Panhandle Community Services.

Over 20 counties in the panhandle of Texas are supported by this regional community action agency. The non-profit Panhandle Community Services is one of the leading agencies to turn to for help in the area. Services and the staff are committed to helping residents get short term assistance, overcome poverty, and gain longer term support. Housing, funds for paying energy bills, snacks for children, weatherization and other assistance programs are available.

Thousands of families use one or more of their resources every year. The service territory in Texas includes the counties of Armstrong, Briscoe, Carson, Castro, Childress, Collingsworth, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Donley, Gray, Hall, Hansford, Hemphill, Hartley, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Moore, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Sherman, Swisher, and Wheeler.

The agency runs the HUD rental assistance program in the area. Panhandle Community Services is a federal government, HUD certified organization that strives to provide affordable, safe and decent living environments for people of all ages, races, and genders. They administer the section 8 voucher program (when it is open) and may have referrals to places to turn to for emergency rental assistance.

One of the leading self-sufficiency resources is known as Families In Training Program. It was created by Panhandle Community Services in the late 1980s. Staff and workshops are available and can help families transition out of poverty.

Some of what may be offered to qualified low income residents include career counseling, rental assistance, motivation, responsibility loans, and general resource development. This can lead to the completion of post secondary training in the area.

In order to be eligible for the Families In Training Program, the applying household needs to meet the federal government HUD income guidelines. The households needs to have at least one parent enrolled in post secondary training. There also needs to be a child living in the home.





The Snack Pak 4 Kids, or SP4K, is program for children and students. It is available in districts including Amarillo, Borger, Bushland, Canadian, Clarendon, Dalhart, Dimmitt, Dumas, Friona, Fritch, Happy, Hedley, Hereford, Highland Park, Lockney, Pampa, Panhandle, Perryton, River Road, Spearman, San Antonio, Stratford, Sunray, Tahoka, Tulia, White Deer, and Wildorado.

What is involved is volunteers that work with Panhandle Community Services pack nutritious snacks that will then be placed discreetly in the students backpack so they have a meal for the weekend. It is a confidential and private program so the child’s peers will not know they are receiving the food aid. It is targeted at low income children and the working poor.

Transportation is coordinated by a service known as Panhandle Transit. It can provide cost effective and professional means of transportation to the general public in the more rural and non-urbanized areas. The key goal of the non-profit is to provide a ride for employment, job interviews, education, shopping, recreation, health care, and access to social services. Rides are provided in over 20 counties of the panhandle.

Utility bill assistance is always in high demand and it can be available for individuals and households that qualify. The income criteria are based on federal government income guidelines. Some of what can be paid for includes gas and electric bills, heaters, hot water tanks, air conditioners and other appliances. Most of the aid is for the disabled, elderly and other households in the area.





In many cases utility assistance is offered along with weatherization. The Panhandle Community Services helps coordinate this and the resource is offered as a home repair program. It is focused on saving money of consumers, providing families with healthful dwelling environment and maximum energy conservation and coordinating other support. The services offered could include, but are not limited to window, caulking and door replacement, insulation, heating and air conditioning repairs, weather stripping, etc.

The community action agency works closely with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to administer it. Weatherization won’t repair your home, but rather it focuses on providing energy conservation. The exact type of work done on a house will vary based on the condition of the house and availability of funds.

Panhandle Community Services office locations are below. Call a location in your county or that is closest to you.

1309 W 8th Ave, Amarillo, Texas 79101, call 806.372.2531 for details on food, housing, and other support.
922 North Main Street, Borger, TX 79007, main phone 806.273.5177
1310 4th Avenue, Canyon, TX 79015, dial 806.655.0443
705 19th NW, Childress, TX 79201, telephone 940.937.6335
416 S. Kearney, Clarendon, TX 79226, main phone 806.874.2573
5th & Denver, Dalhart, TX 79022, phone 806.249.5240
110 SW 2nd, Dimmitt, Texas 79027. Call 806.647.3244 for information on services.
214 E. 5th, Dumas, TX 79029, main phone 806.935.5551
1011 E. Park, Hereford, TX 79045, call 806.364.5631
411 North Cuyler Street, Pampa, Texas 79065, 806.665.0081
105 S. Main, Perryton, TX 79070, dial 806.435.2478 for intake
126 N. Maxwell, Tulia, TX 79088, main phone 806.995.4116
1001 Amarillo Street, Wellington, TX 79095. They administer section 8 and other programs. Dial 806.447.5303
1309 SW 8th  Ste.119, Amarillo, TX 79101, main phone is 806.373.8389
111 W. 2nd St., Shamrock, Texas 79079, call 806.256.5100




By Jon McNamara

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