Community Action Division Orange County Florida assistance programs.

The Orange County Community Action Division can help the less fortunate in Florida. While most of their programs include referrals to other non-profits or government benefits, such as LIHEAP, they also do administer some of their own crisis programs for needs including rent, food, water and electric bills and more. They also are heavily involved in providing job and employment assistance in the county.

Maybe the most requested service is the Crisis Assistance Program. This is available as a last resort. Either cash assistance, or a lower interest rate loan, may be issued for expenses such as a rent or mortgage payments. Utilities can be paid too, including cooling, electric, gas, or water bills.

It is available as a last resort for those that only need one time assistance. The cause of the crisis also can’t have been caused by the applicant, so it needs to be an unforeseen event. To apply, or for details, call the Citizen Resource and Outreach Office, 2100 E Michigan ST, Orlando, Florida 32806. Main phone number is (407) 836-6500.

Funds for paying utility bills may be available from the Orange County Community Action Division. Not only can clients be directed to government benefits such as LIHEAP, but the non-profit may be able to assist too.




LIHEAP is the main government resource. It provides both regular grants and crisis assistance. The focus is on seniors, families with children, and the disabled. For more information on these energy programs, the Community Action Division is at 2100 E Michigan Street, Orlando, FL 32806. Call 407-836-7429. Or families can find other Florida utility bill assistance programs.

Employment programs in Orange County are for the unemployed and people seeking new skills. The Family Self-Sufficiency Program (or FSS) from Community Action Division was created to help low-income Orange County Florida with achieving economic independence and stability. What may be offered as part of this is tuition assistance for vocational or post-secondary training, information on job placement, and state certification that will enable residents to obtain the skills needed to both acquire and retain employment. Other services include referrals for employment; employability skills training; mentoring and career counseling; as well as other support services. 407-836-9333.





A Vocational Specialist who is part of Community Action Division is also located at various Neighborhood Center for Families locations throughout the greater Orange County region. Free computer labs are also at many of the centers and they can help residents with access to job posting, doing research, and in general increase their computer skills. This Vocational Specialist can assist residents with resume development, obtaining employment through job club classes, job search assistance, and they also offer direct employment referrals. Literacy and GED Training workshops and sessions are held too.

Secondary Medical Care is available in the county in partnership with local clinics. Together they offer free or low cost medical care for the low income and/or those without insurance. In addition to that, they also help qualified patients with private or government sponsored insurance such as Florida KidCare, Medicaid, or even seniors on Medicare. There may also be specialty physicians, pharmacy, lab and nurse case management available from community services and their medical services. For details, the agency is Orange County Medical Clinic, 101 S Westmoreland Drive, Orlando, Florida. 32805. Dial (407) 836-7191. Or if the community action agency can’t assist, locate other free community clinics in Florida for health or dental needs.

The Orange County Community Action Division also focuses on Senior Services. Food and activities are help at Congregate Meal sites. These will also help health check screenings and provide other care. Additional services at the dozens of meals sites include recreational, socialization and exercise programs offered through local charities and non-profits.

The Office and Commission on Aging is also for the elderly. This is part of the Orange County Family Services Department. The state, and this division, is focused on helping older adults. The center also works with local agencies, state of Florida, and national partners to support the older population and in general create an elder-friendly community.

Veterans in Orange County Florida can get help too. A number of long term and emergency assistance programs are available to them. Among them, get access to medical care, financial assistance for bills or rent, vocational training, and other needs such as food or clothing.




Staff from the Community Action Division can help them with filing claims for benefits and appeals, assist with benefit plan applications for retired military survivors, and provide outreach and referrals. Other support is available too. Some benefits may be offered for their families too. Call the Citizen Resource & Outreach Office at 2100 E. Michigan Street, Orlando, Florida 32806, telephone 407-836-8990.

So these are just some of the low income programs available. More details may obtained at the Orange County Community Action Division at 2100 E. Michigan Street in Orlando. Main phone (407) 836-9333.


By Jon McNamara

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