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Community action agency assistance programs North Dakota.

North Dakota families who need help can turn to a community action agency. The non-profit centers are located across the state. Resources are available to help low income families make it through a difficult period and case managers will also work with clients to help them gain self-sufficiency.

While short term assistance may be offered in a crisis for paying for basic needs such as rent or energy bills, the main focus is always on helping people find a job, gain new skills, and improve their educational levels. Many centers also offer credit and budget counseling. Some of the programs offered in North Dakota are available for free, and others may have a minimal fee.

Financial counseling, budgeting, and credit services

Individual Development Accounts are matched savings accounts that can help families and individuals of modest means. It will allow them to establish a pattern of regular savings, and the state will provide them grants to apply to their savings. Participants of the North Dakota IDA program may use the money towards buying a home, a small business, or paying for a post-secondary education.

Community Action agencies work with non-profit housing counselors to offer Homebuyers Education. Professionals will provide advice and information on budgeting, appraisals, looking for a home, maintenance, insurance, and the closing process. A self-study course may be available as well.

Different types of Housing Counseling programs provide clients information about North Dakota low-income housing programs. Receive advice and assistance with mortgage defaults, pre-purchase and pre-rental agreements as well as rental delinquency. The services are available to all renters and homeowners regardless of their income level.

Many of the agencies in North Dakota are government certified. They can offer negotiation on behalf of the client with landlords, their banks and other lending institutions. This is done until both parties can come to an agreement on payment amounts. Housing counselors can assist defaulted mortgagors or people facing an eviction in filing for relief provisions through HUD or other emergency programs.




Free Income Tax Assistance and preparation services are offered for lower income individuals, senior citizens, and the disabled. All tax returns are electronically filed. While basic deductions will be explored by the person preparing your return, in general it is a basic service.

Senior Health Insurance Counseling, or SHIC, is offered for disabled and elderly persons in North Dakota. Counselors can help them understand their medical and health insurance bills. Learn how to be on the lookout for fraud, billing errors, or scams.

Financial Counseling is often provided for free and can help clients develop money management techniques, provide budgeting advice and assist them in working with their creditors. The ultimate goal of these services are to have the client's finances brought back into line with their resources. Counselors will support them in an effort to get them to a state of competency where they are able to leave the credit counseling program and handle their own finances without outside consultations or assistance.

Budget counseling is usually administered as well, and management of personal finances is the goal of this program. Clients have an opportunity to work with credit counselors and staff to identify how they are spending their money and assist them in planning and implementing options when it comes to saving money and reducing debts.

Job programs and education assistance in North Dakota

Self-Reliance Case Management will help promote the self-sufficiency and improve the standard of living of low-income individuals. Case managers can provide money management, budget planning, furthering education, and goal planning.

This also includes employment assistance, including career exploration, resume writing, training and practice for job interviews. Case managers from your community action agency will work with the client to identify what will make their lives better and then identify the steps that need to be taken to achieve that major goal. The case manager gives guidance, support, provides information, and helps people make changes to their lives.

Early Head Start is an educational program for infants and toddlers (age 0-3), income eligible pregnant women and their families. Schools and community action agencies in North Dakota coordinate intensive, early, and continuous child development and family support services on a year round basis. The Early Head Start program enhances children's social, physical, emotional, and intellectual development, supports parents efforts to fulfill their parental roles and assists working poor and lower income families in moving toward self-sufficiency.





Head Start is the main federal government program for children who are from 3 to 5 years of age. It provides educational, dental, medical, nutritional, and mental health services to help children develop socially, cognitively, and emotionally. Classes and social services are also available for parents and guardians. There is both a home base and center base option. Head start will prepare children for school, serve lunch or breakfast, offer medical care, and can help parents as well. For example, they can attend job training or educational programs.

Community action grant programs

Emergency services and financial assistance is limited, but it may be offered from some non-profit community action agencies in North Dakota. Assistance is offered to individuals or families in a crisis situation.

Emergency rental assistance may be offered to prevent an eviction. Programs do not provide permanent and on-going assistance for paying rent, but rather one time help. An agency may help with one month's back rent or provide for the payment of a security deposit. The goal is to assist individuals with finding permanent housing.

Income-eligible individuals may receive help with paying a security deposit on a house, mobile home, or apartment. There are terms that need to be met, including the unit must pass a Housing Quality Standard inspection, and an application needs to be completed before a lease is signed. The applicants must also have ongoing income that will enable them to stay current on their rent.

Shelter Plus Care Program is for homeless persons with disabilities and their families. It can provide supportive services and housing. The program provided clients of a community agency with a variety of housing choices and a wide range of assistance.

Some locations may coordinate child care. Where available, children ages 3 years through five years are generally accepted. They are generally non-profit centers and are licensed with the State of North Dakota. The locations can encourage self-discipline, help children develop emotionally, and more.

Holiday activities and Christmas assistance is coordinated by many agencies in partnership with churches and charities such as the Salvation Army. Many individuals and businesses in North Dakota sponsor low-income families or children during the holiday season. Some people may donate gifts, clothing, toys, food baskets, or other items. Centers may also take part in programs such as Toys-for-Tots. Many items are displayed so that parents may come and shop for their families, and community action may also provide free Thanksgiving or Christmas meals.

Energy Share is a statewide program that can help with paying a household's gas/electric bills. It is a non-profit program that is often offered in combination with a counties Social Service Office. The community action agency may pay a percentage of the past 90 day electric bill while Fuel Assistance/LIHEAP pays for the gas/heating portion of your energy bill, and it is available during an emergency. Seniors, the handicapped, and those on fixed income are the primary beneficiaries.

Repairs are available from the Housing Rehabilitation Program. It can extend the useful life of homes in North Dakota. It works by paying and providing for the rehabilitation of existing homes for low-income individuals/families, with particular focus being for seniors. Repairs will address the health and safety of homes and items in need of repair. Applicants must be homeowners. Some of the rehabilitation and repairs may include plumbing, roofing, electrical and basic repairs that are needed to bring the home up to standards.







The Weatherization Program is a federal government funded program designed to reduce the energy consumption of low income families. It will help people save money, and also make homes safe, comfortable and energy efficient. It is available for renters or owners, whether they live in mobile homes, apartments, condos, or traditional wood framed homes. Furnace and heating system problems, as well as other potentially dangerous situations, can be addressed through the program. Weatherization will pay for energy saving devices, conservation measures, and other minor housing repairs.

Food programs in North Dakota

The North Dakota Summer Food Service Program is offered by the state in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture. The program assists with satisfying a child’s nutritional needs during the summer months when they do not have access to a free school lunch or breakfast. The service is offered for children and teenagers up to 18 years of age.

Commodity Supplemental Food Program offers free food to low income households, including the elderly and families not eligible for WIC because their income is too high. The commodities offered are non-perishable food items and include cheese, fruits, vegetables, meats, beans, pasta, etc. Participants receive one box/bag of food every other month. Aid is for individuals 60 years of age or older or families with children under the age of 6 who meet income guidelines as set by the federal and state of North Dakota government.

Senior Commodity Supplemental Food Program distributes surplus groceries and foods to low income elderly households and families with elderly members who are not eligible for WIC. The food available is non-perishable that include vegetables, meats, fruits, cheese, beans, pasta, etc. Participants of SCSFP receive one box of food per month.

Addresses of community action agencies in North Dakota

Community Action Partnership
Address - 202 East Villard
Dickinson, North Dakota 58601
Telephone number - (701) 227-0131
Counties covered - Adams, Billings, Bowman, Divide, Dunn, Golden Valley, Hettinger, McKenzie, Slope, Stark, and Williams North Dakota.

Community Action Partnership - Minot Region
2020 8th Avenue, SE
Minot, ND 58701-5035
(701) 839-7221
Low income assistance and employment services are offered for Bottineau, Burke, McHenry, Mountrail, Pierce, Renville, and Ward.

Community Action Program Region VI, Inc.
Mailing address - P.O. Box 507
Jamestown, ND 58402-0507
Main number is (701) 252-1821
Provides services such as Head Start and LIHEAP energy bill assistance in Dickey, Foster, Griggs, LaMoure, McIntosh, Stutsman, Wells, Logan, and Barnes.

Community Action Program Region VII, Inc.
Location - 2105 Lee Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58504-6798
Call (701) 258-2240 for intake.
Counties - Burleigh, Emmons, Grant, Kidder, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Oliver, Sheridan, Sioux

Dakota Prairie Community Action Agency
Main address: 223 4th Street NE
Devils Lake, ND 58301-2409
Phone number - (701) 662-6500 x 322
Supports regions of Benson, Cavalier, Eddy, Ramsey, Rolette, and Towner





Red River Valley Community Action
Main address: 1013 North Fifth Street
Grand Forks, North Dakota 58203
Phone number - (701) 746-5431
Supports Grand Forks, Nelson, Pembina, and Walsh County.

Southeastern North Dakota Community Action Agency (SENDCAA)
3233 South University Drive
Fargo, North Dakota 58104-6221
Call (701) 232-2452 for information
The main community action agency. Offers emergency assistance food, and case management in Cass, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, Steele, and Traill County. A focus is on helping people find a job, homeless prevention/rental assistance, and assisting clients with paying their heating bills.


By Jon McNamara

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