Northwest Wisconsin Community Service Agency (NWCSA) programs.
The programs administered by Northwest Wisconsin Community Service Agency are diverse. The non-profit supports the less fortunate in the counties of Ashland, Bayfield, Iron, Douglas and Price, with a focus on assisting clients that are working towards self-sufficiency.
They are involved in a few housing or rent programs, including homeless prevention. Free food is available from a pantry, and there are also basic needs from a clothing closet. When it comes to employment, skills enhancement is also arranged.
Assistance with food needs from Northwest Wisconsin Community Service Agency
The Food Pantry in Douglas County provides families in need with support. Based on household size and capacity at the pantry, there can be a few days worth of food and other needed items. The Pantry is always in need of more donations though, and contributions are greatly appreciated. A Wish List consists of fresh and canned fruits, as well as diapers and other baby items.
In accordance with Federal law and US Department of Agriculture policy, the Northwest Wisconsin Community Service Agency food programs do not discriminate on the basis of color, national origin, race, age, or disability. But income conditions may be in place.
Food stamps, or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program as well as WIC, also address hunger. This resource for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) serves pregnant women and infants. WIC does this by providing nutritious supplemental foods and even baby formula. The agency will also have information in regard to nutrition and breastfeeding, and referrals to other health and nutrition services.
To be eligible for government aid, a family must reside in the state of Wisconsin, including counties of Ashland, Douglas, or others. They also need to be faced with a documented nutritional risk, and meet program income eligibility criteria. This will be an income based on 185 percent of the Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines’ Nonfarm Income Poverty Guidelines. WIC is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and administered by the Department of Health and Family Services, Division of Public Health as well as non-profits such as NWCSA.
NWCSA housing and rent help
The Northwest Wisconsin Community Service Agency Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program provides financial assistance as well as cash grants. The money will be used to either prevent homelessness (by assisting with back rent.) or to help those who are currently homeless (by helping with a security deposit).
To qualify for rent assistance or a loan from the agency, the applicant must either be homeless now or facing eviction. To qualify for assistance with utility or energy bills, the applicant must be either unable to obtain housing because of an outstanding balance on their account. Or they may be facing eviction due to unpaid utilities, as stated in the lease.
The NWCSA Transitional Housing Program provides very short term housing and intensive case management. The resource is for single adults, couples with children, or single parents. The housing from the non-profit is limited to a maximum of 18 months at a monthly service fee based on 30 percent of each family’s monthly income, with a required deposit in the amount of the monthly fee.
Heat and utilities are figured into the monthly rental fee, with the exception of telephone service. Deductions may be given in limited cases. This may be determined according to number of children, as well as any medical bills, out-of-pocket child care expenses or past debts a family is working to meet. If a NWCSA clients needs help turning their power on, then there are programs that offer to turn on utilities with no money up front.
Program requirements from Northwest Wisconsin Community Service Agency include budget and housing counseling (Rent Smart), a weekly meeting with a case manager, other relevant courses and a monthly in-home meeting and also a unit inspection. All of this, and more, will take the place of the scheduled meeting for a particular week.
The purpose of the case management process is to address issues such as substance abuse, parenting education, mental health, lack of employment, access to affordable child care, credit and debt management, and any social services participation that is either required or that the family wishes to explore.
Additional services from community action agency
Memory Lane Adult Day Services offers professional care provided by trained staff and also supervised volunteers for loved ones diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and/or dementia. Family caregivers are provided with a break from care-giving from this NWCSA sponsored service, with the certainty that loved ones will be treated with dignity, respect and attention to their specific needs.
The service will try to arrange for a Safe and Friendly Environment. There may also be free Hot Lunch and Nutritious Snacks, Sharing Skills or Talents, Socialization, creation of Individualized Care Plans, and many Opportunities to Learn.
The Retired Senior Volunteer Program offers an opportunity for Bayfield, Ashland and Iron County residents 55 years of age and over to have a positive impact in their communities. RSVP from Northwest Wisconsin Community Service Agency allows this through sharing their many skills and talents as volunteers at community agencies and schools.
NWCSA has a Senior Center in Douglas County as well. It offers opportunities for physical exercise, as well as it holds holiday parties as well as Christmas celebrations and other events. The center will have a selection of games that include Cribbage, and Bingo, Smear as well as a huge supply of puzzles that may be either checked out to take home or assembled at the Center. No membership or fees is required to use the Senior Center.
The Skills Enhancement Program helps Douglas as well as Price County residents develop skills that enable them to obtain better-paying jobs. The positions will then be defined as full-time with benefits and a living wage of over 150 percent of the Federal Government Poverty Level. The program offers financial assistance with paying for books, childcare, tuition and school-related transportation costs.
The non-profit will also coordinate job-search assistance. This is a solution that is available for those seeking new employment. Program benefits from Northwest Wisconsin Community Service Agency for participants include increased wages, new personal skills, longer job retention, potential for advancement at work and a greater degree of self-sufficiency as well as income.
Families benefit as children see their parents advance in the workplace due to continuous learning. Finally, Skills Enhancement provides the greater community in Wisconsin with a strong workforce and fewer individuals who are on public assistance. Participants are required to be residents and be employed at 20 hours per week or more. It is also for the working poor, so they need to have monthly with earnings at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
Open to income qualified clients at the main office during normal business hours, NWCSA Professional Closet offers donated clothing and household items at no cost. Available items include a selection of professional career clothing, such as suits or pants, for job seekers and interviewees.
- Northwest Wisconsin Community Service Agency has an Administrative Office at 1118 Tower Ave., Superior, WI 54880. Call the agency at 715-392-5127.
- Another partner site is the Solid Rock Safe Haven and Soup Kitchen. The address is 1004 N. 6th St., Superior, WI 54880. Phone – 715-392-6264.