Community Action Agency of Delaware County financial assistance programs.

When facing a crisis, or if a resident needs assistance in gaining self-sufficiency, the Community Action Agency of Delaware County may be able to assist. More details on some of their resources are below. All aid is limited and depends on funding. They administer shelter and rent assistance, water bill programs such as Helping Hand, weatherization, and more.

Throughout the process, case management is usually offered. As part of that process there can be services like the IDA saving account or information on job training sites in Delaware County. The agency works with those facing poverty in an effort to end the cycle.

Employment, job training, and financial counseling

The United Way of Southeast Pennsylvania as well as CAADC have partnered to offer a unique opportunity known as IDA Matched Savings Program. This is available for qualifying students from low income families of Delaware County.

This program has been created to assist economically disadvantaged and lower income students and it can help them acquire assets by learning the habit of regular saving. By participating in classes, such as financial literacy training and credit counseling, the agency provide an incentive for saving by matching deposits. Participants can save up to $1,000 for post-secondary education and college expenses and also receive a matching grant at the same time.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance resource is offered by CAADC. The agency will help prepare income tax forms for low-income households and other struggling or unemployed persons. Trained volunteers have been certified by the IRS as Volunteer Tax Preparers to help with completion of returns. Site operation is from mid-January until April 15th.

The VITA site is for people who are eligible for the Earned the Child Tax Credit (CTC) or Income Tax Credit (EITC). They provide information and resources too. Tax Return Assistance is by appointment only. Please call (610) 891-5101 for details.




Job Placement and Development - Community Action Agency of Delaware County Inc. (CAADC) has a number of services made to help economically disadvantaged persons with their efforts to become financially self-sufficient.

The non-profit CAADC community action has been providing employment opportunities and other supportive services to eligible persons of Delaware County for many years. The main mission of these services are to make sure that participants transition into the workforce and to assist them in creating a more successful career path.

The SEED, or Supportive Education and Employment Development Program, is to address the needs of participants by providing GED preparation, Adult Basic Education, job readiness training and employment placement services.

It utilizes a non-traditional classroom setting to help clients feel at ease with learning new skills. The academic part of this service was made to help clients in furthering their education level and to help gain a high school diploma. This service is also available to shelter and transitional housing participants of CAADC as well and the general public if there are empty spots.

Clients of community action also receive budget counseling as part of their program. The CAADC also has a Money Smart Program. This is a Financial Education Program which consists of a number of sessions allowing participants to gain knowledge in multiple topics such as financial decision-making, the basics of banking, and creating/maintaining a family budget while also introducing participants to asset building resources. By the end of the program, participants who have completed the course will receive a certificate of completion and maybe even better credit scores or some savings.

The Summer Career Exploration service from the agency is there to provide economically disadvantaged youth with vocational and career opportunities, internships in the private sector, effective employment counseling and a small paycheck too. Those who participate will then be able to identify their career goals and can be placed at a related businesses.

Help in becoming financially self-sufficient is available. Staff from community action (CAADC) operate a number of programs that were created to help economically disadvantaged persons.

The non-profit provides employment opportunities and related services to eligible applicants. The main purpose of these services are to make sure low income people and those facing poverty successfully transition into the workforce and that they establish a successful, long term career path.

As part of this are several Welfare to Work programs made to improve self-sufficiency through the development of employment skills and by providing of job placement services to clients. Their staff work closely with clients and the unemployed to remove barriers to employment and increase marketability.

Utility, rent, food and emergency financial aid from Delaware Community Action

Rental assistance is available. As funding allows, it can provide grants or low interest rate loans to homeless, recently evicted or near homeless families. The money can move them into new housing or be used to pay back rent to prevent an eviction. Eligible applicants may receive payment for first month’s rent, utility connection fees and security deposits. Or they can receive enough to pay the back rent in order to avoid eviction. The Boothwyn Office runs this. The address is 1414 Meetinghouse Road, Boothwyn, PA 19061. Call (610) 874-8451.

The non-profit CAADC also offers a free Hotel/Motel voucher program. This provides temporary shelter in local hotels for homeless families, single parents and vulnerable single adults, which may include victims of fire and domestic abuse. It is only an option when no other shelter in Delaware County Pennsylvania is available.

Transportation Assistance offers free bus tokens on a limited basis to transport transitional housing program and shelter participants. This service is also available to homeless persons and families for necessary appointments, such as job interviews or medical visits.

Household goods from the Donations Warehouse delivers contributions of gently used furniture, household goods, and appliances to homeless persons and families who are re-establishing affordable housing. Eligibility is based on whether participants have exited a homeless program, lost their home to fire or are a victim of domestic abuse.

Self-sufficiency and case management assistance is an important aspect of every service they provide. Skilled professionals and social workers are there to assess the participant's problems and to help develop a case management plan which will help the client in becoming self-sufficient.

Case management services include Budget and credit counseling, Parenting services, such as nutrition counseling, Job placement, Work with staff on both short-and long-term goal setting, Time management, Communication skill building, Resume review, and more.

HPRP, or the Homeless Prevention / Rapid Re-Housing (HPRP) Program, is another resource in the region. It can provide help to families who are about to evicted. There is also assistance for the homeless. This can include grants to pay a security deposit or moving costs. The agency can quickly re-house those that are currently homeless.

To prevent a eviction and the loss of existing housing or quickly re-house an already homeless family, income qualified families may receive case management and help searching for low income apartments or housing.

Also financial assistance or a loan is available for rent payments, which includes back rent, security and utility deposits and payment of utility bills. Qualifying participants will have access to free legal services and eviction prevention to help keep them in their new homes.





Short term, Emergency Shelter from Community Action Agency of Delaware County is for homeless families and persons the County. The housing, in the form of Emergency Shelter, is provided at the following locations:

  • Wesley House Emergency Shelter is located at 701 Madison St. in Chester. The center also has a contemporary computer training room for residents to improve computer skills, search for employment in the region, and can be used to help with securing permanent housing. Financial literacy (Money Smarts) classes are offered too.
  • Life Center of Eastern Delaware County, which is located at 63rd and Market Streets in Upper Darby. There is room for over 40 persons. Food, free meals, and clothing may be available too.
  • Catholic Social Services and the Out of Poverty Program is for many shelter guests. It offers nutrition classes, medical assessments enrichment classes, and more is available through Horizon House. Also available are free toys during the holiday season, respite care for needy children and Planned Parenthood classes.

More longer term, low income transitional housing helps to bridge the gap from emergency shelter to permanent housing. The CAADC operates several sites in the area that provide transitional housing where families can live ranging from 1-2 years.

In addition to that, CAADC will work with private landlords to provide dozens of apartments and housing units throughout Delaware County. During their stay in these local transitional housing facilities, residents will receive a rental subsidy to be used for future housing costs or security deposits. Participants will continue to receive ongoing case management and support services as they transition to permanent housing.

In-Home Energy Conservation and Weatherization services from Community Action Agency of Delaware County is offered. It is administered alongside resources from local energy companies and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. They work together to provide comprehensive program and information to reduce utility costs, increase household efficiency and to save energy.

CAADC is there to provide these free weatherization services to income-eligible households, including the disabled. This program was created to reduce household utility bills through a number of energy saving modifications which can include the following. Weather stripping and caulking, a comprehensive home energy audit, diagnostic air flow testing, heater inspection and service, attic insulation, window repair or replacement.

Similar to above are Water Efficiency and Conservation Measures from  Community Action Agency of Delaware County. They work with local utility and water companies as well as the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to provide comprehensive services and information. It is made available in an effort to increase household efficiency, reduce energy costs and save energy.





Helping Hand - Aqua PA is a payment program. The company Aqua PA, in working with the CAADC, can provide payment assistance or extension plans to customers who have a past due water bill. The arrearage on the account must be at least 30 days past due and a payment is required with the amount determined by Aqua PA.

The main water provider, which is Chester Water Authority, in working with CAADC, provides a service for the residents of Chester City only. Customers must have a past due water bill, the service must not be shut off, and a payment of $25 is required.

Childcare is available from the CAADC day care center. The facility is located next to the Wesley House Emergency Shelter referenced above. It is for children 6 weeks old to over 10 years of age. Before and After School care is available as well. The center is open to children of thee agencies clients and to the general public.

One service, an After-School Program, is available for school-aged children who reside in the local shelters or transitional housing programs. The children are provided with tutoring, recreational activities, access to computers and cultural enriching experiences.

Food resources are provided to help participants to get their basic nutritional needs met. This program includes referrals to food banks, pantries, soup kitchens, free food vouchers and distribution of bread. The project helps families with enrolling in the SNAP Food Stamp Program.

Residents can also access the Life Center of Eastern Delaware County. The location offers a daily feeding program at 63rd & Market Streets in Upper Darby. Homeless persons can come to the Life Center and get a free home-cooked meal as well.

Fuel Assistance from the non-profit Delaware County Community Action Agency is available as they work with local utility companies and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. It is a menu of comprehensive services offered. Other support includes information created to reduce energy costs, increase household efficiency and to save energy.

Direct Utility Assistance is available in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. They work to provide grants to pay bills as well as comprehensive services and information created to increase household efficiency, reduce the cost of energy and to save energy.

To help participants reduce their energy costs, CAADC provides education on energy usage and what changes can be made to save. Usage analysis is performed to show when and why energy costs are high. Financial grants are available to help customers with past due payments of bills and/or to restore service. This assistance is available to clients of PECO Energy Company.

Referral and information from CAADC staff are for housing, food, rent and related resources. These are all available in the area from charities and other groups. They assess client problems and provide referrals to appropriate agencies. There is a hotline that provides assistance to clients.

The Home Ownership Program helps low and middle income applicants to buy their own home. CAADC buys and renovates the home, and then will sell it to those that qualify. All homes that are part of this service are completely rehabilitated and meet or exceed all building codes and standards. A majority of the homes get new heating and electrical systems, plumbing as well as new kitchens, baths, flooring, windows and other updates..

Location is Boothwyn Office, 1414 Meetinghouse Road, Boothwyn, Pennsylvania 19061. Phone: (610) 874-8451



By Jon McNamara

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