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North Central Community Action Agency assistance programs.

Emergency assistance from North Central Community Action Agencies is offered along with self-sufficiency and case management. These resources, when combined, will help less fortunate and low income families with their basic needs, such as shelter, food, and utilities. However it also addresses the underlying cause of their hardship. Programs are available in the counties of LaPorte, Pulaski, and Starke.

Funds or grants for bills and living expenses

The Emergency Assistance Program from North Central Community Action Agencies is also available to help income-eligible families, regardless of age, that are experiencing crisis situations. There may be funds available for making payments for rental costs or utilities, purchasing food or gasoline, or obtaining prescription medications. In some cases, a loan will be issued by the non-profit.

Additionally, the agency has referrals to a free Food Pantry in Pulaski County that is operated in partnership with other local charities. Also, NCCAA is the Local Recipient Organization for FEMA funds, which may have occasional funds for a security deposit or overdue rent.

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program in LaPorte and Starke County provides a form of subsidized rental or housing assistance to income eligible families. They are able to select their own apartment or home, with the requirement that the housing conforms to US Department of Housing and Urban Development Standards and their standards.

Not only may they be offered a home in say LaPorte County, but Section 8 participants who are unemployed or underemployed are given the opportunity to participate in the FSS, or Family Self-Sufficiency program. This helps them increase their skillset and end their dependence on public assistance.

The agency is the administrator in LaPorte and Pulaski Counties for the federally funded LIHEAP utility assistance program. This helps low-income households with paying home heating bills and maybe even cooling costs.

NCCAA accepts LIHEAP applications, determines eligibility, and oversees payments to vendors, which are utility providers. When determining eligibility, the non-profit treats all households equitably, and responds in a timely manner to eligible residents experiencing heating emergencies.




While government funds issued from LIHEAP has the capability to off-set the high heating bills, the North Central Community Action does not have funds available to pay any household’s energy bill in its entirety.

Conserve energy from Weatherization. It provides energy-efficient alterations to dwellings occupied by income-eligible families, with the goal of reducing utility bills and improving safety or livability of the home. The process begins with a full onsite evaluation that is used to determine what measures are appropriate.

Based on the findings of that audit of the home, services and action is taking by community action. This may include, but are not limited to sealing of any air leaks, furnace and water heater health and safety assessment, possibly leading to repair or replacement and contractors adding insulation of the attic, sidewalls, or floor.

Food programs are run by NCCAA. They operate Neighborhood Centers in Michigan City that are tailored to meet the needs of senior citizens. Resources available to them include a free meal. Additional food assistance is arranged as part of the federal government funded WIC voucher program.

North Central Community Action training and employment services

The NCCAA Family Development Program is a voluntary service that provides guidance for struggling families who are working to achieve the goal of self-sufficiency. There may be guidance for the unemployed or undereducated as well.

Certified Family Development Specialist from NCCAA work closely with each client at home and in the offices, performing assessments, setting goals, identifying strengths and obstacles, and developing strategies for reaching those goals.

The Family Development services process helps participants build on their strengths and resources, moving toward being providers for their families and contributing citizens within the local community and economy. Staff from North Central Community Action Agencies will coordinate referrals, create group activities, and advocacy. The FDS provides information on Budgeting, Education, Employment/Resume Building Assistance, Credit Counseling, Transportation, and other advice.





The purpose of the IDA Individual Development Account is to help qualifying individuals establish a savings account and develop personal finance skills. To participate in the service, applicants must commit to depositing a portion of their income into a savings account at US Bank, which is NCCAA's partnering financial institution.

Child Care Resource and Referral helps both working parents and child care providers in the area, including Pulaski County. The program helps parents understand the various types of child care available to them by giving them a list of providers to choose from.

Head Start is a federal government funded program for low-income children of all levels of ability. Nearly every county in the state, including in Pulaski, LaPorte and Starke, has a Head Start Program operated by a local nonprofit organization such as community action.

Children and infants that enroll are provided with a variety of educational opportunities and activities that serve to help them grow socially, emotionally, mentally and physically, with the goal of preparing them to attend kindergarten.

Support services arranged by North Central Community Action Agencies are available to the entire family, as are courses on topics such as job training, child rearing, proper health and nutrition, and the availability of community resources. There is also guidance for parents interested in obtaining a high school GED. Or other adult education opportunities as well as referrals to job placement may be available.

The North Central Community Action Agencies is committed to helping those that are less fortunate and struggling. The office is at 301 E. 8th Street, Michigan City, IN 46360-3489. Dial .(219) 872-0351.



By Jon McNamara











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