Greater East Texas Community Action Programs.

Several counties are supported by the non-profit Greater East Texas Community Action Program. The agency offers qualified low income residents with emergency help, such as food, shelter, and housing. The organization also offers more self-sufficiency type resources which may include Head Start, job training, and educational services.

The community action agency helps the low income, disabled, and seniors in the counties of Angelina, Wood, Cherokee, Gregg, Houston, Rusk, Nacogdoches, Polk, San Jacinto, Smith, and Trinity. The programs will have an application process in place. If someone doesn’t qualify, then inquire into referrals or maybe applications for government aid.

Financial resources in East Texas

Energy bill assistance programs are usually offered on a one-time only basis. Grants and funds from the GETCAP agency and state of Texas can be used to assist households with paying water bills, utilities, cooling, and also their electric bills.

The main population who will usually benefit includes homes with disabled or elderly members as well as young children. Many working poor, low-income families facing a short term crisis may also qualify. Funds for utilities are available in the counties of San Jacinto, Nacogdoches, Angelina, Houston, Trinity, Cherokee, Smith, Gregg, and Wood. Other regions may be supported too, and call an office for details.

Energy conservation will help homeowners, and even landlords, save money on bills. The main resource is weatherization. These federal and state of Texas services are designed to stop air infiltration in the home of disabled, low-income elderly, and income qualified working families. Some of the activities done by the Greater East Texas Community Action (GETCAP) such as caulking, insulating attics and weather stripping are performed to help make homes more comfortable, safe and also to conserve energy. Find more details on how to apply for weatherization.





Emergency financial assistance, resources, and services are provided to income qualified clients based on extraordinary, short term circumstances that could not be foreseen by the applicant. Assistance can be offered for needs such as rent, food, shelter, prescription medication, and maybe even minor home repairs. One focus of Greater East Texas Community Action is on preventing evictions/homelessness and rehouse those that are currently in this situation, and this may include programs to help pay security deposits.

Greater East Texas Community Action job and educational resources

Project Turn Around is an educational service that could lead to better future job opportunities. It is available as a program targeting at risk youth and adults that live in Eastern Texas. The program provides classes such as GED, ESL and ABE instruction. It is located on the Nacogdoches Head Start campus, but the location can change over time. More information on job placement and training in Texas.

Another education program, known as Head Start, includes education, childcare and other support services for children under the age of 6. The program is designed by the federal government but run locally by Greater East Texas Community Action. It will serve and assist the total, overall development of the child. What may be available includes nutrition, health care, education, and parent involvement services. The goal is to help the child function at an optimum level in his or her current environment.

Each Head Start facility in counties such as San Jacinto, Gregg, Cherokee, and Angelina provides some Family Literacy and GED services. As one example, the Nacogdoches facility provides a program for parents, children, and family members. It is available for the entire family of Head Start eligible children. They may enroll in the GED/Literacy program. The classes offered include writing, reading and math skills. Teachers and case managers stress proficiency in written and oral communications and overall problem solving skills of children.

Early Head Start from GETCAP is for even younger children, those from infants to age 3. The services provided are done so through a year-round program with early, intensive, continuous, and comprehensive child development. It will also offer family support services for low-income children and pregnant women.  The program also provides a full day childcare service.

Immigrants in Easter Texas can get help too. There are ESL classes for residents in all counties, including Smith and Polk. Migrant farm works can also access housing, and support is also for all Spanish speakers. The goal is to help them settle into the region. The free immigration programs are wide ranging.





Locations of community action centers in eastern Texas

Angelina County, 1408 N. Raguet Street, Lufkin, Texas 75901, dial 936-639-4787
Rusk County, 621 East Main Street, Henderson, Texas 75653, main phone number is 903-657-9472
Cherokee County, 595 South Ragsdale Street, Jacksonville, Texas 75766, dial 903-589-5060
San Jacinto County, 111 Highway 150 East, San Jacinto County Courthouse Annex, Coldspring, Texas 77331, telephone number is 936-653-2342
Gregg County, 411 North Fredonia Street, Longview, Texas 75601, 903-758-5674
Smith County, 1630 South Vine, Tyler, Texas 75701, call 903-592-3828 for intake.
Houson County, 1501C East Loop 304, Crockett, Texas 75835, call 936-544-1480
Trinity County office is at 111 North Magee, Groveton, Texas 75845, 936-642-1462
Nacogdoches County, 114 West Hospital Street, Nacogdoches, Texas 75961, phone 936-564-2491
Wood County, 211 West Bermuda, Wood County Courthouse Annex, Quitman, Texas 75783
Polk County, 1112 Dogwood Street, Livingston, Texas 77351. For information dial 936-327-3011

By Jon McNamara

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