Assistance programs from Community Action Corporation of South Texas.

A wide region is supported by the Community Action Corporation of South Texas. The non-profit organization can help qualified families access emergency assistance and also gain long term stability and self-sufficiency. The programs available are for the counties of Aransas, Bee, Zapata, Brooks, Duval, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Refugio, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, McMullen, Nueces, San Patricio, Starr, and Webb County.

Community Services Block Grant helps low-income families by providing them with case-management and advice. It also offers referrals and information on resources in Hidalgo County such as food stamps or rental assistance from section 8. All available resources are used to help eligible applicants achieve self-sufficiency.

Housing 4 Texas Heroes is part of Community Services Block Grant. It provides short term rental assistance to veterans via H4TH program. Rental and security deposits are available to qualified applicants. Eligibility is based upon the household’s income, apartment/home selected and the applicable rent.

CEAP - Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program from Community Action Corporation of South Texas provides utility bill help to low-income households. The financial aid is for those with the lowest incomes through Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program. The program ensures utility bill assistance id paid out to eligible people so they can balance their income and pay other bills and food. Low-income citizens, seniors, elderly and disabled persons are eligible clients for the program. The program covers Hidalgo, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells and San Patricio counties.

Staff and contractors from the Community Action Corporation of South Texas aims to provide help to low-income customers control their energy costs through DOE Weatherization Assistance Program. The installation of energy saving materials is the service available to eligible applicants. Additionally, the services include consumer education and tips. All low-income families that are below the 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines are eligible applicantsfor Weatherization Assistance Program.

Some of the eligible activities are an energy audit and that is one of the activities under taking. This activity includes home energy efficiency review that identifies possible air leaks or inefficient appliances. Free weatherization measures are installed in order to increase energy efficiency of a home. The measures must meet specific energy-savings goals in order to be installed and the work consists of adding extra caulking, weather-stripping, adding ceiling, wall, and additional floor insulation. It also includes patching holes in the building envelope, tune-up. repair or replacement of energy inefficient heating and cooling systems, and duct work are also included.




The LIHEAP Weatherization Assistance from Community Action Corporation of South Texas aims to help low-income clients by offering help with energy cost. Controlling and reducing energy bills through the installation of weatherization materials is the goal of the program. Consumer education is available to eligible clients as well.

Community Action Corporation of South Texas (CACOST) provides help to families and their children (ranging in ages from 3-5) via the Head Start program. The program operates a very comprehensive curriculum, the DLM Express. The main goal is to prepare children from low income families for attending Kindergarten. The program focuses on education, basic medical care, reading, language, literacy, numeracy, and physical development.

Nutrition and medical care is an important part of Head Start program.  This includes services such as health screenings, mental health, health care and disabilities programs. Parents can also access the social services and they are a constituent part of the program. Both parent and community involvements play also a vital role at the center. The Head Start program aims at providing low-income people in Nueces, Bee and other counties with self-sufficiency and confidence by getting them out of poverty.

Early Head Start program is designed to provide free education and other basic needs assistance to children ranging from 0-3 years of age. Social interaction is one of the most relevant aspects of the federally funded program. The goal is to help parents understand the gradual daily and weekly development process of their children.

Pregnant, low income women can also benefit from the program’s services. For example, it offers pre-natal education. This strives to support healthy new-born child. The program also helps parents by encouraging them to gain new job skills, go back to school, find an employment or even have on-the-job training.

Community Action Corporation of South Texas makes medical care affordable and accessible for low-income families through the enrollment plan. The healthcare services that are available at several locations include pediatrics, mental health, dental, women’s, pharmaceutical medications and family planning.

Children’s Health Insurance is part of Community Action Corporation of South Texas. The non-profit provides health insurance for children through the state of Texas CHIP, or Children’s Health Insurance Program. Other main offerings for medical bill assistance include Community Based Outreach Program (CBO) and Texas Health & Human Services Commission. CHIP is a community-based non-profit program that provides support to low-income families with uninsured children. Application assistance and support are offered for the program enrollment in McMullen, Nueces, San Patricio, and Webb.





Health care services include Primary Health Care and Texas Department of State Health Services. The main goal of CACOST is to provide preventive and primary health care services for medically indigent persons in the service area.

The center provides assistance to senior citizens and the elderly in south Texas through the free Senior Service Program. This program offers nutrition services to low-income elderly including low cost meals that can be home delivered. In addition, group meals are served at Senior Centers and Nutrition Sites in Texas such as Bee, Brooks, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Nueces, and San Patricio.

Senior centers encourage a sense of community among older citizens. Elderly people are entitled to nourishing meals and free transportation to the centers, doctor’s appointments, shopping, and local recreational activities.
Physical monitoring services such as blood pressure and diabetes checkups are available to enrolled clients. In addition to this recreation and physical fitness, assistance in obtaining information about state of Texas or local services is also available.

All available activities focus on the health and well-being of the elderly in the region at the Senior Service Centers. Voluntary contributions are encouraged to defray costs and expand services.

Project Ninos ECI Program, in a partnership with ECI (a statewide program) provides assistant to families with children (up to 3) with disabilities and developmental delays.

The goal of the ECI from Community Action Corporation of South Texas is to help children reach their potential through developmental services. The program provides each participating family with the tools necessary to incorporate instruction and therapy in their child’s day-to-day activities. Developmental resources of this parent support program include case management and other supportive services, screening and assessment, and Skills Services.

Community Based Alternatives helps elderly citizens. It provides home-delivered meals for the elderly. It is similar to the national resource known as Meals on Wheels Program, which provides home delivered meals to eligible clients. Eligibility requirements include 60 years of age or older and their spouses. Aid is also for the disabled and it can also help someone with a free home delivered meal if they live with participant 60 years of age or older; or a spouse, of a 60+ participant.




In order to be eligible for the program, the assessment needs to document that clients are unable to shop for their own groceries or prepare nutritious meals in their own home. The applicant will need to have limited ability to safely prepare meals, physical mobility or psychological or mental impairment. In addition, low-income clients need to prove that they do not have support from family, friends, or other community-based services. This support relates to meals and transportation to a nutrition site.

Community Action Corporation of South Texas has several offices and phone numbers. They are below.

Alice, TX 78333-1820, Telephone: (361) 664-0145
Dial 361-661-1300 in Jim Wells, Brooks, Duval, Jim Hogg, and Webb Counties
956-787-2539 in Hidalgo, Starr, and Zapata Counties
(361)325-9737 Falfurrias Brooks County
361-364-0220 in Kenedy, Kleberg, and San Patricio Counties
Another office can be reached by dial (361)664-4769 Alice: (All Counties) Jim Wells County
Call (361)364-0220 if you live in Sinton San Patricio County


By Jon McNamara

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