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Emmet County assistance programs.

For those who need help and information on local programs, the Upper Des Moines Opportunity Inc., which covers the Iowa counties of Emmet, Palo Alto and Pocahontas, connects low to moderate income people, and other who may be facing short term struggles, with available resources and assistance programs.

The Upper Des Moines Opportunity is a local nonprofit agency that seeks to empower individuals and families by alleviating the causes and conditions of poverty. They may be able to provide short term grants to help pay immediate expenses, and can also direct people to programs so they can be come self-sufficient over the long term.

The organization is trying to help them reach self-sufficiency. They are doing their best to try to empower them, help them set longer term goals, and to do the things that they really want to.

There organization administers several outreach programs and services where local people can come to get so called short term help, which can range from energy and heating bill assistance programs, food and commodity pantries, clothing shops, and even programs that are specifically designed for children's needs.

As but one example, the federal government funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is a program that helps low to middle income Iowa homeowners and renters pay a portion of their primary heating costs. It is available for both Estherville and Emmet County families. Just over the last year, over 420 households were assisted through LIHEAP funds in Emmet County.





The also have a Food Pantry. This can provide those in need with a three to five day supply of free food for those who are out of food or if someone has limited resources to purchase or obtain food. Note that a family may request this aid only three times per year and then budget counseling is required after that if people have an additional need. For example, they can provide information and answers to common question on such issues as debt consolidation.

Low income families can save on their energy bills from Weatherization. Families can receive free upgrades to their home. They can get assistance with stopping infiltration of cold air into a home. Some of the upgrades done to homes can include attic insulation, caulking, weather stripping and insulation. Find additional low income programs.

Note that the programs offered and the office doesn't necessarily cover and pay for long-term expenses, but rather it gives people some short term aid and in effect a starting place to go forward from. If they can’t help themselves, they can connect people with other resources, such as food stamp programs.

Or they can refer them to other programs offered by the Iowa state government, or federal programs such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to get additional help they may not realize is available.

They are located at 508 South 1st Street, Estherville, Iowa, and can be called at (712) 362-2391.




By Jon McNamara

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