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Hawkeye Area Community Action Program emergency assistance programs.

The Hawkeye Area Community Action Program provides assistance to low income and struggling families in Linn, Jones, Johnson, Iowa, Benton and Washington County. A wide range of services are available, ranging for assistance with paying for housing to utility bills. Other help is for children, seniors, and those looking for employment or to improve their education.

Embrace Iowa from Des Moines Register works to provide grants or cash benefits up to $500 in relief for income and otherwise qualified participants in need. This program can help with paying for unexpected events or bills. These grants are to be used for non-routine expenses such as home repairs, medical or dental bills, vehicle repairs, or similar expenses. The Hawkeye Area Community Action agency can direct clients to the applications. However many other services are below.

Emergency financial help

Hawkeye Area Community Action Program offers a utility bill assistance as well as energy saving program. After all, a safe, energy efficient and secure home is a need that all people have.

Low-income or working poor households on a limited or fixed income often have a hard time paying their winter utility bill and other needs. The LIHEAP Energy Assistance program is there to provide energy crisis and bill payment assistance to disabled, seniors, the elderly and low-income families in the HACAP service area.

This program is government funded, and Low-income Heat Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) serves as the backbone of HACAP's Utility projects in the service area. They have integrated this vital program with a number of other resources, such as weatherization and the Emergency Crisis Intervention (ECIP). There are also homeowner projects, which provide free furnace repair services, maintenance and replacement. They have also partnered with local utility companies to coordinate payment plans and compliment county government general aid programs.

The weatherization program can help households save money. It helps to lower utility bills by improving the housing conditions of seniors as well as low-income persons and families. This program is there to provide energy conservation services to those on fixed-incomes (disabled, seniors and elderly) and children. There are also tips and suggestions given to clients. The aid is for those who live in low-income households.




This government funded weatherization service covers the cost of these energy conserving changes to those who qualify. Such procedures as an audit of the home, caulking, insulating, roof repairs, and other services may be needed.

The community action agency also organizes sessions and tips on how to save energy. As many families may not qualify for weatherization or grants for paying utility bills. Therefore there are workshops in Iowa counties including Linn or Washington. Read more about tips to save money on utility bills.

The HACAP Permanent Housing Program works with families or individuals to provide the last step of obtaining stable shelter. HACAP operates low income apartments and single-family buildings for households that have children within the Linn County and other areas. Program guidelines and expectations include that residents must meet the homeless and low-income guidelines set forth by HUD. Or this can also be used by those with a Section 8 Voucher.

Staff from Hawkeye Area Community Action will ensure that regular health and safety inspections of the inside and outside of the property are performed. In addition to that, tenants of the housing units or apartments are expected to pay their own utilities which include natural gas, electricity, and water. The rent due from the tenant is based on 30% of monthly income.

Shelter and other support services are available for youth from the Crisis Child Care Program. It assists during times of a family emergency. Social workers and providers offer many of the services for children. The inn Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse is a key partner for this.





Homeless youth in Iowa can benefit from the Homeless Children's Trust. This program is dedicated to helping children whose families are being evicted, currently homeless or maybe they are currently living in transitional housing.

In addition to a place to stay, this Hawkeye Area Community Action program helps by providing funds for emergency needs such as Essential Equipment, Short Term Emergency Child Care, Health Care, Protective Clothing (winter coats, hats, and gloves), and more. There is also the Shoe and Boot Fund in Iowa.

There are also Back to School drives offered part of Homeless Children's Trust. This is offered in counties such as Linn, Johnson, or Benton and it can equip children with free school supplies, backpacks and other items that will they need for school.

Temporary or transitional housing is provided to qualified participants. They will need to pay monthly rent based on a sliding fee scale. Families must be employed or enrolled in an educational degree program.

WIC, or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children is a federal government USDA funded Supplemental Nutrition Program. It provides healthy food packages and nutritional education to assist families meet their nutritional needs.

The goal of WIC is to ensure the health of low-income women, newborns, infants, and children. It is offered in all counties, including Linn, Jones, Johnson, Iowa, Benton and Washington.

Working through community action, it provides nutritious foods to supplement diets, free formula, and referrals to health care clinics and other social services. WIC offers vouchers that can be used at local grocery stores to purchase pre-approved groceries and foods.

Rural Senior Services from Hawkeye Area Community Action Program assists those over the age of 60. It offers them Medical equipment loans, congregate dining & home delivery of meals, as well as medical information.

In addition to these services, the non-profit HACAP community action agency can provide in-home needs, linkage to agencies and strengths assessments of elderly residents. This process allows referrals to traditional and non-traditional non-profits in the region.

Case management from Hawkeye Area Community Action Program

Case management from Hawkeye Area Community Action Program includes education/life skills classes, credit counseling, job training, and more. These are offered to those who participate on a monthly basis.

Some additional examples of class or workshop topics include tenant/landlord law, financial management, conflict management, communication skills, parenting and other topics and socialization activities.





Free legal aid can be arranged. The Hawkeye Community Action Agency will work with local attorneys who offer pro-bono services. They help with evictions, debts, consumer needs, and more. Find details on free legal aid in Iowa.

Family Support Workers are assigned to each participating family from Linn, Jones, and Iowa counties. These certified staff members offer support services for residents to work toward their goals of becoming self-sufficient and establishment of long term, permanent housing.

As part of this process, the Family Support Workers from Hawkeye Area Community Action help participants to solve issues they may have. Sessions will address Job research skills, personal finance management, interpersonal relationship skills, getting access to low cost Childcare, and referrals for Permanent housing opportunities.

Head Start is offered by HACAP as a form of early child development. It provides essential resources and services that children need to learn and grow. It is for families in Johnson and other counties in Iowa.

There are two components. They are Head Start and Early Head Start, and they are both comprehensive child development programs that serve children under the age of 6, pregnant women, and their families. These programs have the overall goal of increasing the school readiness of young children from low-income households.

In addition, they will promote healthy prenatal outcomes of pregnant women, enhance the development of infants and toddlers, and to promote healthy family functioning. Early Head Start sessions also provides a home based program for pregnant women and children. Partnering with agencies such as CCR&R, PACES, CACFP and the Quality Early Childhood Initiative, HACAP works to address the growing needs of young children in Iowa as well as their parents.

HACAP works with seniors that are interested in retooling their employment skills and training through the Senior Internship Program (SIP). The goal will be to help them foster their economic self-sufficiency and enjoy the benefits of unsubsidized employment in the public or private sector.

SIP is a paid training-for-employment program, mainly for low-income adults over the age of 55 years. Participants of the senior employment program are placed with a private or public nonprofit agency that helps them make the most of their skills. The goal is to ideally assist them with addressing their interests and aptitudes to increase their ability to find and keep employment. Hawkeye Area Community Action Program also provides training, and job search assistance for those seniors that are re-entering the local Iowa workforce.

Health care and medical help from Hawkeye Area Community Action Agency

Medical care is offered as part of Care for Kids. This is for children under the age of 21 old who receive Title IX or Medicaid. The state of Iowa sponsored Care for Kids promotes families as independent health consumers, introducing them to the local fee-for-service medical community.







Health or dental care coordination for children is provided by letting families and parents know about resources that are available to them regarding their health care needs. This includes clinics, public health and more. Community action is involved in supporting families in making informed health care choices.

There are also many free community clinics in Iowa and nationwide. Whether Benton, Washington, Linn, or other regions, community action agencies are a great place to learn about them. Clients can get basic check ups, free medications, dental care, and so much more. Kids and adults can get help too. Find more details on free community clinics near your area.

Another option is Hawk-I. This is a free or low-cost health insurance program for under or uninsured children of low income families. Benefits include payment of bills for doctor's visits, eyeglasses, dental care, vaccinations, well-child visits, mental health services, inpatient hospital services, prescription drugs, outpatient services, and case management support. There is also Presumptive Health Care Coverage for children (that is part of Hawk-I.

Well Child Screening Clinic is for teens and children. It offers them immunizations, developmental screening, free hearing/vision testing, nutrition assessment, and dental or oral health care.

Location of HACAP

These and other assistance programs are available. For more information, the office is at 1515 Hawkeye Drive, Hiawatha, Iowa 52233. Call (319) 393-7811.


By Jon McNamara


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