Services from Eastern Plains Community Action Agency.

The Eastern Plains Community Action Agency attempts to offer both short and long term assistance. This ranges from an on site pantry to limited financial aid for living expenses, such as utilities or rent. The other resource, more focused on long term needs in Curry, DeBaca, Guadalupe, Quay, Roosevelt, Union, or Harding County may be job placement, life skills training or credit counseling.

Any type of assistance will be focused on those from the community that are working hard to break the cycle of poverty and/or homelessness. Eastern Plains Community Action Agency intends to offer a hand up to those that qualify, and not a hand out. But in any case they will try to help when possible.

For people residing in Counties such as Curry or Quay, the non-profit EPCAA is sometimes able to provide emergency financial help as part of Community Service Block Grants, or CSBG. There may be grants for paying expenses ranging from rent to medications or energy bills. This is the an option for individuals who are facing dire financial conditions due to factors that are out of their control, such as temporary joblessness or an illness. The applicant also needs to pay future bills on their own without support from Eastern Plains Community Action Agency.

Many applicants of the program are low-income, seniors, disabled on a fixed income, homeless or previously homeless who desperately need a financial reprieve until they can create financial stability once again in their lives. Eastern Plains Community Action Agency also caters to the most vulnerable, at-risk residents such as low-income families with children. They are given first priority for financial assistance. In fact, many of the clients are parents, including single moms, with children.

While this financial support is always a possibility, it is always very limited and comes with restrictions. Much more likely will be the non-profit referring a family to other government benefits or non-profits in its service territory, including Roosevelt or Harding. There may be loans available for certain expenses (such as back rent or a deposit) or LIHEAP energy bill assistance.

Residents of the immediate area can learn about programs such as surplus USDA commodities or local food banks. Another resources available in Harding or Union County includes a soup kitchen and government benefits, such as CSFP or food stamps. So there are numerous programs in place for trying to feed an income qualified family.




The goal of Eastern Plains Community Action Agency is to provide free food or meals, that meet Federal Government Nutrition guidelines, to adults and children. This may take place at a pantry or meal site. Or if the applicant is homebound, then volunteers may make a delivery as part of Meals on Wheels. So there are various resources used by the non-profit.

EPCAA Early Head Start is for infants, and it is often combined with Head Start, which is for older children. These are federally funded yet comprehensive child development programs serving children from birth to age five and their families. The programs also provide services for pregnant women.

The overall goal is to ensure that young children from working poor families in New Mexico are well prepared to begin school. Head Start and Early Head Start are administered by the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Head Start grantee and delegate agencies provide a range of individualized services in the areas of medical, dental, and mental health; education; early childhood development; nutrition; and parental involvement. In addition, the entire range of services from Eastern Plains Community Action Agency is responsive to and appropriate for each family’s needs. It also takes into account linguistic heritage and experience.

The other option in Guadalupe or Curry County, which is Early Head Start, provides resources and community programs to address families’ needs and to achieve the purposes set forth by Congress. The programs funded operate as a national laboratory to demonstrate the positive impact of early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive services on pregnant women. Eastern Plains Community Action Agency will also support very young children, infants and their families.

The Eastern Plains Community Action Agency offers a financial literacy workshop to all people in a homeless shelter. This was created to be a more in- depth version of the budgeting support guests already receive from county social workers. Whether they are women, veterans, or even children, the process provides the necessary tools of everyday budgeting, saving for a new home or apartment, and insurance. It can provide the person with simple, yet effective, techniques for improving their financial prospects.




For the underemployed in the area, job placement / training is also arranged. Case managers from Eastern Plains Community Action Agency often have a wealth of information on services that can lead to self-sufficiency, as after all ending poverty is one of the agencies main goals. The CSBG grant can even help pay for some of the expenses incurred in finding a new or better job.

For more information on the Eastern Plains Community Action Agency services, the primary office is in Tucumcari, NM 88401. Call (575) 461-1914 for intake.


By Jon McNamara

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