Office of Human Concern emergency assistance programs.
In an emergency, the Office of Human Concern may be able to provide help. The community action agency also addresses the underlying causes of poverty, and provides case management such as education and job training programs. Using a combination of government grants and private donations, the non-profit assists with bills, self-sufficiency, and much more in the counties of Benton, Carroll, and Madison.
As a regional Community Action Agency, and in partnership with area food pantries as well as churches, OHC assists with distributing food and commodities supplied by the United States Department of Agriculture. The federal government created Commodities Program supplies an array of healthy food items and groceries that are designated for financially disadvantaged households, the elderly, and children. The Loaves and Fishes Food Bank in Carroll County and the Open Arms Food Pantry in Madison County are key partners, and they serve over 200 families each month.
- Loaves and Fishes Food Bank is located at 301 Bunch Springs Rd., Berryville, Arkansas 72616. Call 870-423-4246 for information on services, including free holiday meals.
- Open Arms Food Pantry is another option. Location is 400 West St., Huntsville, AR 72740, main phone 479-738-6692.
Meals on Wheels Program volunteers deliver free hot, nutritious meals, freshly prepared in the organization’s Senior Center kitchens Monday through Friday with some occasional holiday service. Office of Human Concern also provides frozen meals for holidays, weekends and inclement weather days. In addition to those services, Meals on Wheels clients with pets can also have food delivered for their animals, through Animeals. These services are available through each of the regional Senior Centers.
Get help with medications from Office of Human Concern. Supported through community fundraising events, donations, and government grants, People Helping People (PHP) purchases prescription medications for residents of Carroll County Arkansas and other towns who lack the resources to obtain them on their own. As part of this, OHC helps with program administration, and staff members from the community action agency are available to help with the application process.
As an administrator for LIHEAP, which is the federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, OHC provides help for paying utility and cooling bills. There is financial assistance for low-income Carroll, Benton and Madison County residents who are having difficulty paying for electric, gas, and propane service.
Mostly due to the fact that LIHEAP is not available year-round, OHC maintains a list of households to contact when they open up the application window, so this is an additional service. There is guidance for applying for LIHEAP, and this is available at OHC offices. The two types of energy assistance available through this program are as follows.
- Crisis Assistance is for low income households who have had their electric or gas service disconnected, and those whose service is about to be shut off. The agency will pay the utility companies to enable connection or reconnection of service in an emergency. Crisis Assistance also helps area residents across Arkansas who are at or below 10 percent in their supply of propane, and who are not able to obtain it on credit by providing a minimum delivery.
- LIHEAP Regular Assistance is a one-time payment to the client’s energy bill. This is the result of a federal government grant.
The other option available is the Gravette program, and customers will receive support from the Gravette Water Utilities’ N2N (Neighbor to Neighbor) Program. Those interested in contributing are encouraged to contact the companies to make a tax deductible donation. With any application sent for this type of water bill assistance, you must include the birth dates of all household members, a shut-off notice and proof of income.
In partnership with Rogers Water and Gravette Water, households facing a shut off can get help from OHC’s Water Assistance Program. There is support for economically challenged Gravette and Rogers households with paying their water bills. Dozens of families may have a shut off prevented as a result of this service. In Rogers Arkansas, onetime assistance is supported by the Rogers Water Utilities’ H20 (Help 2 Others) Program.
The SUCCESS Program’s family development workers partner with clients in a process of goal-setting and working toward self-reliance. Based on the client’s strengths, a written family development plan is created in partnership with the community action agency.
The agency will work to guide clients toward accomplishing their goals, whether employment or educational. The program generally works on reaching three short-term results (which are goals that can be accomplished within six months) at a given time. In addition, participants are offered the opportunity to attend monthly seminars covering a wide range of interesting and valuable topics, dealing with everything from credit counseling to career skills.
OHC Senior Centers are safe and informational gathering places for people aged 60 and over as well as spouses and family members. All area seniors are welcome to visit a Center near them to enjoy an array of services and activities, including Lending Libraries, free food and meals, information on Medicare, and more.
The main location of Office of Human Concern is at 506 E. Spruce St. in Rogers, Arkansas 72757. For more information, call the center at 479-636-7301 or 877-777-6422.
Additional regional programs
Note the following services are not administered by the Office of Human Concerns. For more information on them, dial 211
The goal of Weatherization is to reduce the heating and cooling bills of working poor and low-income households by providing full-scale home energy conservation services. WAP services improve and enhance homes, and even address safety issues in counties such as Benton and Carroll County. This is done by providing a more comfortable, healthy, and safe living space that will last into the future.
Rental assistance and other expenses can be provided by the EFSP - Emergency Food and Shelter Program. Call 211 for more details. The aim is to provide shelter, housing, food, and supportive services for people facing eviction, the hungry and homeless people across Arkansas. As an example of the resources available, families from counties such as Benton with an eviction notice can apply for an emergency grant for paying their back rent, while the homeless can be placed into transitional housing or get help with a security deposit. Other aid is provided too.