Community Action of Orleans and Genesee programs.

Anyone who needs help in Genesee and Orleans Counties can turn to the community action agency. While many of their programs have income limits and other conditions in place, the non-profit will do its best to help individuals that need support. This may include referrals and other forms of support.

Basic needs can be met by Community Action’s Emergency Services Program. The agency will try to welcome all who are in need from the community, either on a walk-in or referral basis. As part of the application process, they will require that all applicants undergo an interview and intake process to determine which services or assistance programs may be appropriate.

As funding and resources allow, clients may be referred to the Family Development Program (see below) or receive emergency financial aid. The Emergency Services Program also operates food pantries at all sites in Orleans and other towns for those experiencing crisis situations. The agency also assists with clothing, transportation and referrals to other non-profit agencies for counseling and other needed services.

Family Development provides case management services and advice to assist families in gaining long term independence and self-sufficiency. Case managers from Community Action of Orleans and Genesee are trained professionals in guiding families toward their goals.




Through regular meetings in the office or in the client’s home, the client and case manager work closely together to set goals and explore alternatives for reaching them. Services include educational programs, advocacy, information and referrals to other community agencies, as needed. Family Development also provides help with nutrition, employment, money management, parenting, health, safety, and education.

Financial aid may be offered as part of Community Action Angels. The program is run by invaluable volunteers, who support the mission of assisting everyone who needs help, including those whose incomes may not fall within traditional guidelines. To meet the non-profit’s goal of giving stress relief and hope to the many families in Genesee and Orleans Counties, these Angel’s can be invaluable. There is help from CAOG for those that are experiencing difficulty through no fault of their own. Resources offered include:

  • Free food – Groceries, meals and even Pet Food.
  • Grants for utility bills, rent, prescriptions, Emergency Housing, and security deposits.
  • Basic needs such as Winter Coat Giveaway, Personal Care Items, Clothing, and holiday toys.
  • Referrals to now interest loans, food stamp programs, housing or public benefits such as TANF.





DEI - Disability Employment Initiative provides clients that have disabilities with the skills and support they need to both find and maintain suitable, life sustaining employment. There is also information on financial help for the disabled, including applications to SSI or other grant programs from the Orleans community action agency. Additional DEI services include providing continuing employment support, assisting with the application process for social services or public aid. The program also meets with employers across the region to ensure that the appropriate connections are made between employers and hiring businesses.

Child Care Referrals provide parents with ongoing help with finding the appropriate child or day care programs for their children. The program takes into account all of the family’s unique needs, such as scheduling, geographic location, and the children’s ages. CCRR services from community action are free of charge and parents are encouraged to contact CCRR on an ongoing basis, as needed.

Head Start from CAOG is a federal government created preschool program that provides comprehensive services to children aged three and four and their families. The program promotes literacy skills, center or home-based options, and supports social, mental, emotional, and physical development, focusing on kindergarten readiness.

One of the requirements is parental involvement. This is done in all aspects of Head Start programming, including volunteering in classrooms and joining policy-making committees is strongly encouraged. Support services for both parents and children include community referrals, nutritional education, hot nutritious meals and snacks, and free health screenings.

Community Action also offers assistance with the application process for the federally funded but New York State administered Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). The intent of the program is to assist low-income households in paying their heating bills and meeting their energy expenses. It will keep their homes warm during the winter months.

Weatherization is another free service for households that meet income requirements. Contractors from WAP and Community Action of Orleans and Genesee first visit each home to perform a thorough evaluation.




Technicians then determine which energy-saving measures will be most cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Such measures include carbon monoxide and smoke alarms, extra insulation of attic and sidewalls, air sealing, extra caulking, and weather-stripping. Weatherization customers who are over the age of 60 are referred to the local Office for the Aging, where help is available with required forms and documentation.

Transportation from CATS is committed to providing Genesee or Orleans County residents with reliable rides and other forms of transportation services. It will also direct riders to community resources, keeping a watchful eye on elderly customers’ well being and safety, and helping to preserve good quality of life. Operations include on-demand and fixed-route services, year round, five days per week. All of the buses and vans used are wheelchair accessible, and drivers are trained to provide door-to-door personalized assistance.

Some typical CATS destinations include Community Partners, Oak Orchard Community Health Center, Mental Health, healthcare facilities, Nutrifair, medical appointments, treatment centers, dialysis centers, and community clinics.

Other programs include the Main Street Store thrift shop, the Dress for Success Club, and Tech 'n Time free community computers. Community Action of Orleans and Genesee sells high quality, donated clothing, shoes, household items, and furniture at affordable prices at the thrift store. At Tech n Time, clients have access to Internet capable computers. There may even be laptops for low income job seekers. The Dress for Success Club offers job seekers and other qualified customers a discount on appropriate attire for work and job interviews.

The main offices of Community Action of Orleans and Genesee are as follows.

  • 409 East State St., Albion, NY 14411-1123, telephone 585-589-5605
  • Eastern Orleans Community Center, 75 Public Sq., Holley, New York 14470, 585-638-6395
  • Genesee Office is at 5073 Clinton Street Rd., Batavia, NY 14020, call 585-343-7798 for details



By Jon McNamara

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