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Mid Central Illinois Community Action assistance programs

The main resources from Community Action of Mid Central Illinois can help address crisis situations. So there may be government grants from LIHEAP for paying heating bills or funds to prevent an eviction. Or get cash assistance, transitional housing, public aid and grant money. However, much more is available as well.

Case managers from MCAA partner with clients in an effort to address the cause of the hardship, whether that is lack of employment or some other crisis. So there may be support provided for needs such as rebuilding credit, achieving homeownership or establishing savings accounts as well. Long term self-sufficiency is always the priority for residents of Livingston and McLean Counties.

Grant money to help with bills from MCAA

The Crisis Assistance Program is available for low-income or otherwise qualified Livingston and McLean County residents who are experiencing sudden, unexpected emergency situations. The agency may help if the issue could lead to homelessness, the threat of evictions, or are a danger to health and safety.

In order to qualify for a grant as part of Crisis Assistance, income qualified clients are required to show documentation of the situation and explain why it started. In addition to that, they will also need to participate in an assessment process to determine the total level of financial need.

Additionally, applicants must demonstrate the ability to achieve future income and gain stability sufficient to manage their housing situation once they have received any type of help from MCAA.

Even if Mid Central Community Action can’t assist, the agency can provide links to other assistance, local charities and support programs. So clients can learn about pantries in the area or maybe government benefits such as SNAP food stamps. Crisis Assistance is funded through a number of government grants or even private loans, each accompanied by its own guidelines and timeframes. Some of the following may be provided.




  • Cash grants to pay for Security Deposits, Mortgage Payments, or one time Rental Assistance is available from time to time. This is only for people impacted by a verified and documented crisis leading to homelessness or potential homelessness. Clients must be able to demonstrate future financial security.
  • Opportunity Case Management Type Services. This includes needs assessment, goal setting, and coaching that is also related to money management, credit repair or budgeting.
  • Low cost automobile repairs is for certain clients. They will need to be employed or attending vocational or higher education classes.
  • Financial aid may be for other needs as well. This is mostly for crises affecting health or safety, as determined on a case by case basis by the agency and its staff.

Opportunity Coaching and Family Stabilization is a fully comprehensive program that uses a strength-based approach to help individuals and families gain stability. In other words, they need to be able to help themselves in managing multi-dimensional problems and removing barriers to achieving the goal of self-sufficiency.

Specialists from Mid Central Community Action will address barriers such as lack of vocational skills, inadequate education, lack of work experience; unemployment; insufficient life skills training; limited or no access to affordable child care or dependable transportation and more. It can also touch upon medical issues, such as substance abuse concerns, mental health or developmental disabilities.

Case managers partner with each enrollee to gather and provide information, conduct assessments, and provide referrals to a wide variety of programs at MCCA and/or other community service agencies. The agency can provide services or refer to resources in the areas of one time rental assistance, help with budgeting and/or credit repair, homelessness, LIHEAP assistance (see description below), education, training, employment, and transportation.

While more limited, several of the MCCA programs and services provide payments to landlords, utility companies or mortgage lenders on behalf of clients. So this in effect means some bills may be paid by these grants. Supportive case management services and other MCCA programs are available, as needed, to these clients.





Receive heating bill help from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The state of Illinois and federal government provides a once-per-year payment toward heat/primary and electric/secondary utility bills. For some households, they may also receive an occasional reconnection assistance payment, and this is offered on behalf of income-eligible applicants. Additionally, LIHEAP has the ability to provide emergency heating or cooling system repairs or replacement for eligible applicants.

There are multiple application sites in McLean and McLean Counties. The community action agency can help people apply both in person or online. A major focus is on the very low income, disabled or elderly. More on LIHEAP application sites near you.

The state’s PIPP - Percentage of Income Payment Plan is a government-funded subsidy program designed to assist working poor and struggling residents who are having difficulty with paying high utility bills. It works by furnishing the customer with a monthly payments at a predetermined amount. The amount will be paid directly to the provider for a period of one year. Mid Central Community Action can help people enroll into this.

Weatherization provides a serious of modifications to mobile homes or single-family units in Livingston or McLean. The goal of the federal resource is to help low-income residents reduce their home energy costs and enhance the safety and health of their homes. Both homeowners and rental tenants may be eligible for this MCCA administers service.

Housing and mortgage assistance from Community Action of Mid Central Illinois

Transitional Housing Program, also known as THP, provides intensive case management-based services for people who are struggling but otherwise want to make significant changes in their lives. This can be combined with the service above.

Case managers from the community action agency meet with clients on a bi-weekly basis, guiding them in setting and reaching goals that lead to self-sufficiency by providing referrals to needed services, family counseling, life-skills training, education and employment opportunities. They also offer the individual a variety of support services.

Meanwhile, homeless families in Livingston County or other areas are furnished with two years of adequate housing, as long as they are willing and able to meet program guidelines and pay a portion of the rent on their own. They also need to be working or in some type of school.

There are other homeless shelters and transitional housing in Livingston and McLean Counties. Some help women with children, others single men, and there are also shelters for veterans and the mentally ill. Staff from the Community Action of Mid Central Illinois can help place clients into them. Find transitional housing programs.





MCCA Homeownership Services offers a comprehensive set of resources to assist Livingston and McLean County residents who are coping with housing-related issues. The goal of the program is to help them prepare for stable housing into the future.

The workshops from these homeownership classes address a variety of issues. Some of them include the following. Financial Coaching and Literacy Services in the form of one-on-one counseling. There is also help from a specialist on any pre-Purchase questions or concerns.

For anyone behind on their mortgage in Livingston or other counties, there is free Foreclosure Intervention Services. This is provided in the form of workshops or one-on-one counseling. All of this is intended to help untangle the confusing and stressful foreclosure process and help clients remain living in their own homes.

Some people can also work with Mid Central Community Action on a Mortgage Modification. This will offer homeowner’s one-on-one counseling by a HUD certified housing counselor on the process of applying for a home loan modification, exploring options, and gathering the various documents that are required for the process. The goal is to help them find a cheaper mortgage.

Advice on job placement and credit counseling type services

The IDA - Individual Development Account program guides clients through the process of opening bank savings accounts, paying down debt, repairing credit, and building assets. The program serves families or individuals who meet Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) income eligibility guidelines. IDA support services include referrals, case management, credit repair services and homebuyer education.

Internships or on-the-job training opportunities are offered for a small number of college students or recent college graduates. The applicants needs to be clear on their desire to increase work experience and gain job skills to qualify for future employment. The agency will also offer scholarship assistance on a limited basis each year to non-traditional college juniors and seniors who meet low income guidelines.

Community Action of Mid Central Illinois partners with workforce development centers as well. They help the unemployed (as well as people who want new skills) to train. Whether high tech manufacturing, IT or website development skills, or trades type jobs, various free employment services are arranged. Find free job training programs in Illinois.

Find how to apply for financial help from Community Action of Mid Central Illinois

There are a few offices. For more information on the programs above, call or stop by.

  • Main Office is at 1301 W. Washington St., Bloomington, IL 61701, 309-829-0691
  • Livingston County Office, 210 W. Water St., Ste. 1E, Pontiac, Illinois 61764, dial 815-844-3201


By Jon McNamara













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