Financial aid from Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership.

The regional community action agency is the non-profit Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership. The focus of the organization is on offering short term support along with case management and referrals. All resources are limited and will vary by county, month and season. However some of what ICAP may be able to assist with includes emergency rent assistance, free food, and heating bill programs. They also have information or referrals to job training, education, and employment type services or support.

The agency provides assistance to low income families, the unemployed, and others in Minnehaha, Grant, Deuel, Codington, Hamlin, Clark, Kingsbury, Brookings, Miner, Lake, Moody, and McCook County South Dakota. Residents do have a few different offices they can contact for help.

Get help for bills, including rent and food

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) is there to help residents with emergency needs, such as lodging, mortgage or rent payments, utilities, or food. It is limited, and ICAP may be able to help for at most one month. There are no specified income guidelines for the services. The non-profit will require proof that that all other potential resources have been exhausted and the need is immediate.

For community members who are financially eligible, food pantries are hosted at several of ICAP's satellite offices, including in Codington, Clark, and Minnehaha. The pantries provide the needy with free food, including meat, canned fruits and vegetables, milk, and other grocery items. Clients are often referred to the pantries from other human services agencies and churches. Working together, this will maximize the effective use of community resources. In turn, ICAP staff members provide referrals to other agencies' pantries in areas where no ICAP programs are in operation.

The 60's Plus Food Assistance Program invites senior citizens, the elderly as well as residents aged 60 and over to enjoy a low cost, nutritious noon meal at dozens of separate locations. There are sites in counties, including Deuel, Grant, Kingsbury and others.

The aim of this program is to reduce or prevent malnutrition among this segment of the population, staving off a wide variety of related health problems. In many towns home-delivered meals are available to those who are unable to leave their homes due to illness or frailty. This will also allow the homebound to socialize with the driver.




To ensure that area residents have access to healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables, the Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership Garden Project provides a yearly voucher for the purchase of live plants or garden seeds. Participants will be responsible for planting their own gardens and harvest the produce throughout the season. Additionally, depending on available funding, the community action agency may offer preserving or canning supplies so that the food can be stored for use in future months.

Federal government funds from ESG - Emergency Solutions Grant Program provides case management and financial assistance. There may be grants or loans used for paying security deposits and rent to residents in danger of becoming homeless. There are also funds to those who are currently homeless, which will mostly be to pay for a deposit or first month's rent. The aim is to keep participants in their homes, or to help them return to a new apartment or home in a timely manner.

Temporary, transitional housing is part of Heartland House. This is operated by ICAP and it addresses a full range of issues that accompany the overall condition of being homeless. In addition to needing a place to live, the homeless need food, educational services, access to medical treatment, work, and so on.

The Inter-Lakes Community Action Agency program is targeted to homeless families with children in South Dakota. The program provides intensive family case management and low income housing in three different Sioux Falls apartment buildings. Families are required to commit to following self-sufficiency plans detailing goals for resolving the situation. Based on family income and their asset levels, monthly rent is charged for Heartland House, with part of it set aside in a savings account. These funds or savings are then designated for use by the family when moving into permanent housing.

ICAP provides assistance with paying for rent and security deposits to the many homeless persons and families. This is available in the entire 14-county service area, with a concentration on Sioux Falls and other area cities.

Either operating independently or in conjunction with other non-profits (County Welfare, Salvation Army, churches, etc.), the Rent/Security Deposit Assistance Program will pay all or a portion of eligible applicants' first month's rent and/or security deposits.

To be eligible for financial aid, applicants are required to be homeless, as described in the McKinney Act. In addition, they must provide proof that they have steady and reliable sources of income (either wages from jobs or funding from a public assistance program), and agree to receive case management services and protective payee services. They also need to prove to case managers that they have the ability to retain and consistently pay the rent on the newly acquired housing.

Heating bill help is offered in South Dakota. Using corporate funds and customer donations provided by MidAmerican Energy Company, the ICARE program offers help with paying electric bills and home heating costs to low-income persons living in MidAmerican's service area.

For those who are eligible, Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership HOME Rehabilitation Program provides financing for home repairs and modifications necessary for health, safety, and code compliance. Another focus of the repair program is to provide accessibility for persons with disabilities.

Funding for this program is provided in the form of a zero-interest, five-year decreasing balance loan, for as long as the homeowner remains eligible for the program. The program is funded by the federal government, SDHDA (South Dakota Housing Development Authority) and others. The HOME program funds allocated to the state by HUD.

ICAP offers help with furnace replacement and home weatherization to income eligible households. After a home audit determines what modifications are needed, contractors that partner with ICAP weatherize the home. This may include, but is not limited to, caulking, installing insulation and weather-stripping, fixing windows, etc.

The program also provides furnace repair or replacement. Additionally, under certain circumstances, inefficient, high-cost, or non-operating appliances (refrigerator, water heater, or a range) may also be replaced.

Certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership Homeownership Education Program provides help to those who are struggling to either obtain or keep homes. There are two components offered, and they include Mitigation Services (FPMS) as well as free Homebuyer Education. They may offer education and counseling to families who want to purchase homes, but lack the skills and knowledge to do so successfully.

Housing counselors that are approved by HUD work with the participating homeowner, banks, lenders, and various creditors, to create a workable spending plan. In some cases, a staff member facilitates the foreclosure process, with the aim of providing the best outcome for the family.

Many school districts in Sioux Falls, counties such as Moody, McCook, Minnehaha and others require families to supply school supplies or uniforms for students. This can present a very big financial challenge for lower-income families, and often leaves children at a disadvantage in school. Some free supplies, notebooks, clothing, and more may be offered by ICAP.

Thrift stores are operated by Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership within its service area. Donated clothing, books, Christmas gifts, and other household goods such as blankets and linens are available to the public. For those who cannot afford the purchase price, free vouchers for obtaining items at no charge are available from the county's community service worker.

Information and referrals are available to families in need of assistance. Many residents are often unaware of the services that are available to help them. ICAP community service workers (CSWs) dispense information regarding the services offered by ICAP and other providers. They can learn about food stamps, Social Services, County Welfare, etc. A case manager can also provide referrals to other non-profit service agencies when appropriate.





Information on self-sufficiency, education, and job training from ICAP

ICAP operates its programs with the primary goal of helping clients reach self-sufficiency, especially those with a range of issues and needs that require intensive case management services. So to this end, case managers from the non-profit work together with clients to create self-sufficiency plans, set objectives, outline goals and ways to achieve them. In addition, timelines are created and agreed upon for clients to use as a guide in reaching their goals.

In some cases, case managers act as protective payees, managing the clients' finances for a period of time. Meanwhile, they also provide education about how the clients can go on to managing their money independently.

Head Start program

The community action agency and their Head Start services provide developmental support and instruction to low-income children and/or children with special needs. This is done as a form of preparation for beginning school. Children and their families receive an array of health, education, social, and nutritional services. Parental involvement is strongly emphasized as an integral part of the program.

Pregnant women and families with children birth to age three are eligible for Early Head Start, an expansion of Head Start that provides age-appropriate developmental activities. These are  either in a center-based or a home-based situation. Child development, family development, and community-based services are key components of the program.

In partnership with Dakota State University's Enactus organization, ICAP operates the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Qualified tax filers in Turner, Lake, Moody, Miner, Hamlin, Codington, Kingsbury, Clark, Lincoln, McCook, Grant, Minnehaha, Brookings, and Deuel Counties meet with IRS-trained volunteers. They will help them complete and process their tax returns. VITA is run in partnership with the United Way of Sioux Falls, the Internal Revenue Service's VITA Program, the Credit Union Foundation of the Dakotas, and other local supporters.


Locations of Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership

  • Brookings County, 601 4th St, Brookings, South Dakota 57006, call 605-692-6391
  • Clark County, 116 N. Commercial, Clark, SD 57225, telephone 605-532-3722
  • Codington County, 7-8th Ave SE, Watertown, SD 57201, dial 605-886-7674
  • Deuel County, County Courthouse, Clear Lake, South Dakota  57226, telephone 605-874-2062
  • Grant County, County Courthouse, Milbank, SD 57252, 605-432-6571
  • Hamlin County, County Courthouse, PO Box 237, Hayti, SD 57241, main phone 605-783-3867
  • Kingsbury County, Upper Level County Courthouse, PO Box 254, De Smet, SD 57231, call 605-854-3701
  • Lake County, 111 N. Van Eps Ave., Madison, South Dakota  57042, 605-256-6518
  • Lincoln County, 104 N Main St., Canton, SD 57013, call 605-940-1909
  • McCook County, County Courthouse, Main Level, Salem, SD 57058, 605-425-2271
  • Miner County, 108 E Hwy. 34, Howard, SD 57349, 605-772-5712
  • Minnehaha County, 505 N. Western Ave, Sioux Falls, South Dakota  57104, main phone 605-334-2808
  • Moody County, 112 E. Pipestone, Flandreau, SD 57028, 605-997-2824
  • Turner County, County Courthouse, Lower Level, Parker, South Dakota  57053, 605-940-1909



By Jon McNamara

“Related and Sponsored Links” are listed below.





Contact Us

About Us


Privacy policy

Financial Literacy