Central Indiana Community Action Programs.
Several short term emergency financial aid programs are administered from Central Indiana Community Action Program, including LIHEAP and referrals to food pantries and housing. Qualified low income clients will also generally be assisted with their longer term needs as well, such as employment and educational services.
The non-profit focuses on the counties of Grant and Madison. So while resources are limited, they do want to help families, seniors, and the unemployed overcome any challenges they may have and get back on the path to self-sufficiency and stability. More information on their main programs are below.
Low Income Energy Assistance Program can help with paying heating and gas bills. It provides cash grants or credits to income eligible households, including seniors, to off-set the rising costs of home energy. LIHEAP is not an entitlement program.
Note that any financial aid and other program benefits are received on a first-come, first-served basis. So apply early, as funds are limited. In addition, case managers from Central Indiana Community Action also offer outreach and advice. This is being offered to people with disabilities, seniors, and families with children 5 and under.
Energy savings from weatherization is also offered. This is free to low income households, and it will improve or update their home to make it more energy efficiency. Insulation, furnace repairs, tune ups, and similar updates will be made to it.
Individual Development Accounts, or IDA savings, allow participants the benefit of building assets from a matched savings account. While funding levels can change over time, individuals enrolled in the IDA are provided a match from the community action agency. All the money saved needs to be used towards the closing costs for their newly purchased home or a down payment on it. Money can also be used for school or some other approved educational costs.
Participants also receive planning assistance, financial education, homeownership and home maintenance education, as they work toward their goal of homeownership in Grant and other counties. Additionally, clients are given assistance with debt reduction or credit repair to help them become mortgage-ready.
Referrals to government benefits are administered. This service helps to connect low and moderate-income individuals with potential public benefits from the state of Indiana. Other public aid may be for the disabled or elderly in Madison County. The community action agency case workers can offer advice and support in order to make applying for many state of Indiana or federal benefits easier.
Some of the government assistance may include low income home energy bill assistance, SNAP food stamps, child care subsidies and public health care insurance. The agency also encourages eligible residents to claim tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit.
With the assistance of trained Community Action staff, some of which may be volunteers, the center is often able to answer questions and direct people to the correct applications. These government benefits can close the gap between public funds and low income or poor families in need. It will strengthen families economically and probably even bring them closer to self-sufficiency.
Seniors and the disabled may receive low cost, Home Delivered Meals as a result of partnerships with churches and local charities. The program provides healthy, well-balanced food for seniors and the homebound. The resource is for those in Madison or Grant who are unable to prepare meals for themselves. It is often run in partnership with charities or local agency on aging centers.
The meals may contain frozen goods, fruits, supper sack and liquid meals. All of this, and more, are available based on the dietary needs of each client. The free meals are delivered to seniors' homes and the program and its drivers provide needed contact to the homebound. There may also be free Thanksgiving and Christmas food and meals too.
Head Start is the main federal government created social and educational service. It is for children of low- to moderate- income families in the area that range in ages birth to 5 years, and expectant mothers.
The program provides a classroom environment for children so they can grow as individuals. Food, meals, dental care and more is offered from Central Indiana Community Action and its partners. It also provides educational experiences and social services to the parents too, which help them raise successful children.
Children who enroll will be provided various cognitive, affective, and motor skill development experiences. They are arranged in both large and small group settings. This encourages the child to develop intellectually, physically, socially, and emotionally in a manner appropriate to their age and stage of development.
While limited, there may be some emergency financial assistance or grants available. The community action agency will occasionally offers a wide variety of financial support to income-eligible families in a crisis situation. This often relies on federal funding, and comes with many restrictions. Some of the assistance may include funds for paying rent, utilities, prescriptions, food or maybe even money for gasoline for job search reasons.
Many of its partner agencies also operate food pantries throughout Central Indiana. They may have free groceries, holiday meals, canned goods, and more. Funding for any Emergency Assistance, or even food, is very limited.
Transitional Housing or low income apartments are in the region. They can provide short term lodging and shelter. The Central Indiana Community Action will also coordinate comprehensive support services or transitional housing to domestic violence victims and their children or the formerly homeless. The centers offer a very affordable and safe housing alternative for people who need time to establish themselves financially in order to move to permanent, low income housing or apartments in areas such as Madison.
The Outreach and case management services provide guidance and advice. There may also be referrals to emergency assistance and service planning. This is generally for individuals and families who are facing financial hardships, such as loss of employment.
The program provides support with job placement and education. The financial component may be for utility payments from benefits such as LIHEAP or weatherization. Outreach also provides some rental assistance to qualifying low income individuals facing eviction.
However, the main goal is on stability and self-sufficiency. After all, that is the key to exiting poverty and/or low income status. For more details, call Central Indiana Community Action Program at (765) 641-6504. The main address is 222 East 10th Street, Suite C, Anderson, IN 46015-0149.