Washington County Economic Opportunity Agency assistance programs.

The community action agency known as Economic Opportunity Agency of Washington County can help struggling,  working poor and lower income residents. They are a leading anti-poverty organization in which staff work to help families break the cycle of low income, unemployed, and struggles. The center may have referrals to government benefits, housing, and public aid. They also administer several programs on their own as well, which is mostly LIHEAP electric bill assistance, Head Start and a few others.

Utility bill assistance is part of the LHEAP - Low Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program. This government resources provides cash payments or grants to pay got utilities used for heating homes. The money is paid directly to companies tat provide the power to the consumer. This allows low income families in Washington County and really across Arkansas to heat their homes during the winter. There may even be some money to pay for summer cooling bills.

This government funded winter financial assistance program helps low-income families, including seniors and the disabled, pay their utility bills. Another part of LIHEAP is Crisis Assistance, which helps those who are in danger of having their heat shut disconnected. It can help those who have run out of fuel for their heating systems or are out of gas/propane as well.

Assistance from LIHEAP is made available for households using natural gas, electricity, wood, or propane to heat their homes. While funding is limited, the program begins in January each year. Any type of assistance is paid out until the funds available are depleted.

Resources are limited, but in general families receiving food stamps or having a disabled or an elderly person in the household can apply. There is also help for those who are facing utilities shut-off or need wood or propane for heat.

Child development and Head Start provides support to low income families from the region. It is government funded and coordinates preschool and high-quality developmental education for children up to age 5. Other individuals can access social services too, namely their parents. The main goals of the EOA Head Start and Early Head Start are to.




Provide children with health care, educational and nutritional services. This is done in an effort to enhance the child’s growth and overall development.

Another key part of this is to link parents of the child to needed community services and non-profits. So parents can learn about job training, social services, and education programs for themselves too. Economic Opportunity Agency as well as staff and teachers from Head Start know that the parent, and having a stable home, is critical to the child’s overall development. So support services and assistance is made available to them from referrals and other options.

The IDA - Individual Development Account from the EOAW Community action agency will put Washington County families on the long term path to hopefully financial security. There are several components to this, including credit counseling and training in money management. Those who enroll and participate can be offered a matched savings account which was designed to help people acquire lifelong assets. The money can be used to help buy a home, pay for college education, or start their own business.

Participants will be able to save money for a long term asset, such as a home, education, or business capital, as part of IDA. Not only that, but every dollar saved and put into your account is matched by a grant from the state or EOAWC.

While people save money, they will also learn how to manage their money, pay down debts, and build their credit. In general, learn how to succeed at your goal.




The IDA programs from Economic Opportunity Community Action Agency of Washington County can go on for up to 6 months to a year or more. Once someone reaches their saving goal, they will be able to then take the money from the account and invest it in the asset you worked towards. They will also have improved knowledge and money management skills.

While those are the main services from the Economic Opportunity Agency of Washington County (EOAWC), the center may also have other support available, namely referrals. The address is 614 E. Emma St., Springdale, AR 72764. Call (479) 872-7479.


By Jon McNamara

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