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Programs from Jefferson County Community Action Council.

Some of the main objectives of the Community Action Council of Jefferson County Ohio are to address housing needs and offer self-sufficiency. Case managers may be able to direct qualified low income families to rent and homeless assistance programs. Other resources include the Home Energy Assistance Program as well as job training from the Workforce Investment Act.

While funds and resources are very limited in the Steubenville region, the non-profit will do its best to meet the demands of the community. If the Jefferson County Community Action Council can’t help you themselves, then referrals may be made to other local charities, government agencies, or non-profits.

Programs for rent and housing needs

The Emergency Homeless Program can help with paying rent, mortgages and other housing needs. The aim of this particular Jefferson County Community Action Council program is for addressing a families immediate needs in regard to impending or current homelessness.

After a security deposit, first month’s rent or other fees are paid, the CAC case managers explores available options for solving underlying problems. They work with the family to stop the eviction and avoid a repeat occurrence. This is done largely through networking with other social service agencies or programs, such as the Community Action job training. As this occurs, the coordinator works with area sources to assure that transitional housing is provided if needed, while also seeking out affordable long-term housing.

CAC has established a good working relationship with several area low income apartment communities and landlords. They are willing to work with customers to provide shelter and they will accept funds or grants for rental costs from the non-profit.

There may also be assistance with a range of other housing needs, including but not limited to utility bill assistance, job search support, and health checks. Any low-income resident of Jefferson County who is about to be evicted or homeless is considered an appropriate referral to the Emergency Homeless Program.

Additional housing assistance is available in the region. Services provided by the Supportive Housing Program include case management by the community action Self Sufficiency Assurance Team. Resources provided by the Team are based on referrals from long-term partnering agencies, most of which are connected with the local Coalition for the Homeless.




Homeless families and individuals receive assistance with paying security deposits, rent, and heating bills. Some of this is addressed by the use of loans. There is also emergency supplies of free food, clothing, furniture, appliances, and other items needed when moving into a new apartment or home. Additional benefits from the non-profit community action agency may include child care, outpatient health services, and limited transportation.

The Jefferson County Community Action Agency Council Emergency Monthly Mortgage Assistance and Homeowner Foreclosure Prevention Program is also available. They can provide limited emergency financial assistance in the form of low interest loans to applicants facing foreclosure. Those who meet program requirements may receive assistance with making their mortgage payments, utility bills, and/or delinquent property taxes.

Any assistance is provided over a maximum time period of a few months. Some residents may receive help in the form of a designated grant. All funds will always be paid directly to the creditor, such as utility company, bank, or Jefferson County Treasurer.

HUD - US Department of Housing and Urban Development furnishes a yearly grant to CAC’s Shelter Plus Care Program. It will pay for dozens of rental vouchers for homeless individuals/families dealing with disabilities. Housing is also made available for concerns such as mental illness, substance abuse, AIDS, or AIDS-related diseases.

This state of Ohio and federal program differs from other permanent supportive housing projects in that it is intended to be consumer-driven. For instance, participants are able to choose their own, low income places of residence to live in. Once housed, they receive intensive supportive services to further aid them in gaining self-sufficiency.

Energy programs in Steubenville and Jefferson County Ohio

Utility bill assistance in Jefferson County Ohio is from the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). This helps eligible low-income residents with meeting high home-heating costs.





For most PUCO-regulated utility customers, HEAP provides a one-time grant payment that reflects usage for the current winter heating season. Those applicants who do not have a utility bill in their name are issued a credit or vouchers for their account. Households with disabled or senior citizen members may qualify for a greater amount of assistance, paid for with a combination of federal and state funds.

Winter Crisis Program is a special component of HEAP. This is administered by Community Action Agencies throughout Ohio, including in Jefferson County. WCP provides heating and gas bill assistance for eligible households who have had service disconnected, have less than a ten-day supply of bulk fuel remaining, or are threatened with disconnection. Similarly, HEAP’s Summer Cooling Program offers assistance to all eligible households with paying air conditioning or electric bills. In addition to that, it will provide free air conditioners or fans to anyone with a severe breathing condition.

Jefferson County Community Action Council Home Weatherization Assistance Program is operated by the non-profit. They work to make the homes of income-eligible participants, in particular the elderly, more energy efficient. Services provided include blowing cellulose into side walls, insulating attics, caulking windows and doors, as well as taking any additional practical measures to minimize or eliminate cold air infiltration.

Other assistance includes furnace repairs, checks or replacements are also provided under this program. Eligibility is determined by income and other factors, and either home owners or tenants may qualify. It is free to those that are eligible, and priority is extended to low-income, elderly, and disabled citizens.

Community Action Council job and educational resources

Workforce Investment Act is an employment program that was established with the primary goal of assisting those who are unemployed. It can help them with securing permanent, unsubsidized employment. Many people will also receive benefits in their job.

To assist in reaching this goal, the WIA and Community Action Council staff utilizes the resources of the One-Stop Center, Agency and One-Stop Partners. Residents over the age of 60 can receive additional employment assistance from the Senior Community Service Employment Program.

To achieve program goals, a client may progress through the following programs. There are Core Services, which may include self-directed job searches. The next step is Intensive Services, and this will incorporate career planning, specialized assessments for interests and aptitudes, counseling, or case management. Lastly is job training services.

WIA funds can be used by clients only when all other sources of non-repayable financial aid or loans have been exhausted. The state and federal government will then pay for all remaining training costs, including tuition, books, equipment. They will also offer support services, such as transportation stipends and/or child care subsidies, as needed.




Another option is the Jefferson County Summer Youth Program. This provides work opportunities for low- income TANF-eligible county residents aged 16 through 24. While earning a paycheck to help meet basic needs, clients also build or establish a work history, gain valuable work experience and earn a positive reference from an employer.

Head Start is designed to be community-based and is an educational program for children. Jefferson County Community Action Council and the teachers will offer Health care, including medical, dental, mental health, and nutritional services. These are provided by trained staff, with at least one free hot meal and a snack served.

Education is customized to the individual needs of each child. Parents can benefit from Social Services. Staff will help the family by networking with other non-profit community agencies. In Jefferson County.

The main office of the Jefferson County Community Action Council is at 114 North Fourth Street, Steubenville, Ohio 43952. Call the center at 740-282-0971.


By Jon McNamara

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