Resources from Central Florida Community Action Agency.

Central Florida Community Action Agency can coordinate direct financial assistance in a crisis. Any aid paid out is one time only, is very limited, and will come with conditions. Really the main goal of the non-profit and the staff is to help people get on the path to self-sufficiency and stability. So the financial assistance for needs such as rent or energy bills is not their main function, but it may be available.

A large region is support by the Central Florida Community Action Agency. The non-profit helps struggling as well as low to moderate income families in Alachua, Marion, and Levy County. Grants for bills, low income energy bill assistance, food, self-sufficiency, and more is arranged.

Food programs from Central Florida Community Action Agency

Meals on Wheels is a key service for seniors and the disabled. The non-profit works with local charities and groups such as the Agency on Aging to administer it. It is available in the City of Newberry. Disabled, elderly and other homebound individuals who need help, but are otherwise maintaining independent lifestyles, can receive a low cost, nutritious, hot meal. Staff or volunteers will deliver it directly to their home up to a few days per week for a period of time.

Food pantries are also in the region, including counties such as Marion and Alachua. Thousands of families as well as individuals get help from the locations at one point or another. They are free to use and may pass out groceries, baby formula, Ensure for seniors, and so much more. Many also have soup kitchens too, and find details on Florida free food pantries.





Financial assistance for bills and case management

Emergency financial assistance, as indicated, may help with a crisis. Central Florida Community Action Agency has a very limited amount of government or non-profit funding available to the less fortunate in the community. This is for a one time emergency and is not a hand out. The non-profit CFCAA may provide referrals or direct cash assistance for paying for basic needs, including temporary shelter, rent expenses, energy bills, transportation, and other critical needs.

FSSP - Family Self-Sufficiency Program is for income eligible families in counties such as Alachua and Marion. Case managers work with clients and the unemployed to help them become independent of social and public aid. Together you will assess needs, acquire education or enroll into job training, set goals, or maybe attend classes to improve financial management.

A key service is referrals. So in this capacity, case managers may provide residents of the region access to resources when available such as free childcare, auto repair, school tuition, and books for education. The FSSP self-sufficiency requires a multiple month commitment from clients.





A major focus as well is on children in school, who can be given supplies. The community action agency works with businesses, individuals, and stores such as Wal-Mart to collect goods for youth. All of these are part of the free school supply programs for students.

Get help with paying utility or cooling bills from Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The resource assists low-income households, seniors, and the disabled in meeting their home energy needs. The few different options in central Florida are noted below.

  • LIHEAP Crisis Assistance is for income qualified households who are about to have their power shut off due to nonpayment. Aid may also be offered for people that have already had their utility service disconnected.
  • More regular support is from Home Energy Assistance. This is also part of CFCAA LIHEAP and is offered as a one-time cash payment benefit towards the household’s bills.

In some cases, during extreme cold or heat, Central Florida Community Action Agency may pass out free fans, blankets, or heaters. A focus is on seniors or people with a medical condition.

Weatherization Assistance will help Marion County and other local reduce their annual energy costs. This is also offered for low-income and working poor families, with a focus on the elderly, families with very young children and the disabled. Weatherization will in effect improve the energy efficiency of their homes while also ensuring their health and safety.

FCAA and its contractors provide a variety of repairs to weatherize area homes to improve their conservation levels and energy efficiency. This may include weather stripping, extra attic and floor insulation, minor wall, floor and ceiling repairs, replacement of windows and doors, replacement or repair of inefficient heating and cooling units. This is a free government funded program for very low income families and those in poverty. Find more details on free weatherization assistance.

In Levy County there is the Specialized Weatherization Outreach service. This will offer approved homeowners in this county with additional conservation measures. It is only for citizens of that county.





Locations of community action agencies in Central Florida

There are a few offices. Residents should call the location for their county. Central Florida Community Action Agency offices are as follows. Call them for information or referrals. A number of other services are available as well.

Alachua County Office, 1405 N.W. 13th Street, Suite B, Gainesville, Florida 32601, dial (352) 373-7667
Marion County Office center is at 2320 NE 2nd St., Ocala, FL 34470, telephone (352) 732-3008
Levy County Office, 215 S.W. 5th Street, Chiefland, FL 32626, main number is (352)493-1734


By Jon McNamara

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