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Assistance from IMPACT Community Action.

Providing assistance across Franklin County, the community action agency known as IMPACT administers various programs and services for the less fortunate. Clients include low income families, the working poor, seniors, and others, and they may receive funds for paying a variety of bills as well as employment and job placement services or government grants.

The goal of the programs from IMPACT is to break the cycle of poverty, so short term aid is available, but clients will need to agree to long term self-sufficiency. This includes enhancing computer skills, obtaining employment, and rebuilding credit, among other steps. Families need to work towards independence and financial fitness.

Financial aid for bills, food and rent from IMPACT

Grants for paying heating bills is provided from the Winter Crisis Program, or WCP. This is a state of Ohio seasonal program that runs from November to March of each year. Essentially, WCP in Franklin County will make a payment for utilities to low income households within the region, and applicants will generally need to have an income at or below 200% of the federally established poverty guidelines. However priority is for seniors and families with young children.

To summarize the benefits of this program, eligible families will receive bulk fuel heating bill assistance, be enrolled in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) Plus Program and also receive a one time grant for other utility bills.

To prevent at-risk households in the Columbus Ohio region from experiencing a disruption in their energy service, HEAP was established to address this. Financial assistance comes in the form of restoring disconnected services and, if needed securing seasonal heating and cooling energy needs based on individual assessments of households.

Families as well as individuals who participate in the federally funded program are offered information and resources to help them on their journey back to energy independence. In addition, another goal of HEAP is raise awareness regarding conservation and efficiency use of electricity. Read more on weatherization and HEAP in Ohio.




Emergency Assistance is for Franklin County families facing homelessness. Or there may be help from IMPACT for those that need need home furnishings or help with essential transportation, no interest loans for approved expenses, and there is also assistance for food needs. A number of resources are available. Even find emergency rent assistance in Franklin County, which IMPACT may help tenants apply for.

As resources allow, Emergency Assistance offers applicants financial and material support in the form of loans or government grants. This is done while they work on a resolution to their crisis. This assistance program prevents homelessness, helps with rent expenses, disruption of utility services and prevents evictions. Help is provided via a central information base that local non-profit community service agencies access to find the help needed for their clients.

Food programs are offered in collaboration with Mid-Ohio Foodbank and other charities. Another option is IMPACT’s Free Farmer's Market resource, which provides fresh fruits and vegetable at no-cost to low-income, qualified individuals and participants within the community. So various forms of groceries and other items are provided to the needy, including children.

The Central Case Management system serves as the conduit through which all IMPACT programs and services are utilized. They are made available to struggling, working poor families and individuals. The main goals of Central Case Management and of all the community action programs include teaching these families and individuals self-discovery through identification. There is also help in addressing and resolving the multiple barriers that have led them to financial struggle and crisis.

Home Weatherization Assistance (HWAP) was created to offer households with free energy efficiency services. This is provided to income qualified households in Franklin County. Services include home insulation, housing unit inspections, and air-leak detection. Also, heating system repairs and replacements are made utilizing energy-efficient appliances.





The goal of all of these services is to lower home energy costs on low-income single and multi-family homes/units in Franklin County. Additional services from IMPACT’s HWAP include furnace repairs or replacements, air leakage detection, attic and extra wall insulation, installation of compact fluorescent light bulbs, and maybe even the total replacement of inefficient appliances.

Franklin County employment services

Finding and sustaining long term employment is an essential part of helping lower income, disadvantaged individuals become independent again. The Workforce Development and related Employment Plus Program offers them a number of solutions. There is job training for careers on the cutting edge through an accelerated curriculum over a 5 week time period.

This covers a broad spectrum of topics including resume writing, teaching computer literacy, mock interviewing, academic course work and financial literacy. Those who graduate from the employment program also receive coaching from a specialist on a one to one basis to sharpen interpersonal and technical skills. This is all done in an effort to heighten the chances of attaining gainful, long term employment somewhere in the Columbus region. Find a list of work an job training resources.

Overall free money management services are arranged. This includes such support as debt reduction, savings, and more. IMPACT team members, often in partnership with non-profit credit counseling agencies, help to build better financial literacy while at the same time helping clients pay down debts, save, budget, and even address housing needs. As an example, find the benefits of debt settlement vs. consolidation programs and the difference between them.

Computer literacy is a requirement in this day and age when it comes to finding employment. Through the IMPACT Computer Literacy Program, individuals are taught the basic to intermediate workings of using a system. They will also be provided with software knowledge and training on the latest applications.

In addition, use of the internet is taught to individuals so they may search for jobs on websites. All of this education and teaching is done through tutorials online, hands-on repetition and through individualized instruction from specialists.

IMPAC also works to help clients get IT skills, including coding. As an increasing number of jobs, whether in manufacturing, health care, or technology - the employees needs strong computer skills. Most of this is free and offered with partners, and learn more on free computer coding workshops.





Locations of IMPACT community action agency

There are the services offered above and more. Whether a grant, job program or budgeting classes (or something else), the non-profit tries to help. For more information, case managers are at IMPACTs main office. The address is 711 Southwood Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43207. Call 614.252.2799 for intake.


By Jon McNamara











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