San Antonio public assistance.

Several resources and public assistance programs are offered to low income families, seniors, and the elderly in San Antonio Texas. Some of the assistance may be cash based, and other support may be provided by resources like job training, case management, or self-sufficiency. The Department of Community Initiatives in Bexar County is the leading organization that oversees many of the services.

Center for Working Families, which is known as CWF, provides case management, supportive services and employment referral to families of Bexar County as well as San Antonio. The Department of Community Initiatives (DCI) runs this service across the region. The CWF main goal is to provide low- income individuals and families with the support that they may need to move toward financial self-sufficiency. This often times includes people finding better jobs, attending job training, and improving their overall skills.

Basic needs and expenses - The San Antonio Department of Community Initiatives may be able to assist families with paying for and addressing basic needs. This can include cash and public assistance for utilities (electric and water bills) as well as rental assistance. Another component of this is the Homeless Services Division, which seeks to facilitate the development, utilization and implementation of a number of community resources for the homeless and recently evicted. Resources can help stabilize and re-house homeless families and individuals.

Specifically, some of the public assistance offered by Center for Working Families is below.

Emergency Rental Assistance can be provided if an applicant meets the following criteria. The applicant needs to be able to demonstrate and prove a crisis occurred in the last 30-60 days, must have an eviction notice, and need to be able to show they can pay rent in the future, after the crisis passes. Your landlord in Bexar County also must be billing to work with the public program, and of course the tenant needs to have a lease in place.

Utility Assistance, which can be obtained from Project Agua and Plumbers to People. This component helps with paying water bills and reducing costs. Project Warm and Project REAP can help the low income pay utility and heating bills too. Project WARM & Project REAP (CPS) can help pay utility bills. There are income guidelines and other criteria. In addition, those who receive help must be seniors over age 60, have a child under 16, or be disabled or on medical equipment. So in other words those who are considered most at risk can qualify for emergency energy bill assistance. Read more.





Water bill assistance is offered by Project AGUA (SAWS). Applicants must make a co-payment determined by SAWS and the Department of Community Initiative caseworker. Financial assistance is also only offered in an emergency, and the Bexar County Texas family needs to able to demonstrate a crisis occurred in the past 30 days. Some other conditions include the household needs to have received a disconnection notice, and they must be able to demonstrate that they have the ability to make future payments on their energy bills.

The Bexar County Department of Community Initiatives, Center for Working Families, partners with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, government programs such as federal (Community Services Block Grant), utility assistance (SAWS and CPS Energy), and other public funds. These combined resources allow the DCI office to provide employment referral assistance, supportive services, and case management to families of San Antonio and Bexar County.

Employment – Case managers can help people increase their income from job referrals and placement services. So access services like resume reviews and assistance in your job search. Employment training may also be coordinated.

Financial Services are offered by specialists, or get referrals to local non-profit credit counseling agencies. Consumers can access credit report assistance, get help with opening an IDA, and access assistance to open savings account.

Other more general public funded and administered programs in San Antonio include emergency rent assistance to families who have received a final eviction notice, volunteer Income Tax assistance (VITA), as well as Food Stamps Assistance and WIC.





Plumbers to People Program may be able to assist low-income families with needed plumbing repairs. Various groups worked together to create the program, and they include the Association of Plumbing Distributors, the City of San Antonio, the Association of Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors (PHCC), and also San Antonio Water Systems.

The San Antonio Plumbers to People Program will make small repairs to a home, including faulty fixtures and fixing leaks. These small repairs prevent families from needing to make more expensive repairs, and thus save water and help people pay lower bills. The SAWS program will fix leaks but will not cover cost of any associated work.

Water Bill Affordability Discount Program is offered by SAWS and the City of San Antonio. This discount program provides monthly discounts to eligible ratepayers who meet the income guidelines of the program. Up to a $8.80 discount can be received based on household total income and family size.

Employment Services can help someone find a job, or increase their skills. Programs provided by a trained specialist include English as a Second Language; Job Readiness Training; General Education Certificate Programs; Computer Skills Training and maybe most importantly Job Placement. Call (210) 207-7830

Department of Community Initiatives Work Support Services. This department can be reached at (210) 207-7830. Public assistance and cash aid can be referred to from this organization. It includes Housing assistance, including mortgage and rent. Also get help for paying for child care if you are working or attending job training.

Financial Products & Wealth Building helps people gain control of their financial situation, which is key to long term self sufficiency. Services offered include Financial Literacy Classes; Debt Reduction; Auto Refinance; Credit Repair and general One-on-One Financial Coaching.




Emergency Child Services is available from a public San Antonio program known as Our City Cares. The resource provides funding to greater San Antonio residents with short term child care during extenuating circumstance or some type of an emergency. Child care can be provided for people faced with circumstances such as, but not limited to, fire, emergency / medical need, family violence, or natural disaster; for the homeless who are trying to gain self-sufficiency with the assistance of a counselor; or for people who are recovering from domestic violence.

General Child care assistance is offered by the Department of Community Initiatives (DCI) for families in need of after school care services or help in paying for child care. Financial assistance and grants for child care costs is available to eligible families who are in school or who are currently employed. The Child Care Services division of the City of San Antonio partners with Alamo Area Development Cooperation (AADC) to provide child care for both San Antonio and Bexar County.

Dial (210) 207- 8198 to reach the San Antonio Department of Community Initiatives.


By Jon McNamara

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