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Community Action Program of East Central Oregon services.

Families of the Oregon counties of Morrow, Umatilla, Gilliam, Wheeler, and the greater Umatilla Tribe can call upon the Community Action Program of East Central Oregon for assistance. The non-profit agency administers many services for those battling poverty. Using a combination of government grants and private funds, the staff from the organization provide help to the least fortunate.

There are many assistance programs offered, some for emergency situations. However the main goal is on both providing basic needs (such as food, housing, and utility bill help) along with case management to address the cause of the struggle. Staff from CAPECO will partner with families on these various activities.

Locate funds for bills or housing, such as back rent

Emergency energy bill and rent assistance is available, on a case by case basis. The funds will focus on families with an eviction notice or that are faced with a loss of electricity, natural gas or heat during the winter. Any amount paid out is totally up to CAPECO and there are no guarantees to receiving money from the agency.

When applying for funds, proof of income, name, contact information, and a copy of a lease is required. Much more may be asked for as well, including where the client is working or why they are struggling. In some cases, a loan may be used to help with a rent payment or utility bill, as this helps encourage fiscal responsibility as it will need to be repaid by the recipient.

Additional financial assistance may be provided from Helping Hand. The charity, faith based group was created by First United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian, CAPECO, Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, and others. Together, there may be funds to pay for utility bills, back rent, medications, car repairs (if it leads to self-sufficiency) or food. The non-profit is at 346 SE 2nd St., Pendleton, OR, 97801. Call 541-276-3418.

The homeless can seek shelter or lodging in counties such as Gilliam or Umatilla. Only people who are in immediate need of a place to stay, such as maybe they are faced with a safety risk, and that also have a plan for accessing permanent housing will be eligible to receive this housing assistance. In some cases, Community Action Program of East Central will also arrange for help with a security deposit on that new, permanent home.




The two main shelter sites in the area are Pendleton Warming Station (PWS), 116 SE 12th St., Pendleton as well as the Hermiston Warming Station, and call this center at 541-720-4295. Some of these lodging sites are run by churches, and they may even accept pets.

Rental subsidies are part of the self-sufficiency service. This gives low income tenants time to gain life skills through case management and Survival Skills Workshops as well as one on one counseling. Staff work with clients on overcoming barriers that are preventing households from achieving their goals, creating a budget, and more.

In addition to the support, grants may be issued by CAPECO's Rental Assistance Self Sufficiency program. The agency provides limited cash assistance to homeless persons or those facing evictions. There is aid for those with or without disabilities, and their entire family may qualify too for help. These grants will be combined with case managers from the agency, who provide meaningful services to teach life skills that will help to sustain the tenancy over time.

Low income apartments and housing is run by CAPECO. A minimal rent amount will be due from clients, and some focus on certain individuals such as veterans or the disabled.

  • Applewood Village, 549 NW 12th Avenue in Hermiston, Oregon, 541-567-1400
  • Irrigon Farm Labor Housing can be reached at 541-567-1400
  • Morrow Estates is at 220 Anderson Circle in Boardman, Oregon. Telephone number is 541-481-2855
  • Terwilliger Plaza. Address is 245 SW 5th St. in Pendleton, Oregon. Phone 541-276-1416.

Food programs from CAPECO

Hunger prevention and food boxes are passed out in an emergency, and this is done in partnership with the Oregon Food Bank as well as the USDA. There are several locations for these throughout the service area and counties such as Morrow, Wheeler, and others.

Gilliam County sites include Arlington Food Pantry on 125 Shane Drive as well as the Condon Food Pantry, which is at 103 S. Lincoln St..

Umatilla County has multiple sites, as noted below.

Agape House, 500 W. Harper Rd., Hermiston, Oregon 97838
Helping Hand, 346 SE 2nd St., Pendleton, OR 97801
The Bread Basket, 8 NE 7th, Milton-Freewater, Oregon 97862
The Food Basket is at 405 N. Sherman, Stanfield, OR 97875
Pilot Rock Food Pantry, 171 W Main, Pilot Rock, OR 97868
St. Mary’s Outreach, 440 SW Emigrant Ave, Pendleton, OR 97801
Salvation Army Congregate Meals soup kitchen, 150 SE Emigrant, Pendleton, OR 97801
Presbyterian Church in Ukiah, PO Box 75, Ukiah
The Valley Cupboard has a food pantry. It is at 800 N. Main St., Milton-Freewater, OR 97862
Weston Food Pantry, 114 E. Main St., Weston, OR 97886
First Christian Church has an Open Table Meal Site, 775 W. Highland Ave., Hermiston, OR 97838





Morrow County locations are as follows.

Neighborhood Center of South Morrow County is at 441 N. Main, Heppner, Oregon 97836
Irrigon-Boardman Emergency Assistance Center – Address is 290 N. Main, Irrigon, OR 97844
Columbia River Harvesters (Gleaning Group) - 206 N. Main St., Boardman, OR 97818

Wheeler County residents can stop by the pantry at Fossil Community, 702 3rd St., Fossil, Oregon 97830

Seniors can get food from Community Action Agency of East Central Oregon. One key service, CSFP, is for working poor and low income families, and it may pass out groceries or free food boxes. They main contain meat, peanut butter, milk, rice, cereal, fruits, soup, vegetables, etc. The client will need to pick up the box at a site, and dial 1-800-752-1139 to apply.

There are also several free sites for seniors to get a meal at in the region. Locations in Umatilla County and other regions provide a meal and more. Other services may include health screenings, social activities, and programs for the elderly.

510 SW 10th St., Pendleton, OR 97801, call 541-276-5303
Ukiah Senior Center - 100 W. Despain, Ukiah, OR 97880, phone 541-427-3012
Milton-Freewater Neighborhood Senior Center is at 311 N. Main St., Milton-Freewater, OR 97862. Telephone – 541-938-3311.
Stokes Landing Senior Center meal site address is E. Main St., Irrigon, OR 97844. Telephone - 541-922-3603

Meals On Wheels is for the homebound, the disabled, and Medicaid eligible people, as assessed by the Oregon Aging and People with Disabilities department. Community Action Program of East Central Oregon and its drivers will bring the client a free, hot meal for a minimal fee. There may also be frozen meals to last over the weekend or a holiday. It is available in all counties, including Morrow, Umatilla and Gilliam.

Social services and information from Community Action Program of East Central

The Workforce Investment Act, WIA, involves activities and services directed toward helping people find a job, or gain new skills. These services include methods to gain experience, work readiness, remedial education, part time employment, alternative education, occupational skills training, job shadowing, counseling, and other support services. The goal is to get the client back into the work force and bring in an income.

Dial-A-Ride is a lower cost transportation service that covers counties in eastern Oregon. It can help people get to medical appointments, the store and business appointments. It is used by the disabled, those with a car in the shop, and seniors among others.




Community Action Agency of East Central runs the CMMP, or Money Management Program. It covers a number of services, such as debt reduction, credit repair, Representative Payee for seniors, and more. It is offered in Umatilla and other counties, often in partnership with non-profits such as the Oregon Money Management (OMMP) or even Easter Seals. Counselors will help clients create a budget and pay their bills. It tracks expenses and gives consumers free tips and advice on saving and budgeting.

Caregiver Services are for the disabled and seniors, and the people that care for them. CAPECO can offer one-on-one advice and respite to them, and help individuals in obtaining access to the services and resources that are available within their region. There is training, support groups, and of course respite all available in the service area.

CAPECO has several centers in the region. The Main Office is at 721 SE 3rd, Pendleton, OR 97801. Call 541-276-1926. Other locations are:

  • Airport Location - 1605 NW 50th Street, Pendleton, OR 97801. Telephone - 541-276-5073
  • CAPECO nonprofit Hermiston Emergency Services office - 500 W. Harper Road, Hermiston, OR 97838. Dial 541-289-7755


By Jon McNamara

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