Community Action Agency of Columbiana County assistance programs.

Some programs from Columbiana County Community Action Agency are available directly from the non-profit, and others are run in partnership with groups such as the Salvation Army. They main services from the agency are below.

Emergency financial aid for bills, housing programs or rent

CAAOFCC acts as the administrator of paying out funds on behalf of the Lisbon Ohio Salvation Army Unit. The mission of the non-profit is to provide financial assistance to eligible area residents in need of help. While the Salvation Army and Community Action Agency of Columbiana County have limited funds available to them, there may be free food, medical attention, transportation, financial aid with home heating bills, and more.

The regional HPP - Homeless Prevention Program has been in operation an extended period of time. It involves both the Food Pantry and the local Emergency Homeless Shelter. The program also helps area households avoid eviction, coordinates foreclosure counseling, and can help stop utility disconnection. There may also be grants for paying security deposits or other forms of short term loans.

A key requirement of HPP is achieving long term stabilization. This is accomplished through case management services designed to guide families or individuals in setting and achieving goals, eventually leading to self-sufficiency. In order to meet such goals, HPP provides referrals to programs provided by the non-profit agency and by other local community service agencies, such as charities.

Community Housing Improvement Program can assist low-income Columbiana County Ohio residents in reaching the goal of owning their first home. It works by offering potential buyers with education and financial assistance.

It also provides, as funds allow, up ten percent of a home’s selling price as a down payment to income-eligible residents. It is for individuals that live in the Cities of East Palestine, East Liverpool, Salem, and other locations across Columbiana County. There may also be funding for necessary home repairs. To be eligible for CHIP, each household must meet program income requirements, be non-homeowners, and have good enough credit to obtain a loan from a reputable lender. CHIP Funding is provided on a first-come, first-served basis and is contingent on availability of grants.




Potential buyers can also benefit from the Ohio Housing Trust Fund. This is another CAA-administered housing program that provides financial assistance with closing costs and down payments to income-eligible first-time homebuyers. Other support services are offered by HUD approved counselors too.

Some example of these support services include debt-to-income ratios, one-on-one housing counseling, classes on topics such as budgeting, credit analysis, underwriting criteria of various lenders, benefits and responsibilities of homeownership. workshops also address financial matters, and those include predatory lending, insurance or  mortgage products, inspection tips, home maintenance, purchase agreements, and closing costs.

Homeowners whose incomes are considered to be low enough may be eligible to benefit from the revolving loan fund, which is offered by CAA in conjunction with the Columbiana County Bankers Association. Funds and low interest loans issued are designated to be used to complete safety and health related home repairs. Applicants must demonstrate repayment ability, be able to provide written estimates for the work to be completed, and be current on other bills, such as utilities and property taxes.

The agency also operates a free and confidential Credit and Debt Counseling Service for households and individuals who may have taken on more debt than they can repay. Program counselors from Community Action Agency of Columbiana County and partner organizations are trained to work closely with each client to develop workable budget and debt management plans (DMP), and to set up creditor payment plans.

Many banks and other creditors are willing to consider bringing accounts up to date, lowering finance charges, and even suspending late fees. Participants who sign up for counseling agree to make payments to the Credit Counseling Program, which in turn pays the creditors.

HEAP - Home Energy Assistance Program assists low-income Ohio residents with managing and paying off high home energy bills. There are three HEAP components, as described here:

  • The Summer Crisis Program, or SCP, assists income-eligible and working poor Ohio residents age 60 and over, or those with a documented medical condition. It works by giving them a one-time payment cash grant toward the amount owed to the utility, with the aim of continuing their electric service for at least 30 days. Some applicants may be eligible to receive a free air conditioner, as well.
  • Another option from community action is Regular HEAP. This will distribute vouchers for bulk fuel, or discounts on metered utilities, for a period of three months during the winter. Priority is given to families with young children, the elderly and/or the disabled in the county.
  • When facing a shut off, emergency HEAP is available from November through March of each year. The CAAOFCC service provides assistance to households whose energy sources have been disconnected, who face imminent disconnection of their power, or who have a ten day or less supply of bulk fuel or heating oil.





Home repairs are from the Ohio Housing Trust Fund, as referenced above as well. When funding and resources are available, there may be minor repairs done to the homes of Columbiana County residents whose annual income is below 35 percent of the area median income.

Due to mostly limited funding, and a large number of requests for assistance from seniors and the disabled among others, the dollar amounts are limited. The Senior Home Repair Program targets the elderly aged 60 and over who own their homes and meet income guidelines. Available services include installation of handrails, health and safety-oriented repairs, including repair of steps, and grab bars, and so on.

HWAP from Community Action Agency of Columbiana County is also known as Home Weatherization Assistance. As federal government funding allows, it provides free energy efficient home alterations for low-income homeowners and even rental tenants. As with most assistance programs, there is help for elderly and the disabled. They take priority.

Weatherization process begins with a thorough onsite energy audit of the dwelling. Based on the audit, professional contractors trained by CAAOFCC then visit the site to clean and repair the heating unit and add conservation measures that may include sidewall and attic insulation.

Low cost or free medical as well as dental care from Community Action Agency of Columbiana County

The Health Centers and clinics in the county welcome people of all ages and income levels. They also accept Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance. The locations operate with an emphasis on preventative health care and education on health-related topics.

Some of the medical assistance includes STD testing, physical exams, OB/GYN, well child exams, nutritional assessment and counseling,  x-rays, and various other lab services. The free or low cost clinics try people regardless of age, religion and insurance status.

  • Lisbon Community Health Center, 7880 Lincole Pl., Lisbon, Ohio 44432. Call 330-424-5686 for an appointment.
  • East Liverpool Community Health Center, 16687 St. Clair, Ste. 203, East Liverpool, OH 43920, call 330-386-7777.
  • Salineville Community Health Center at Melhorn. The address is 103 W. Main St., Salineville, Ohio 43945, telephone 330-679-2640

Another option is the Community Action Agency of Columbiana County and local Lisbon Community Dental Center. The address is 38722 Saltwell Road, Lisbon, OH 44432. It offers patients free dental exams, x-rays, cleaning, fluoride treatments, restorative work and sealants. The Dental Clinic also accepts Medicaid and private insurance, but no one is ever turned away due to inability to pay their bills.




Head Start from CAAOFCC emphasizes the importance of promoting the cognitive, social, and physical development of low-income preschoolers, with and without disabilities.

The objectives are accomplished through providing quality classroom instruction; medical screenings and follow-up; educational, recreational, and social activities; and nutritional support. All Head Start activities work in combination to help children gain the skills needed to be successful in Kindergarten. If and when needed, free student transportation is available to most sites.

Anyone in need of a ride to school, shopping, work, medical appointments, public services, or recreation in Columbiana County is encouraged to contact CARTS, or the Community Action Rural Transit System. This is available as a daily demand transit service. Seniors (65 and over) and persons with disabilities who are registered with CARTS ride for half-fare rates.

The location of the non-profit is at 7880 Lincole Place, Lisbon, Ohio 44432, call 330-424-7221


By Jon McNamara

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