skills. All of this is done while participants become independent of all California government assistance over a period of time.





Other services include advocacy, guidance, and referrals for clients of a community action agency. People can be given information about local food banks, rental assistance programs, legal aid, energy bill assistance programs, or consumer advocacy services.

The agencies will work with a variety of public and nonprofit organizations, educational institutions as well as local businesses to ensure that educational enhancement and placement services meet the needs of the residents of California.

The Workforce Investment Act as well as a local Office for Employment Training will provide a comprehensive array of services to both employers and job seekers. These centers offer many services, tools and resources to people trying to find a job, or gain a new skill. A number of workshops and classes are available to improve a person’s job skills in interviewing skills, career planning, job search strategies, and resume writing. Services can include Youth Employment Program, Veterans Resources, Cal-Learn, and many others.

Community action agency food programs in California

Most community action agencies also have information on local food banks or pantries. Any items are distributed based on the applicant’s family size and on what is needed to makes a nutritionally-balanced diet. The CalFresh or Food Stamp Program offers families, especially those with children, free food and meals. It is also called SNAP, and it can add resources to your monthly food budget to put healthy and nutritious meals on the table.

California community action agencies sometimes have free food pantries on site. The amount of groceries will be limited, but they can be effective as a last resort. Or help during a disaster. Even find other free food pantries in California.

Programs for children, infants and students

Preschool programs and assistance includes Head Start and California State Preschool. These are designed to give children from low income families a meaningful head start in their education. Programs were also designed to take into consideration a family’s ethnic and cultural heritage, with a strong emphasis placed on the parent’s role in providing education.

Services are also focused on early reading and math skills in a safe and caring. The early education programs in California prepare students for a lifetime of academic success.

Head Start supports qualified children in several ways, including offering nutritious, delicious meals and snacks, setting up classes at school or in your home, and do what it takes to help children obtain successful learning. Infant and Toddler Care Programs as well as Early Head Start were designed for low-income families with young children, infants and toddlers up to age three. It can also support pregnant women. Resources can promote healthy prenatal care for pregnant women, supports consistent, caring relationships, and help enhance the development of very young children.

Children can also make money and earn an income, even from apps, social networks, YouTube or other technology. They can save those funds or help the family pay the bills. Or kids can invest, and California community action agencies are a place to learn about these options. As an example, find how it is easy to make money on YouTube.

The Summer Food Services Program will help students and teenagers during the summer, when they do not have access to school lunches or breakfasts. For those students and children who rely on free or reduced-price school meals, usually the end of the school year means they have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, and this is when the summer food program can help. Low-income children, under the age of 19, can receive a free nutritious meal or snack during summer break from the Summer Food Services Program (SFSP).







School Age Child Care provides childcare to working parents or people who are in job training. Children can receive free or low cost, yet high quality care during holidays and vacations, before and after school, and other critical times of the year.

Seniors can be supported by community action agencies

Healthy at Home or Meals on Wheels are home-delivered, fresh, healthy homemade meals provided for the elderly and seniors. Clients need to find it difficult or impossible, to travel away from their homes for their own food. For many people, the delivery driver is also their only company of the day, so people also get companionship.

Healthy Table or congregate meals are offered at host sites in California. Participants are served free healthy, nutritious meals. In addition to the lunchtime or dinner companionship, the seniors can also participate in recreational activities. Turn to these warm and friendly places to meet and eat together.

Senior Services Programs can improve the quality of life of senior citizens in the community and extend the time they are able to live independently. There are low cost medications drug plans for low income seniors, home care, community action agency food programs in California and much more. Volunteers and staff from your local agencies can provide minor home repairs and installations such as grab bars, make friendly visits, deliver meals and more.

Additional services

The mission of community action agencies Mental Health Programs are to provide an atmosphere of warmth and caring to those people who are suffering from a mental illness. Case managers and public health care can help people reach their highest potential and obtain the attention they need.

Some local community action partnerships participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. VITA provides free federal and state of California tax filing services for working individuals and low income families.

Locations of California community action agencies

The list below is the main center for the county. There are usually a number of satellite offices around the state as well.

Amador-Tuolumne Community Action Agency
Location is 10590 CA-88
Jackson, California 95642-2646
Call (209) 223-1485 for intake.

Berkeley Community Action Agency
Address - 2180 Milvia Street, 2nd Floor
Berkeley, CA 94704
Telephone number - (510) 644-6001
This non-profit serves the needy in Alameda County California.

Calaveras, Mariposa Community Action Agency
Mail address is P.O. Box 99
Mariposa, CA 95338
Phone number - (209) 966-3609





Campesinos Unidos, Inc.
Brawley, California 92227
Telephone: (760) 351-5100 or  (760) 370-5100
The southern California region and counties of San Diego and Imperial are supported by this community action agency. Assistance programs offered include weatherization, electric bill assistance, job training, food, and much more.

Central Valley Opportunity Center of Stanislaus County
The non-profit is at 6838 Bridget Court
Winton, CA 95388
Telephone: (209) 357-0062, or to get more information click here for Central Valley Opportunity Center of Stanislaus County assistance programs.

City of Los Angeles Community Development Department
Main address is 1200 W. 7th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Telephone number - (213) 744-7300
Resources are offered for all of Los Angeles County.

Colusa-Glenn-Trinity Community Action Partnership
Main address is 420 E. Laurel Street
Willows, CA 95988
Telephone: (530) 934-6514
Residents of Colusa, Glenn, and Trinity can call this location. While the focus is on job and employment services, they also run a food bank for California families and have other support. Learn more on assistance from Colusa-Glenn-Trinity Community Action Partnership.

Community Action Agency of Butte County, Inc.
181 E Shasta Ave
Chico, CA 95973
(530) 712-2600

Community Action Agency of Santa Cruz County, Inc.
Both Monterey and Santa Cruz County are supported. They offer services for immigrants, rent grants from RAP, and more. Another focus is on assisting day laborers as well as youth with their employment needs. Get more details on the Santa Cruz community action agency.

Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County
Main address is 5638 Hollister Avenue, Suite 230
Goleta, CA 93117
Telephone number (805) 964-8857
Apply for HEAP energy assistance. Receive referrals, case management, and poverty fighting programs and services. Read more on help from community action agency of Santa Barbara County.

Community Action Marin
555 Northgate Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903
Phone -  415-526-7500 or (415) 485-1489.
For information on services, click here. Everyone from immigrants to Spanish speakers and the working poor can get help. Find financial aid from Community Action Marin.

Community Action of Napa Valley
Office location - 2521 Old Sonoma Rd
Napa, CA 94558
Telephone: (707) 253-6100

Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo, Inc.
1030 Southwood Drive
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Primary telephone: (805) 544-4355

Community Action Partnership of Kern
5005 Business Park N
Bakersfield, CA 93309
Telephone number - (661) 336-5236
Assistance is offered in other languages such as Spanish. Resources are offered for low income families, the working poor, seniors, and others. Food, case management, and self-sufficiency is provided by social workers from this community action agency. Continue with Community Action Partnership of Kern assistance programs.





Community Action Partnership of Madera County
1225 Gill Avenue
Madera, CA 93637
Telephone number is (559) 673-9173

Community Action Partnership of Orange County, Inc.
11870 Monarch Street
Garden Grove, CA 92841
Main telephone: (714) 897-6670
Helps families, individuals, disabled, and seniors across all of Orange County California. More details on Community Action Partnership of Orange County CA assistance programs.

Community Action Partnership of Riverside County
2038 Iowa Avenue, Suite B-102
Riverside, California 92507
Main telephone: (951) 955-4900
Housing assistance, energy bill funds, and other financial aid is available. Or look into employment and job training programs. More on Riverside County Community Action assistance programs.

Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County (CAPSBC)
696 S. Tippecanoe Avenue
San Bernardino, CA 92415-0610
Telephone number to dial is (909) 723-1500
Thousands of low income families, seniors, and other turn to the non-profit. Food, information on job training, grants for rent or utilities and other aid is available. Read CAPSBC assistance programs.

Community Action Partnership of San Diego
1700 Pacific Highway, MS P-509
San Diego, CA 92101-7439
Telephone (Toll-Free): 1-866-262-9881
Assistance offered included Head Start, ESL, job programs, and limited financial aid. Get information on emergency rental assistance, and resources offered by PGE for paying utility bills. More community action San Diego.

Community Action Partnership of Solano
Address: 1545 N Texas St Ste 201
Fairfield, CA 94533
Telephone - (707) 365-7046

Community Action Agency and Partnership of Sonoma County
141 Stony Cir
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Main telephone number to call for help is (707) 544-6911
Numerous assistance programs are available. They include LIHEAP, information on government benefits such as Cal-Fresh, employment programs, and more. Continue with Community Action in Sonoma County.

Community Action Partnership of Ventura County
621 Richmond Avenue
Oxnard, CA 93030
Telephone: (805) 436-4000
Supports migrants and working poor. Food assistance, CalWork, housing, and career counseling are some of the services offered. Loans may pay for home repairs. Housing assistance may be offered too, including rent and security deposit assistance from the Homeless Transition Center. Read more on Ventura County community action.

Community Services and Employment Training (C-SET)
312 N.W. 3rd Avenue
Visalia, California 93279
Telephone number is (559) 732-4194
This non-profit supports Tulare County. Find more details on financial aid from Community Action in Tulare County.

Contra Costa County, EHS, Community Services Bureau
40 Douglas Drive
Martinez, CA 94553
Telephone: (925) 313-1551 or (925) 313-1772.
A wide range of services are offered. They include housing, help people gain employment and high tech job skills, budgeting workshops and financial aid. Learn more on emergency help from community action agency of Contra Costa County.

Economic Opportunity Council of San Francisco
1426 Fillmore Street, Suite 301
San Francisco, CA 94115
Telephone number is (415) 749-3971 or (415) 749-5600
Assistance for housing, rent, and homeless prevention. Also apply for public aid, including food stamps or health care. Many programs are administered for the northern California region. Click San Francisco City and County community action.

El Dorado County Department of Community Services
3057 Briw Road, Suite A
Placerville, California 95667
Telephone number is (530) 642-7300
Supports residents of Alpine and El Dorado
This government agency also serves as the regional community action agency. Clients can apply for California programs such as CalFresh, section 8, home repair loans and other aid. Click for details on El Dorado community action.

Foothill Unity Center Inc.
Primary location is 790 W. Chestnut Ave.
Monrovia, CA 91016
Telephone number - (626) 358-3486

Fresno County Economic Opportunities Commission
Address is 1047 R St
Fresno, CA 93721
Telephone number - (559) 263-1010 or (559) 499-1690
Call for information on low income assistance and case management. Read more on assistance from Fresno County Economic Opportunities Commission.

Inyo-Mono Advocates for Community Action, Inc. Offers programs in Alpine, Inyo, and Mono.
Location is 137 E South St
Bishop, CA 93514
(760) 873-8557

Kings Community Action Organization, Inc.
1130 N. 11th Avenue
Hanford, CA 93230-5998
Telephone number is (559) 582-4386. Call for intake and an appointment.

Lassen-Plumas-Sierra Community Action Agency
183 Main St
Quincy, CA 95971
(530) 283-2466
Families of the counties of Lassen, Plumas, and Sierra can apply for assistance from this non-profit.

Long Beach Community Action Partnership
Address: 3012 Long Beach Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90807
Telephone number is (562) 216-4600
This non-profit supports the immediate Long Beach region. Emergency assistance and social services may be available. More details on Long Beach Community Action Partnership.

Los Angeles Community Action Board
Location is 117 W Victoria St
Long Beach, CA 90805
Call (562) 908-5715
This is another organization for the unemployed and those faced with poverty in Los Angeles. Get help with finding a job, and applying for programs such as medical care, rental assistance, and other aid.

Programs, available by referrals to other agencies, include Homeless Services that can help stop evictions by issuing grants for paying rent. There are also applications for benefits such as CalFresh, information on weatherization or energy bill assistance, and many employment services. Read more on Los Angeles Community Action Board.

Merced County Community Action Agency
Main address - 1235 W Main St
Merced, CA 95340
Telephone number is (209) 723-4565

Modoc-Siskiyou County Community Action Agency
Address - 2060 Campus Drive
Yreka, California 96097
Telephone number is (530) 841-2761

Monterey County Community Action Partnership
Main address - 559 E Alisal St
Salinas, CA 93905
Telephone number is (831) 755-8492
Northern California individuals, seniors, and families with children can turn to this agency for support. The agency supports Monterey County California. Click community action in Monterey.





Nevada County Housing and Community Services
950 Maidu Avenue
Nevada City, CA 95959
Telephone is (530) 265-1388.
The focus is on homeless prevention, home improvements, and similar social services. Learn more on Nevada County Housing and Community Services assistance programs.

North Coast Opportunities, Inc.
413 North State Street
Ukiah, CA 95482
Telephone number is (707) 462-1954 or (707) 467-3200
If you live in Humboldt, Mendocino, Solano, Sonoma, or Yolo County, call this non-profit for referrals and assistance.

Oakland Community Action Partnership-Alameda County
150 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Suite 4340
Oakland, CA 94612-2019
Telephone number - 888-886-9660 for referrals
Dozens of programs are available for low income, seniors, and the less fortunate. They range from government food programs and pantries to funds for paying for housing costs such as utilities and rent. A key focus is also on self-sufficiency, job training, and credit counseling. The programs are not run directly by the agency but instead partner agencies administer them to the public. Call 888-886-9660, or read about Oakland-Alameda Community Action Agency financial assistance programs.

Placer County Adult System of Care/Health & Human Services
Location is 11512 B Avenue
Auburn, California 95603
Telephone is (530) 889-7217 or (916) 787-8800

Redwood Community Action Agency of Humboldt
537 9th St
Eureka, CA 95501
Dial (707) 445-0881

Sacramento Employment & Training Agency (SETA)
927 Del Paso Boulevard
Sacramento, California 95815
Telephone is (916) 263-3800
A number of career counseling services, job training, and similar programs are offered. Also get information on housing, emergency energy and rent help, and food programs. More on community action in Sacramento.

Sacred Heart Community Service of Santa Clara
Location is 1111 San Felipe Rd
Hollister, CA 95023
Telephone: (831) 636-4180
The non-profit administers programs for housing and other needs. Low income families may receive rent or security deposit assistance, transitional housing, or shelter. A food pantry, clothing closet, and family support services are available. Read more on Sacred Heart Community Service of Santa Clara County.

San Benito County Community Services and Workforce Development
Address - 1111 San Felipe Road, Suite 108
Hollister, CA 95023
Telephone number is (831) 637-9293

San Joaquin County HSA - Adult Services
P.O. Box 201056
Stockton, CA 95201
Telephone number of this human service agency – (209) 468-2202

Shasta County Community Action Agency
Address is 1450 Court St
Redding, CA 96001
Main phone number is (916) 225-5160

Sutter County Community Action Agency
950 Tharp Rd Ste 1303
Yuba City, CA 95993
Telephone: (530) 741-6385 or (530) 751-8555
Focuses on the struggling and jobless. Emergency assistance may be offered, but most people will mostly receive referrals and/or case management services.

Tehama County Community Action Agency
Red Bluff, CA 96080
Telephone number - (530) 527-6159. Click more details help from Tehama County Community Action Agency.

Yolo County Department of Employment and Social Services
25 North Cottonwood Street
Woodland, CA 95695
Main telephone number - (530) 661-2753

Yuba County Community Development and Services Agency
Main address is 915 8th Street, Suite 130
Marysville, California 95901
Phone number (530) 749-5430
The agency can help low income families. Services include energy assistance, self-sufficiency, employment programs, and application site for government assistance.


By Jon McNamara

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