Community Action Organization Scioto County assistance programs.

The Community Action Organization of Scioto County is the first stop for low income families in the region who seek assistance. For those that need help, a Family Development Specialist will meet with the applicant. They will determine eligibility for a grant or basic needs, and they will then assess the person's requests.

This step is required prior to enrolling in any program or receiving emergency assistance. Some of the resources available include dental care from the center, with obtaining clothing for school kids, work attire, tools for use on the job, applications to HEAP, free food, personal hygiene items, rent help, prescribed medications, or transportation.

The non-profit organization will determine which social services are both available from the agency and which the person requires. They will then set goals before any financial aid is paid out, and these need to be met as each individual or family makes progress toward self-sufficiency.

Financial aid programs from Community Action Organization of Scioto County

Eligibility for free weatherization is determined according to household income, with priority given to seniors, those with disabilities, and families with children under the age of twelve. CAO of Scioto County provides energy-efficient repairs to the homes of low-income residents, for the purpose of conserving energy and lowering costs. Get help from the non-profit in the form of Repair or replacement of heating and cooling systems; Replacement of doors and/or windows; Lighting or CFL bulbs; Caulking to seal air infiltration; Insulation, and possible replacement of refrigerator and/or water heater.

Heating bill help – For families under the poverty level as well as at risk clients who struggle to pay their heating bills during the winter, the Low Income Emergency Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Winter Crisis Program is available from Community Action Organization Scioto County. The government may make a onetime benefit to a low-income, qualified home during a heat crisis situation such as receipt of a disconnection notice. This is also known as HEAP in the state of Ohio.

In addition, if a heating source (whether gas, firewood, electricity, or propane) is currently disconnected or at risk of being disconnected, the non-profit community action agency may be able to help low income clients make monthly payments within their budget. This is offered with help from LIHEAP or other donations from the non-profit. The agency may make a onetime benefit to a low-income, qualified home during a heating crisis situation such as receipt of a disconnection notice.





Clients of the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) may include children, working poor, the elderly, and homeless members of the community. This is a federal program that offers free food to disadvantaged.

Community Action Organization of Scioto County uses this service, as well as distribution from a pantry, to provide short term hunger relief. Children as well as seniors are a key customer of this. This program supplies low-income families with USDA commodities through the local Food Bank network.

Food Pantries and Clothing Closets can be used to eliminate hunger in Scioto County Ohio. The distribution centers of CAO provide emergency and short-term food assistance to income-eligible individuals and families. More information can be passed out at the office.

While the pantries focus on offering groceries or maybe helping a family apply for SNAP food stamps, the clothing closet has basic needs for the family. This can include clothing for work or school; small appliances for cooking a meal at home; free hygiene items such as soap for the homeless or families in poverty; and much more. Staff from the pantry also refer, or help people apply, for HEAP grants or rent help as well, as that can free up the clients income for buying food.

There is a comprehensive dental clinic available for low-income families as well as the un-insured. The location is 1112 Gallia Street, Portsmouth, OH 45662, and dial 740-351-0880. The program accepts Medicaid, private insurance and self-pay patients. Community Action Organization staff in Scioto County can offer referrals to it. There are a variety of dental care services available to low-income, working poor children and adults. Patients may access:

-Screenings or check ups.
-Basic fillings.
-More comprehensive work such as crowns, extractions, root canals and full and partial dentures.





Most of the patients from Scioto County who use the center are uninsured and underinsured. The local community clinics provide services to a wide range of clients including those with mental illness, the homebound, those brought in handcuffs from court systems, or people with extreme physical disabilities.

Employment and other social services

Community Learning Centers for children offer developmentally appropriate educational programming, tailored to each child's unique strengths, abilities, and needs. The program will employ experienced, state-licensed child care professionals as well as teachers from across Scioto County. They work to provide children with quality education in an educational environment, as a foundation for continued academic success as they progress in school. It will also lead to future economic self-reliance.

  • The program features field trips, experiential learning activities and free hot nutritious meals and snacks.
  • Other components of this CAO of Scioto County service include year-round care that includes summer programming with flexible hours.

The center has full or part-time scheduling available Monday through Friday. The non-profit also coordinates after-school programs. Community Centers from Community Action Organization Scioto County accept W-2 and other second-party payments. Financial assistance from federal government vouchers may be available to income-eligible families.

Under the Community Action Organization Scioto County supported Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), food vouchers are provided to pregnant women; newborn babies, infants; and children who are five years of age and younger. This federally funded program helps the family obtain baby formula, fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, whole grains, infant food, iron-fortified cereals, 100% juice, and other healthy foods and beverages.




The community action agency will offer other support though too. WIC also provides individual nutrition assessments, counseling, information on social services, and support and referrals to health-care and other services across the county at no cost.

For referrals, or more information on the Community Action Organization Scioto County, the location is 433 Third St., Portsmouth Ohio 45662. Call (740) 354-4531 for intake.


By Jon McNamara

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