Combined Community Action assistance programs.

There are several programs administered by Combined Community Action. The non-profit will mostly direct people to federal government funded resources, such as weatherization or the Senior Nutrition Program, however they also do much more for qualified low income families. Services are available across Bastrop, Colorado, Fayette, Austin and Lee Counties in Texas.

CEAP - Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program – Applications are processed for this. Based on many factors, CEAP assists low-income households with their home energy needs in several ways. Any cash paid out will be in the form of a direct payment to the utility company or deliverable fuel dealer, and a grant can cover the bills for oil, kerosene, coal, propane or wood.

-The Energy Crisis component helps qualifying applicants with direct energy bill payments either when temperatures rise over 99 degrees in summer or when they drop below 40 degrees in winter.

-The Elderly/Disabled and Co-Payment components from Combined Community Action also help cover costs for a main, or primary, source of cooling or heat.

 

 

 

For deliverable fuel customers only, when the basic CEAP benefits have been exhausted, the Crisis and Safety Net component are the next step. This service makes a one-time payment for a fuel delivery during a time of crisis for households meeting income guidelines. Find more details on CEAP in Texas.

Some basic Heating and Cooling repairs may be done in Bastrop or Fayette County. The agency replaces faulty heating units for eligible households. All benefits are limited, and likely to cover only a portion of the repairs.

The CCA Senior Nutrition Program furnishes hot noon meals five days a week to promote better nutrition and health for community members who are 60 years of age or older. Congregate Meals are served at sites throughout the counties of Colorado, Fayette, Austin, Bastrop and Lee, which is in effect the CCA service area.

 

 

 

 

Also, Meals on Wheels delivers hot lunch and/or frozen dinner meals directly to home-bound seniors and their spouses. This can also assist the disabled as well as their dependent adult children. The purpose is to keep the client living in their own homes for as long as possible through the provision of help in the form of food and companionship. This will reduce the likelihood of having to move into a nursing home.

To be eligible for meal delivery from Combined Community Action or a partner agency, a senior must be homebound or otherwise isolated and live alone or with no other adult in the area who is willing to furnish meals. In addition to that, they need to be unable to attend Congregate Meals; and must live within the CCA service area. Additionally, the person who is applying must be at home at meal delivery time, which is between 11 am and 1 pm, as they need to meet the driver.

CCA owns single-family housing units which are rented out to low income families at affordable rates. The majority of the units were purchased and rehabbed using funding from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HOME program. A wide variety of clients can apply, but there is often a long waiting list.

The goal of the Combined Community Action – TBRA Tenant Based Rental Assistance program is to enable struggling clients to focus on gaining self-sufficiency by assisting with housing expenses, including security deposits. The service may help with security deposits and rent payments in Bastrop or Less County for a period of up to 24 months.

To qualify for TBRA, an applicant must state willingness to participate in creating and following a self-sufficiency plan. They will need to continue to adhere to the service with intensive case management as long as they are in the program. The total applicant earnings must be at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Family Income, or what is known as AMFI.

Finally, applicants must reside in Hays, Bastrop, Fayette, Lee, Colorado, Austin, Caldwell, or Travis County Texas, with the exception of the city limits of Austin. Please include with your application a letter to Combined Community Action describing your current situation, household needs, and your  plan if selected for the program. The agency will also need proof of monthly income (check stubs, Social Security award letter, SSI award letter, child support, etc).

The free Weatherization Program from CCA helps reduce energy consumption and will save money for income-eligible households by making homes more efficient. It is a free service. Based on an assessment performed on each home, actual energy-saving measures and the associated costs will vary from home to home, up to a maximum dollar limit.

 

 

 

This is not a repair or renovation program, and it does not make minor so called cosmetic improvements or make updates which do not directly affect the heating and cooling of a home. The CCA Weatherization Program serves Fayette, Hays, Bastrop, Blanco, Colorado, Lee, Ft. Bend, and other regions as well.

Combined Community Action Case Management for Children and Pregnant Women (CPW) is a Medicaid service that supports children, women who are pregnant, and their families in Bastrop, Lee, Washington, Fayette, Colorado, and Austin Counties.

It also assists children who either have or are at currently at a high risk for health problems that can keep them from activities that are normal for youth of their age. CPW will offer the client help accessing services that will prevent the health issues from worsening. The person will also need to want to participate in Case Management. Women with high-risk pregnancies who require services to prevent further issues with the pregnancies, and who also desire Case Management assistance, are also eligible.

Case managers from the community action agency work with the family to determine their exact challenges and needs. Based on that, they will create plans for addressing the issue with services that are available in the family’s area of residence. CCA case managers will also provide referrals to appropriate community services and resources and perform follow-up tasks to ensure that all needs are being met.

Specific Case Management services from Combined Community Action include connecting people with needed dental or medical care. They will also offer help for family problems, providing access to needed equipment and medical supplies, managing any school issues, and advising on other financial concerns.

For more information on the programs available, Combined Community Action is located at 165 West Austin St., Giddings, TX 78942. For intake or referrals, dial 979-540-2999.

 

 

By Jon McNamara

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