Help from Community Action Wayne and Medina programs.

Services from the Ohio based Community Action Wayne and Medina are wide ranging. The organization will offer referrals to financial aid for paying rent, security deposits, or food pantries. Other resources available in the region, including Medina and Wayne, include education and job training. The main focus of the non-profit is on providing clients a hand up and not a hand out.

The mission of the CAWN Community Outreach Program is to help residents of Medina and nearby towns reach the goal of becoming independent and financially stable. Both case managers and outreach workers are available to assist clients with short-term or emergency situations. Learn about any options or local resources are available in the area for housing, disconnection of utilities, eviction prevention, and get help in obtaining sufficient food for your family.

They will also provide support services that can help you with more long-term concerns, like establishing or repairing credit, paying down debts, or building assets. For those that are homebound, a staff member will visit you. Community Action Wayne - Medina strives to ensure that everyone who comes for help is treated with dignity and respect, regardless of age, religion, or other personal circumstances. As part of outreach, they never charge for services. However sessions are limited due to demand.

Locate housing and rental assistance

The community action agency offers transitional housing for families and the formerly homeless in Wayne. It is only for people who are working to achieve their goals for becoming self-sufficient. The Family Independence Program provides case management services, as well as housing in apartments in the region. They are able to provide apartments for families, seniors, or the disabled. During that time, clients will need to work toward independence, with outreach staff acting as coaches.

Home Ownership Education Course wants to help prospective homebuyers realize their dreams. To that end, the workshops that are part of the program explains all of the steps in the complicated process of making a home purchase.




Sessions are held both in a classroom setting and in individual counseling, to be sure that all opportunities and pitfalls are thoroughly understood. Some of our discussion topics include Household Budgeting, obtaining Home Insurance, Credit Clean-Up, Debt Reduction, Preventing Foreclosure, and even home Maintenance and Repairs.

Utility and heating help from Community Action

Community Action Wayne and Medina administers a number of home energy related programs that are designed to assist financially challenged residents with the high costs of paying utility bills. Energy assistance and conservation measures are available through the following initiatives.

The Low Income Energy Assistance Program, also known as HEAP in Ohio, provides financial assistance or cash grants. The funds are used for paying heating fuel bills to households that meet income requirements. LIHEAP payments are disbursed directly to the companies in the state that supply oil, kerosene, LP gas, electricity, or wood pellets.

A component of LIHEAP is the Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP). This resource assists with paying for home heating or utility disconnects for low income clients in Wayne County whose heating systems run on electricity. To qualify, you must have exhausted any payment opportunities furnished by the utility company or other regional non-profits. In addition, all applicants need to be very low income and have less than one-eighth of a tank of fuel remaining, with no back-up heating source.

The purpose of the Community Action Wayne/Medina Housing Weatherization Program is to reduce energy costs, heating and utility bills for low-income households. It works by providing them with grants to install home energy efficiency measures.

These energy conservation measures may include insulation of attic and interior walls, some safety-related repairs, furnace repairs, weather-stripping, and adding caulking. Additionally, Central Heating Improvement updates may be used to either repair or replace faulty central heating systems.

Additional support programs in Wayne and Medina

Emergency transportation can be arranged by Community Action Wayne/Medina. They work with buses and also local cab companies. The service will offer low-income individuals with a ride to a job interview, critical medical appointments, grocery shopping, banking, etc. Usually a small fee is required.





Free groceries and other nonperishable items are offered from the Rittman Food Pantry to working poor and low-income individuals and families. For those households that qualify, they will be given a few day supply of free food that depends on the number of individuals living in the home.

CAWN Senior Services Program educates the elderly in Ohio and the counties supported regarding resources available to them in the community. It also assists them in obtaining services. They can get support in the form of information and referral, Home visitations, Case Management, as well as Advocacy/Service Coordination.

There are local partners of the non-profit community action agency that operate free legal advocacy services. They are usually made available to low-income residents, with a focus on the elderly. The various aid programs and services are limited to family law matters, such as guardianship, parental rights and responsibilities, divorce, power of attorney, adoption, or name change. There is no help offered for criminal matters.

Available referrals and legal services include explaining court procedures, in some cases representation, assistance with completing court forms, and referrals to other services, as needed. Clients are seen by appointment at local attorney offices.

The Head Start preschool program promotes the development of young children from Medina County and also Wayne. There is a strong emphasis on ensuring that the youth are well prepared to enter school, so education is a focus. Parental involvement in all aspects of programming is also strongly encouraged, both as classroom volunteers and as contributors to workshop development through membership on the Policy Council.

Children with special needs or some form of disability are welcome and provided with individualized services as well. Other assistance is for health and nutrition education and similar resources are provided to all enrollees. The agency and its teachers also offer home-based Head Start services to those that need them, or in some cases transportation may be arranged to a school.

EHS - Early Head Start is another federally funded educational program that differs from Head Start in that it is targeted to younger children. So it is for infants, toddlers, and pregnant women from low-income households.

Available services from Community Action Wayne/Medina that are part of EHS include prenatal education for pregnant women and educational programming that supports the development, such as cognitive and social, of very young children. The program serves dozens of infants in the region.




WIC is a nutritional program for low income and struggling women, parents (including single moms and dads), young children, and infants. The program provides eligible clients with free food vouchers that can be redeemed at local grocery stores for milk, juice, eggs, cheese, fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods.

Staff members from the local social service office that are part of WIC also meet with clients to inform them about available services, including nutritional education; free children’s books at each WIC visit; and weight and iron level checks for pregnant women.

The agency and its IDA service works to ensure that all residents from the region have access to all of the assets needed for obtaining financial stability. Your education, a satisfying career, a home of your own, a business, savings, and money management skills can also be covered by the resource. To accomplish the goal of helping people with reaching goals, the IDA program provides a wide range of financial support services, including educational programming, free tax preparation, and matched savings accounts.

For more information on these and other programs, call the Wayne and Medina agency.

  • Wayne County, 2375B Benden Drive, Wooster, Ohio 44691, Phone: (330)264-8677
  • Medina County, 820B Lafayette Road, Medina, Ohio 44256, (330)723-2229


By Jon McNamara

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