Dutchess County Community Action Partnership assistance programs.

Various services and assistance programs are administered by the Dutchess County Community Action Partnership. Case managers from the non-profit organization work with struggling families, including the working poor and unemployed, to find a solution to their hardship. They may have referrals to food pantries, applications for heating bill assistance from HEAP, and offer a wide range of other services.

Case Management Programs provide comprehensive advice and information on wrap-around services to guide families toward becoming self-sufficient over the long term. The assistance is provided to low income qualified families using a strength-based approach that helps clients achieve their desired outcomes.

The non-profit DCCAP uses resources already available to them in combination with agency programs and other regional social services. They provide a wide array of services, including but not limited to financial aid for paying bills, center-based and in-home case management, free food, energy reduction and weatherization, and more. Self-sufficiency is addressed through employment and resume help, and clients can get help with completing health insurance applications.

Dutchess County Community Action Partnership operates food pantries in Dover Plains, Beacon, Red Hook, and Poughkeepsie, New York. They will distribute free groceries and food to community residents. They encourage those who benefit from the pantry program to explore other available programs, such as SNAP food stamps or Meals on Wheels for the homebound. Or they can enroll into family development planning.

Low income households experiencing difficulty in paying the high costs of home heating or increasing utility bills can get help from the HEAP - Home Energy Assistance Program. Or another option for those facing disconnection is the Energy Crisis Intervention Program. This will offer cash grants for emergency fuel assistance. The crisis line for those that need help after hours is 845-437-0050.

If you are out of fuel or your power was shut off, once they have been informed of your location within Dutchess County, the community action agency will provide you with the address of the nearest emergency fuel source. A focus of any energy bill assistance is on addressing life threatening situations.

Several state of New York and federal government energy savings programs with varying income guidelines and eligibility requirements are available to working poor or low-income residents. In addition to services like EmPower NY, the Hot Water Tank Program, and CAPCO Energy Savers, DCCAP also administers the federal funded Weatherization Assistance Program.




This resource, also known as WAP, provides energy cost-saving assistance to homeowners and tenants. Dutchess County Community Action begins the process with an onsite home health and safety check and evaluation of energy efficiency. Based on the initial assessment of the home, technicians from the agency then perform various services that may include adding new hot water tanks or insulation of floors, walls, and attics. Other updates can be any necessary repairs of appliances, heating and cooling systems, installation of carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and other measures to reduce drafts and air leaks of the home.

Apply for health insurance coverage at the partnership. Representatives from public and private health providers are available at all DCCAP sites for the purpose of helping residents with the application process. In addition, DCCAP will often have funds or grants available from a variety of sources to assist with paying for any needed prescription medications.

The CA$H Coalition works in partnership with the DCCAP, IRS and other local nonprofits and community organizations to inform the general public on tax credits and efficient money management. Dutchess County Community Action Partnership will also provide free tax preparation to low-income residents. They also get other advice on budgeting and similar topics.

A number of onsite volunteer tax preparers are available throughout tax filing season to provide this service to low income households. Other advice is for senior citizens in the county. Phone - 845-452-5104.




As part of the employment assistance, staff assist Dutchess County residents with the process of looking for work. Clients can receive advice and instruction in regard to employment searches, resume creation, and job interview skills. DCCAP also assists both men and women with obtaining appropriate attire for job interviews or for that new work position.

Clothing is offered. Men can acquire free suits and other items by appointment at Suited to Succeed, located at the local Beacon New York location. Dress for Success Dutchess County provides free clothing for income qualified women who wish to make a positive first impression at an interview or simply look professional at work.

Additionally, the charity known as Dress for Success also operates a Career Center where women have access to monthly support group meetings or job-search resources. For more details, contact Dress for Success Dutchess County at 845-452-5104, extension 144.

The location of the Dutchess County Community Action Partnership is at 77 Cannon St., Poughkeepsie, New York 12601. Phone - 845-452-5104.




By Jon McNamara

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