Financial help and referrals from Hildago County Community Services Agency.

Using federal funds from the Community Services Block Grant, the non-profit Hildago County Community Services Agency County focuses on supporting the less fortunate and working poor. They partner with the county government and other charities in the region, and services available address employment, education, and maybe basic financial needs, such as funds for utility bills from CEAP. More information on the programs available in Edinburg and the County are below.

Clients of the community action agency can get information and referrals, emergency services and case management. Hildago County Community Services Agency also provides the administrative support for certain government resources, such as weatherization. Case managers can also direct families facing poverty to benefits such as SNAP food stamps, or the disabled to SSI applications. Through its relationships with local service providers and a resource directory the non-profit is able to steer clients to the support they need.

Helping individuals overcome poverty is available from organization as it uses its case management services to help clients become financially independent. It reaches this goal by focusing on budgeting techniques, debt reduction services and establishing short- and long-term goals.

A number of people may qualify, including immigrants to Texas, the unemployed, or struggling seniors. Case management is provided on an ongoing basis until clients realize their objectives, whether that is employment or just a generally improved financial situation.

The agency works to end homelessness in the community too. Too many tenants, including single moms, veterans, and the elderly, struggle with their paying rent or utility bills on a monthly basis, so the Community Services Agency can provide them guidance. This may be referrals to government grant programs such as emergency food and shelter for paying housing costs, or another option is using a non-profit organization which may issue an interest free loan to the client for an overdue rent payment.

The non-profit manages the state of Texas CEAP - Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program to help low-income households meet the cost of energy and cooling bills. CEAP emphasizes urgent home energy needs and energy reduction. This is often combined with grants for paying utilities.




The household crisis component of CEAP is intended for energy-related emergencies and provides limited amounts of financial assistance with paying utility or air conditioning bills for people faced with a disconnection. Households can also repair existing heating and cooling units via this service. The utility assistance service, meanwhile, subsidizes energy payments for low-income households. CEAP is offered to qualified residents of Hildago County.

In addition, save energy and money from the agency’s Weatherization Assistance Program, also sometimes called WAP. This provides impoverished individuals and families with the means to conserve energy, increase home comfort, and reduce utility bills through free conservation measures.

In order to make homes more energy efficient over the long term, WAP contractors may skirt or underpin exposed floors or perform general caulking. Other updates may include, but are not limited to, insulate attics, floors and walls; repair or replace windows and doors; patch holes in walls or floors, ceilings and exterior walls; and repair, completely replace or retrofit heating and cooling equipment.

Weatherization’s objective is to lower energy consumption of homes in the county, so renovations and cosmetic improvements are not included in the program. The DOE - U.S. Department of Energy pays for both the CEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program) and weatherization. Another key partner is the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Any assistance paid out to clients is contingent on eligibility and availability of state and federal government funds, and the program emphasizes elderly and disabled persons in the community.

While a goal is to get people in Hidalgo County off of public assistance, in some cases receiving benefits can be a very short term solution. So case managers can provide the pros and cons, and information on options such as TANF cash assistance, food stamps or section 8 vouchers, among many others. Community Services also works closely with government agencies on these.

Head Start, or educational assistance, is available from a national program that prepares young children for school. The parents, families, staff, teachers and health professionals collaborate with Hildago County Community Services Agency to identify any health or developmental issues of enrolled children. Not only that, but children and their families are connected to accessible healthcare services that can provide them with free assistance.





Parental involvement is a crucial part of Head Start as well. The community action agency will require that parents play active roles in their children’s education and growth. They need to help ensure they meet nutritional and educational goals and other objectives that may be set. The Head Start program also supports parents as they work toward their educational and vocational goals, so they can participate in job training and other support services.

Rural Public Transportation is available in Hildago County from non-profits. including agency on aging centers. The case managers from the area can provide information and referrals to them. The resources will help make social service agencies and medical, dental and eye-care centers accessible to low-income individuals and families, especially the elderly in the community.

Furthermore, there are agencies that provide transportation for the general public, school children, senior citizens and disabled persons in the area. Most vehicles in the fleet are handicapped-accessible and include wheelchair lifts.

The Hildago County Community Services Agency can provide information and referrals to these and other services. Call (800) 522-4021, or the two main intake sites are 2524 N. Closner, Edinburg, Texas 78539 or 724 N. Breyfogle, Mission, TX 78572.



By Jon McNamara

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