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Gulf Coast Community Services Association programs in Houston region.

The Harris County Texas Gulf Coast Community Services Association provides support and assistance to families as they work to gain self-sufficiency and it can help meet other needs. A number of services, grants for paying bills and resources are offered to qualified individuals in Houston Texas as well as the county. Conditions and terms are in place, and funding levels are always very limited.

Emergency assistance may be provided, as funding allows. Any recipients or applicants will be required to enter into a plan of action that addresses professional and personal development needs. Since any aid provided is short term in nature, the plan of action will help the client move towards long term self-sufficiency.

Rental assistance is one form of financial aid provided by Gulf Coast Community Services Association. It is an option for income qualified clients who have received eviction or vacate notices. The community action agency also partners with many charities in the region, and find emergency rental assistance in Harris County.

Another resource is the Pay Myself Back Program. This can help families and individuals that are in some form of financial distress. Funds or grants may help Houston area families by preventing loss of shelter or their utility service. The non-profit will provide financial assistance on a short term basis. Often times the client also needs enroll in programs such as SSL, ESL, Business Applications, Credit Counseling or Money Management.

Prescription assistance may be offered in Harris County Texas. This is done in the form of vouchers or prescription gift cards. It can help people that meet certain federal government poverty guidelines. It can assist them with meeting their needs for their current medication only. It is for refills on non-expired prescriptions only. There is support from Gulf Coast for immigrants, the uninsured as well as low income. Find other ways how to get prescription assistance.

The regional food pantries may offer Houston area families with a few days work of emergency groceries. The Gulf Coast Community Services Association is only limited hours. It can even help people in neighboring counties as well that meet income guidelines.





Similar to above is the GOOD Neighbor Program. This gives clients of the community action agency the ability to shop for the food items they need in an environment that develops health-conscious shopping behaviors. For any of these food and basic need programs, the donations of non-perishable food items as well as diapers, detergent, bar soap and other toiletries is always welcomed.

Transportation assistance may be provided in certain cases by the Metro RIDES program. The non-profit may also offer help in the Houston area the form of Metro Q Cards. It can help subsidize the cost of transportation. The Harris County RIDES Program provides a number of transportation services to people with disabilities and senior citizens.

Affordable, or free automobiles, are often in demand. Harris County families and newcomers, such as immigrants, often need transportation for work. This is even more so as the public transit in the city of Houston and county is minimal. Gulf Coast community action may help, as they have information on free automobile assistance programs, gasoline vouchers, and other resources.

Metro Q Cards can be passed out by the Gulf Coast Community Services Association. It is offered to income qualified clients seeking a job or that are currently attending educational programs. It is for those meeting poverty guidelines and that live in Harris County or nearby regions.

Utility bill assistance may be offered by the GCCSA community action agency or government assistance. Programs can help low income individuals and families. Clients can receive financial assistance to help prevent the loss of their utilities or power. This is a one time benefit, is only for Harris County families, and income levels need to be met as well. While funding levels will change, in some cases a few hundred dollars can be paid out.





Payday lenders operate in Houston and Harris County. Borrowing money should always be a last resort for paying the rent or bills. Families living paycheck to check, immigrants, single moms and others should explore all other options first to paying the bills before using a loan. There are many other ways to get money, and find more details on low cost payday loans and other options for borrowing money.

Education and job programs from Gulf Coast Community Services

The Head Start Program is the main federally funded, early childhood development program. It is offered to children ages 3 to 5 from very low income and economically-challenged families. A number of Head Start centers operate as stand-alone units in the Harris County Texas region.

Early Head Start is similar to above. The Gulf Coast Community Services Association is closely involved in this program as well. This is offered for income eligible pregnant women, toddlers, and infants ages 6 weeks to 30 months. It is also offered for children with disabilities as well.

Adult Education and Literacy, including computer classes, are available. These can help people get a job. The basics computer classes focus on how to use and maintain a personal computer and printer. Another class is Business Applications. Teachers will offer instruction on Microsoft Office Suite applications, including PowerPoint, Word, and Excel.

The community action agency also have staff that offer General Equivalency Diploma (GED) as well as Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes for the Houston and greater Harris County community. There are also ESL classes for immigrants and Spanish speakers. Staff provide one-on-one instruction and help clients obtain high school credentials. On the other hand, ABE or Adult Basic Education, provides instruction in reading, mathematics, and writing at grade level.

English as a Second Language or Spanish as a Second Language classes are offered. With the large number of immigrants in the Houston area, this service is in high demand. This will help clients, including immigrants, improve and enhance communication skills. This can lead to better job opportunities. Get assistance in developing reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.

The non-profit Gulf Coast Community Services Association may have information on education scholarships. This may be available at any Houston Community College (HCC) campus. Financial aid can help pay for the cost of tuition, uniforms, books and other school fees. The key partner groups are the Ascension to Skills Scholarship Program and local colleges. There are many low income student scholarship programs.





Job training and assistance may be offered by Workforce Development. These workshops provide instruction on optimizing the job search. Staff will provide instruction on employment strategies, career counseling, successful workplace attitudes and more. The EYES Youth Employment Fair and Job Readiness Training can help the youth find a job.

Call the Gulf Coast Community Services Association at (713) 393-4700. They support both the city of Houston and all of Harris County.


By Jon McNamara

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